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Upcoming gigs

Seriously, how awesome are these students? Percussion in silhouette, animation above, and writers standing and delivering. So great.

Seriously, how awesome are these students? Percussion in silhouette, animation above, and writers standing and delivering. So great.

I just got back from Denver, and am still riding a high of getting to work with some of the most lovely students at the Denver School of the Arts. For two weeks, we ran around like crazy people, creating all-original interdisciplinary works. They were absolutely beautiful, and I can’t wait to tell you more about them. But right now I’m practicing my toes off for a few upcoming performances, so I’ll have to ellipses the conversation for now….

Upcoming performances!

April 12 (8 p.m.) Crusic will host the Second Saturday with a night of Pop/Rock. Percussion arrangements of pieces from Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead to the Beatles will be performed among many others. The Space Upstairs, 214 N. Lexington St. $10 suggested donation, 21 +.

Past performances (sorry we missed you, but ask about recordings!): 

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Recent Writing

Gorgeous illustration by Tracy Spadafora for S&H.

Gorgeous illustration by Tracy Spadafora for S&H.

I’ll keep you apprised of any new articles and writing projects from me here:

“Out of Her Element” — an essay for Spirituality and Health, where I talk about my life in the mountains and my life in the city, and the effects they each had on my work.

“How to be More Productive” — Isn’t that always the question? Here’s a piece from Real Simple, rounding up folks smarter than me talking about how to squeeze more out of your day.

“The Audition” – I published this piece about orchestra auditions a year ago, but new and cool things keep happening from it. Zerosun Productions, a production company in Denver, is producing a full-length documentary inspired by the article. They are fundraising via Kickstarter; check out their trailer and my hilarious quote, “It’s built on love and a little delusion, like anything great.”

I am guilty of reading more than my share of books on happiness…

… but this made me stand up and cheer. A tribute to the complexities of suffering. My own sense of happiness, if it can be called that, this calm pool that has finally settled in my life, is purely /because/ I’ve waded through the hard times. Over and over again.

Recovering from suffering is not like recovering from a disease. Many people don’t come out healed; they come out different. They crash through the logic of individual utility and behave paradoxically. Instead of recoiling from the sorts of loving commitments that almost always involve suffering, they throw themselves more deeply into them. Even while experiencing the worst and most lacerating consequences, some people double down on vulnerability. They hurl themselves deeper and gratefully into their art, loved ones and commitments.

-David Brooks, NYT, 4/7/14

 

Husband and wife.

A rare photo of both us, caught in our natural habitat.

A rare photo of both of us, caught in our natural habitat.

Recently it caught my eye that Patrick and I both positioned quotes above our desks. And re-reading them, I realized they not only perfectly represent us, but our marriage:

This is Patrick’s:

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast … a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; is is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a hike and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.” — Edward Abbey

And this is mine:

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…” — Jack Kerouac

We Found Home: Pittsburgh!

Hello, new home!

Hello, new home!

After our fifth week on the road, we have come to a consensus that Pittsburgh is the perfect place to make our next home. Our rubric changed along the way, but by the end we had a chart rating cities by: 1) Job opportunities now 2) How our careers can grow 3) Affordability and 4) A good vibe. We both appreciated that so many new friends in Pittsburgh immediately helped us feel like if we worked hard, we could make a name for ourselves here. I liked that it felt like a blend of the things we loved in Boston — smarty-pants creating a ton of innovations, a big range of great restaurants, and cool neighborhoods — with the things we had always loved about Colorado — amazing people, a laid-back vibe, and a friendly attitude everywhere we went.

At the end of the weekend, we’ll take off to start the next chapter. Thanks for reading about our adventures along the way, and we will definitely open up our home to all of you in the future. Come visit!

Finding Home: Seattle

 

I think Seattle has had my favorite skyline so far. It's so beautiful from every angle.

I think Seattle has had my favorite skyline so far. It’s so beautiful from every angle.

Patrick and I are embarking on a month-long tour to find our new home. Instead of letting a new job dictate where we will live, we thought we’d try to flip the process on its head and find a spot we loved, trusting (and hoping) that we can find the work we need when we land.

