Staying passionate about climate change is an uphill battle. Show me an image of starving children, animal abuse or yet another shooting and my heart jolts: “This must be stopped,” my brain (or voice) yells as I see red. But climate change? It’s the reverse – a brain-to-heart process of reminding myself, “Yes, this is what I should get fired up about, this is the biggest threat facing mankind!”
I have always made my living as an independent performing artist. A 9-to-5 job is as foreign to me as waking up early, establishing a routine or even teaching a student regularly. We artists share one thing in common – we need help! Funding, booking, housing, brainstorming, bartering, watching, listening, feedback, encouragement… our success depends upon asking and receiving.
Fall – the first movement I’m composing for Four Seasons Rising: The Symphony – is as inspired by Cape Breton’s nature as it is its music. My 3 weeks on the Island saturated my senses, flooding my eyes with technicolor foliage, ears with crashing waves and lungs with fresh, wind-tossed air. I have now lived autumn! Thank you, Cape Breton.
This past month, I’ve listened to more live violin playing than I have in the last two decades combined! The spree began on a sunny September day in Toronto. I arrived at 8:30 am for jury duty… but fun jury duty. It involved listening to Canadians from around the world who flew in to compete for 21 violins and cellos – including instruments by Stradivari, Guarneri and Gagliano – in the Canada Council Musical Instrument Bank Competition.
I love this world. And I have my tiny New York City apartment to thank. Cooped up in our cramped abode – after several years in even tinier Juilliard dorm rooms – Shawn Wyckoff and I were ready to blaze a trail out of Manhattan. So we bought a $500 minivan, found a Craigslist sublet in Salt Lake City, booked a “tour” (a couple library concerts bookending weeks of hiking & biking) and voilà – Sonic Escape, our flute and violin group, was born.