• Local musician thrives on teaching, community involvement and ‘experiencing life’
by Christina Whiting
Lindianne Sarno first found her niche in Homer through the arts – specifically, knitting socks, selling books and playing music.
Sarno’s father was a singer, guitarist and pianist who chose to pursue medicine and became a physician and an author.
“As a composer, I’m living my Dad’s dream,” she said.
Sarno has played music since she was 3 years old, classically trained in piano and violin. She learned music theory and sang folk music on guitar and played throughout her school years. She began writing songs for piano and guitar at the age of 12.
“As a youth, I was always performing in orchestras, quartets, folk duos and dance bands,” she said.
At Princeton University, Sarno majored in history, influenced by a family of holocaust survivors she met in New York City.
“These individuals survived the holocaust as teenagers,” she said. “My mother helped them integrate into American society after World War II. I read holocaust literature and history, trying to understand it all.”
Sarno’s historical novel “Greensleeves” was published in 2006 and grew from her search for answers.
“I wondered what young musicians would do if they were born in the 1500s in Ireland and Scotland, where the English empire was committing genocide,” she explained.
After Princeton and a year and a half of law school, Sarno worked on Wall Street and Madison Avenue, but didn’t like the lack of ethics.
In the 1980s, she moved to Oregon to learn self-reliant food production. Here, she became a professional salad grower, marketing her vegetables and whole grain baked goods in Oregon, Washington and northern California.
“This was a time in my life when I was studying,” she shared. “I was studying the world to figure out how I wanted to live in it.”
In 1995, Sarno moved to Arizona to care for her mother. She lived there for 13 years, studying dryland permaculture and developing expertise in human manure composting. During this time, she also taught music students at her private studio.
“I was considered by the Tucson community to be an educator who taught educators’ kids,” she said. “I teach the whole human being. Each person is a unique personality with unique talents, and my musical diversity allows me to help students explore diverse arts. I encourage them to do what brings them joy and make that their vocation.”
In 2009, Sarno met Homer artist Michael Glasgow (the Spoon Guy) in Tucson. The two became friends and spent a year traveling from Tucson to Alaska by bike, ferry and train. In Homer, she and Glasgow worked together on justice, gardening and composting.
Sarno knit socks for market, sold her books and CDs, and found musical colleagues who provided her with a wealth of community support.
“Asia Freeman helped me ground here,” she said. “She booked my music at Bunnell Gallery and recommended me for gigs. I purchased a piano from the Salvation Army and taught 10 students a week in my home.”
Sarno involved herself in community projects and programs, including the Kachemak Drive Bike Path Committee. During a meeting for this committee, she met a local boat builder and fisherman by the name of Bumppo. The two became, and have remained, inseparable.
“Twenty years ago, I met a Yu’pik man who told me that a kind, gentle fisherman was waiting for me in Alaska, and that I’d know him by his wavy hair and his red hat,” she said. “I came to Homer and here was Bumppo.”
In August, Sarno opened Lindianne’s Music Garden on Pioneer Avenue, in a cabin between Café Cups and Steve Cornish Music.
Here, she offers violin, piano, guitar, music theory, songwriting and composition. She currently has 20 students and is accepting new ones.
Homer’s musicians quickly welcomed Sarno into their family. These musicians include Cathy Stingley and Cindy McKenna, who Sarno performs with as the Celtic Cats. She also performs at Homer Senior Center dances alongside Tim Quinn, Sunrise Sjoeberg, Michael Murray and Steve Mueller, as the Kachemak Bay Country Folk. Sunday evenings, she can be heard at A.J.’s Old Town Steakhouse and Tavern, where she plays romantic dinner music.
Other members of her musical family include Sharon Schultz, Sue Butler, Dave Seaman and Milo Matthews.
“Milo produced CDs for many local musicians,” she said. “He had a tremendous impact on Homer musicians.”
In addition to her passion for music, Sarno is passionate about community service. She serves on the City of Homer Economic Development Advisory Commission, the Kachemak Bay Wooden Boat Society, Homer Area Trails and is a citizen of the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission.
“I’m always looking for ways I can help my community and the planet,” she shared. “I’m not here for possessions or wealth. I’m here to experience life.”
Sarno can’t imagine living anywhere other than Homer. She’s an active member of Homer’s art community and weaves her art into her everyday life.
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