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COIN / CHARLES DANEK
BIOGRAPHY

COIN is I, Charles Danek

I grew up in northern Michigan where I began playing guitar & writing songs in the 1980s at Interlochen Arts Academy... although my focus was visual art, my interest in music led to some wonderful (and in some cases continuing) collaborations with such fellow-students as opera-singer Heather Dials, jazz-saxophinist Bill McHenry, and producer Ryan Freeland. After leaving Interlochen, I continued to work closely with Ryan Freeland for many years... first he & I took jobs on a summer camp dude ranch in Northern California where we would work in the rodeos by day & sing at campfires by night... later we both settled in Los Angeles where under the name ‘Baby Hannah’ we recorded an album & continued to perform regularly. More recently I was a member of the band 'Aurora' led by Interlochen-alumni Elizabeth Egan Everett, and it was through Interlochen friendships that I gained the opportunity to perform with Shakira in the video for her song: 'Inevitable'

Early on in my musical life, another particularly influential Interlochen musician I grew close with, was future super-star Jewel. She continues to inspire me for how she embodies her own absolute belief that through love, respect & truthfulness towards oneself, almost anything can become possible. (If you listen closely this theme is ever-present in all her music.) Plus Jewel also taught me how to yodel!

Over the years my primary focus shifted away from music & onto other endeavors: Namely I established myself as a successful freelance producer of film & still photography projects, and from 2004 to 2006 I was under contract with the United States Mint as a Master Coin Designer. Although for many years I stopped writing songs, I never stopped playing guitar. Through my production work with rock-'n-roll photographer Christopher Wray-McCann, I met and befriended Ian Ball from the band Gomez, and after he moved to Los Angeles, I soon began joining him on stage at his solo acoustic performances. Our collaboration culminated with my participation in the 'Operation Aloha' project, where members of Gomez, Maroon 5, and Phantom Planet, along with myself & a few other characters, traveled to Maui for a month of experimental recording - during that time we tracked countless hours of music, and about a dozen actual songs that were commercially released in 2009.

In 2010, like many, I suddenly found myself struggling within a collapsing economy. For years my music took a backseat to other matters of survival, but suddenly survival came down doing whatever I could, and along those lines, one day remembered that I am a musician. Inspired by the great recession, I resumed writing songs after a nearly ten-year hiatus, and within a year I had finished an album's worth of new material. The album became 'Ride What You Can't Change', and for an in-depth account of its making, I invite you to visit here.

On the threshold of a new era of my musical life, I felt it a fitting time to assume a new name... a name that encompasses both myself & anyone I choose to work with... and that name is COIN.  As COIN, I recently reunited with Heather Dials to record a soon-to-be-released EP that includes 3 new original songs. Today, I am writing music for a new forthcoming project that is still very much in its infancy, but I can say that what I have in mind is very ambitious!  I invite you all to watch the future unfold at my blog, which can be found here.  

Onward!!

A few biographical high notes...

1992 - A very informal recording of Jewel & I singing a song I wrote entitled:
>>Unpersuasive Words

1997 - A song from the Baby Hannah album recorded with Ryan Freeland:
>>Water Striking Dirt

2000 - Rocking out with the incomparable Shakira:
>> Inevitable

2001 - An earlier solo song I wrote & recorded with Tomasina Abate:
>>U.F.O.'s in Hollywood

2002 - Performing with Aurora in a video directed by Jesse Griffith:
>> Question / Answer

2006 - An audience recording of an acoustic performance by Ian Ball & myself:
>>No Reason

2009 - Operation Aloha performing on the Carson Daly Show:
>> Failure