On April 22, 2018, I left Seattle on a fool's mission: a period of wandering on my bicycle, sharing music and ideas, and meeting people wherever I go.
Will the trip last two months, or two years? Will I head south to California, like I've been saying, or will I change directions? What unforeseen developments will shape my travels? The idea here is openness to whatever might arise. However, I do have some visions, goals, and guiding principles.
Here's a bit more about each of a few essential elements of this undertaking:
For the last couple years, I've had the great fortune of being a full-time, professional pianist. I love playing improvised music for listeners with open hearts. Of all the contexts in which I've gotten to do this, my favorite has been the house concert.
One central intention during this journey is to find opportunities to perform for people. I hope to find folks with pianos who'd be interested in having me play. It could be anything from an opportunity to practice to a small-scale, short, private concert, to a big community musical bash. Whatever form it may take, I'd love to participate.
In college, I studied English, with a focus on writing creative fiction. As I've developed my musicianship, writing has taken a back seat. But I'd love to get to the point where writing and music are pursuits of roughly equal force in my life. I'd like to be able to make my living from both.
For six years, I've been at work on a novel. This will be my primary writing project as I travel. However, I will also work on short stories, and nonfiction accounts of my experiences. I am always looking for people to share my writing with—I love in-person writing groups, feedback exchanges, informal readings, that kind of thing.
I have a certain set of skills and services that I can offer. I also have a certain set of wants and needs. A guiding principle of my journey is not to place a specific cost on anything I have to offer. I will offer everything in the spirit of the gift—with no expectation of any compensation. At the same time, I will gratefully accept any goods or services folks I meet feel moved to offer. I love the concept of the gift economy, because it makes room for meaningful exchange but in a way that doesn't commodify human interaction. We should all have more opportunities to be generous.