When Janet developed an uncommon interest for music at five years old, her lawyer father gave her a ukulele. She enjoyed playing it so much that she asked her father if she could play his guitar. (She, of course, was overmatched in size at that point, but she made do and just played four of the strings as she did on her ukulele.) Her father’s laughter at the thought of the combination of small Janet and big guitar still rings in her ears today. The first song that she remembers singing was a throwback to her father’s military days. Though she had no concept of the meaning of the words, the title of the song was “Cocaine Bill and Morphine Sue”. “Goodnight Irene” was her second song to memorize.
She was born in Boulder and grew up in Englewood and Denver, the sibling of a sister who paints and a brother who writes. (That is a lot of creative energy.) At fifteen years of age, she made a recording on a Radio Shack cassette player of an original piece of her music and sent it off to the Royal Music Conservatory of Brussels, Belgium to see if she could join their high school music program. She became the first foreign student to be accepted to that school. (She consequently learned how to speak Flemish by watching Sesame Street.) In a class there she had a guitar teacher who thought female students were a waste of his time. Boy, was he wrong. She went on to study at Marylhurst College in Oregon and a few years later received a degree in Musicology from the University of Massachusetts.
After nearly a year in Southeast Asia in the early 1980’s, she decided to follow her main interest and work for herself. By the early 1990’s she began composing music with a combination of altered and unaltered strings, using objects not typically associated with the guitar, to create an expanded palette of sounds. When a crush (who was also a musician she greatly admired) laughed along with her sonic explorations- just like her father had laughed when she first asked to play his guitar- she knew that she was on the right path. She has since scored for film and theater, been featured on National Public Radio and in renowned publications in the U.S, and Europe and made several solo albums (available on Bandcamp). Having served on the faculty of Naropa University in the early aughts, she now teaches at the University of Colorado. It is her greatest reward to collaborate with other musicians
She also has had lots of adventures on and off the bicycle and would not trade a single one of them for anything.
She feels incredibly fortunate to have loved both cycling and guitar-playing her whole life.