While we were in Portland, everyone we met was scrambling to be outside as much as possible. The word on the street was that the Gray was about to hit. Our next stop was Seattle, and the Gray had indeed hit. When I met with my friend Amanda, she laughed and told me that people take sun vacations. (Also, there are cheap plane tickets to Hawaii, bonus.) I can definitely see why; the Gray means business. But in contrast, Seattle as a city was so vibrant to me. We hit a few pubs and coffee shops, and found more diversity in age and race than we had in Portland. And despite the fact that we kept hearing that Seattle had the “Seattle Chill,” people were really friendly in all parts of the city; we easily struck up conversations with strangers who were passionate to tell us about the neighborhoods, the culture, and most importantly, The Music. This town is damn proud of its music, and it proved to still be invested in bringing up a new generation of creatives — there are quite a few apartment buildings provided at lower costs to artists and their partners who don’t make city-livin’ wages. I’m impressed, Seattle. Very impressed.

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Finding Home: Portland (OR)

A lot of towns want to stay weird, we're finding! We did our best to help with this effort.

A lot of towns want to stay weird, we’re finding! We did our best to help with this effort.

Patrick and I are embarking on a month-long tour to find our new home. Instead of letting a new job dictate where we will live, we thought we’d try to flip the process on its head and find a spot we loved, trusting (and hoping) that we can find the work we need when we land.

I’m not sure if there is a city that seems more catered to all of the things we both like. First, it’s a dense city. The downtown is lively, mixing business with restaurants and retail, so there is a good stream of people day and night. It also seems impossible to live in a neighborhood without being a block or two from a strip containing coffee shops, bars, restaurants, and a letterpress/homemade vinyl shop. Undoubtedly, it’s beautiful. I can be a tough crowd after living in Colorado, and the lush trees of Portland were stunning to me. I kept saying to Patrick, “It’s like a city inside of an arboretum!” My only concern was the vibe of the folks in town. It can have a cool cast. Often people didn’t make eye contact, and it could feel a bit detached. I’m not sure if it’s part of the hipster credo, or if I’m just getting used to the feeling of the West Coast. But while I figure that out, let me share some of the great stuff about Portland:

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Finding Home: Austin

I had no idea Austin had such a drop-the-mic skyline. BOOM.

I had no idea Austin had such a drop-the-mic skyline. BOOM.

Patrick and I are embarking on a month-long tour to find our new home. Instead of letting a new job dictate where we will live, we thought we’d try to flip the process on its head and find a spot we loved, trusting (and hoping) that we can find the work we need when we land.

I loved Austin’s surprises for my own expectations. It had a much bigger-city presence than I realized. (Check out that skyline!) There were cranes everywhere; you can see it growing like crazy. It was mellow; people were friendly, but closed conversations with an East-Coast finality. (We were getting used to the meandering conversations of the South.) Because we visited on a Monday and Tuesday, I feel like we avoided the tourist (read: hipster) feel of the city, and saw more of what the real city is like: a young, diverse, vibrant community who reveres where they live. Let’s look at more!

 

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Finding Home: Asheville

This was the huge drum circle that we caught the first night in town. People were streaming in the entire time, carrying drums. Really happy stuff.

This was the huge drum circle that we caught the first night in town. People were streaming in the entire time, carrying drums. Really happy stuff.

Patrick and I are embarking on a month-long tour to find our new home. Instead of letting a new job dictate where we will live, we thought we’d try to flip the process on its head and find a spot we loved, trusting (and hoping) that we can find the work we need when we land.

Asheville reminded me of what it felt like to move to Boulder. I moved to that town and fell in love with the beauty of the place and the community in it. The community in Asheville is a bit different, but has a lot of similarities. As Patrick said, it’s part hippie town, part college town, and part retiree town. While we were there, we saw all these different folks mixing for events. Instead of being a caricature of a hippie town, it just embodied the ideals gracefully; a fiercely local focus, weekly music events that pull in all members of the community, and a relaxed, happy vibe. Here’s some of the good times:

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Finding Home: Charleston

As soon as I got out of the car, I could smell the ocean. So good.

As soon as I got out of the car, I could smell the ocean. So good.

Patrick and I are embarking on a month-long tour to find our new home. Instead of letting a new job dictate where we will live, we thought we’d try to flip the process on its head and find a spot we loved, trusting (and hoping) that we can find the work we need when we land.

Charleston was full of sirens for these Odysseuses. Did we see anyone going to work? No. Was that  a shrimp shack? Who cares, then! Is there anything else to do but vacation? Maybe. But is that a smoked bourbon Manhattan? Oh, yes please. People were so friendly that when they pulled up a chair at a nearby table, they apologized that their third member had to sit with his back to us. It was so charming. The water was so warm. It’s really lucky we made it out of there at all. But based on the rating scale we created in Raleigh, it’s a tier-2 city, one we’d happily move to if one of us got a full-time job. But until then, here’s the goods: 

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