Today, February 6th, I'm 50. I've got so much to be thankful for. It's been a wonderful ride, especially these 21 years in NYC. Over those years and looking ahead to what I hope my next 50 (!!!) years will be, I know there's something I've really been missing from my life in Texas - that is, more time in nature, exploring.
I'm reaching out to family, friends, fans, students, colleagues, and collaborators to support me in a unique opportunity as a send off to my next 50 years, and with the hope you'll join me in an exciting journey.
I'm so thrilled, excited and honored to announce I'll be going to Alaska for the Composing in the Wilderness: Kayaking Adventure July 27 - August 8. In this field course, I’ll participate with eight other selected composers in week-long sea kayaking trip in spectacular Prince William Sound, designed to inspire original composition for the Corvus Ensemble. Upon returning, I’ll complete my piece, culminating in a concert at Federal Hall National Memorial in New York City.
This is my first crowdfunded anything. Humbling to say the least … I’d be forever grateful for any support you can contribute.
Thanks to my inclusion in Nacogdoches Film Festival (I'm a juror this year) and meeting my dear friend Composer / Explorer Stephen Lias at SFA back in 2016, I heard about this program. My interest was piqued and my soul has been stretching out. Last Fall, I attended their concert with Corvus at the Federal Hall in Manhattan. Wow!
It's still challenging to survive as a composer / musician in NYC. (As for thriving? Well, perhaps I'm getting closer.) Even when it's been was difficult, I've loved every minute of it. There's been a big shift in my life recently (and, related, I've had a I've got some other big news I'll be announcing soon...more about all that in another thread).
I’ve got to connect these dots … my calling for more time in nature, my next 50 years, my son and this opportunity:
Xavier and I have camped out in my backyard in Brooklyn (and in the Berkshires) and I love my time in Prospect Park (including in the mud in the rain at boot camp). But, that's not nearly enough, not even close, to what I know I need to be doing from here on out. I was a Cub Scout with regular camping trips, we did lots of family camping, I went on canoe trips with my Dad, and best bud Michael Alves and I went to Big Bend nearly every Spring Break of our 20s. I've been to both rims of the Grand Canyon. I've run 13 half marathons (including the Brooklyn Half and Trail Half P2P). Xavier and I have kayaked in the waters off Governors Island, biked the entire Coney Island Boardwalk last summer and hiked Chimney Rock Trail in New Mexico last spring break. I once weighed 40 lbs heavier than I do now. (I've kept that weight off for 7 years and have no doubt I'll ever slip that off track again.) I've been deeply inspired by Octogenarian Composers and Conductors and I see all I hope my future to be. I want to share the nature loving explorer side of me with Xavier more and more.
There will be much more here in the coming weeks and months (including break down of the costs, when they are due, sharing my gratitude and news, how I'll reward your generosity, details for the concert in Fall 2019 at Federal Hall plus after party, etc.). Though I'm behind on some deadlines, it was important to announce this today. I'm so blessed.
For more information about the program, please click on the link below.
With deepest gratitude, Alaska here I come!
Love, Peace and Chicken Grease,
(btw, that 1994 or so photo is yours truly in long haired troubadour mode, with my Martin Backpacker, at Big Bend's Emory Peak, at 7,825′ the highest elevation in Texas.)