‘Love Dogs’ celebrates Deardorff life, legacy

Posted 2/28/24

By Kirk Boxleitner


Although Daniel Duane “3D” Deardorff died on Sept. 19, 2019, at the age of 67, the Mythsinger Legacy Project and his life partner, Judith-Kate …

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‘Love Dogs’ celebrates Deardorff life, legacy


By Kirk Boxleitner


Although Daniel Duane “3D” Deardorff died on Sept. 19, 2019, at the age of 67, the Mythsinger Legacy Project and his life partner, Judith-Kate Friedman, have helped keep his dreams alive.

Feb. 15 saw the online streaming of the first installment of the two-part “Love Dogs: An Evening with Judith-Kate Friedman and Daniel ‘3D’ Deardorff,” and Thursday, Feb. 29, will see the streaming of its second installment from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Both parts will be streamed in sequence from 6-8 p.m., marking the third-annual airing of the concert by the two Port Townsend musicians recorded live at Key City Public Theatre on Valentine’s Day of 2015.

“This event is part watch-party, part conversation, and entirely a celebration of love for all, to which I’ve added new love poems and live music,” Friedman said.

Deardorff was born Feb. 12, and the first public, posthumous commemoration of his life, from Feb. 21-23, 2020, just barely precluded the start of that year’s pandemic-prompted lockdown.

During his life, Deardorff received positive notice for his work, not only as a musician, but also as a mythologist and a pioneering activist for disability accommodations, as he ultimately died of natural causes stemming from post-polio syndrome.

Friedman recalled how the occasion of what would have been Deardorff’s 70th birthday, during 2022, inspired the editing of their 2015 concert into a two-part collection of its best moments.

Friedman and Deardorff’s Valentine’s Day concert was devoted, appropriately enough, to “romance, fidelity, compassion, justice, community and the power of song,” in Friedman’s words, and it featured both classic and original love songs, many of which they’d written for each other.

It also included musical recitals of poems by Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi and American poet Robert Bly, the latter of whom was a leader of the mythopoetic men's movement to which Deardorff also contributed.

After the effects of polio sequelae had forced Deardorff to retire from his musical touring and producing career by the close of the 1990s, he moved to Port Townsend and authored “The Other Within: The Genius of Deformity in Myth, Culture, and Psyche,” which earned the acclaim and friendship of Bly himself.

Deardorff met Friedman through similarly philosophical pursuits, shortly after the start of the 21st century, and they initially bonded over their shared love of music. Deardorff also founded the Mythsinger Foundation, offering courses in myth and ritual and mentoring younger-generation storytellers.

Especially after the “beautiful” community response that the 2022 and 2023 viewings of “Love Dogs” received, Friedman continues to feel compelled to share Deardorff’s influence through this annual event, with contributions requested on a pay-as-you-can, pay-as-you-wish basis, to help support the Mythsinger Legacy Project of the Songwriting Works Educational Foundation, to release Deardorff’s as-yet-unpublished works and create “a living archive” of his teachings.

Friedman said the concert will be carried on “the virtual hearth” of Zoom, with its prerecorded portions preceded and followed by additional songs, poems, improvisations and conversations, with the ultimate aim of serving Deardorff’s vision “to restore the medicine of myth to our culture and community.”

For tickets, visit tinyurl.com/lovedogspart2 online.

For more information on the Mythsinger Legacy Project, visit mythsingerlegacy.org online.

For more information on “Love Dogs” and other upcoming events involving Friedman, visit judithkate.com/events online.