Again in the spirit of allowing the reader to somehow get to know me… I’m really a musician doing whatever else I’m doing because it needs to be done. I play 12 instruments well enough to teach or perform on and intend to teach inside the system once we’ve guaranteed that there will be a place for the children I’d be teaching to grow up in.
I started early, at the age of 9, studying classical flute. I learned to read, and even sight read, and found some magic in the excitement of performance. I also did some stage work in school in those days and learned how to stand comfortably in front of an audience, even when things went awry.
In the eighth grade I switched to the Trombone, because that’s what we needed. I’d continue through the low brass section throughout my scholastic career, eventually majoring in the trombone, with Tuba/Sousaphone not far behind. At home I taught myself guitar and bass guitar and began to sing. My dad and my uncle and I had a rock and roll band, covering CCR, the Eagles, the Beatles and stuff of that era. In college I mostly followed the Jazz route, with a focus on the voice and musical theater, as well as theory. I studied the drum set heavily on my own time and learned piano mostly as a tool for theory and composition.
In a lifetime as a musician, I’ve played in every sort of ensemble you can imagine, to list a few: a Simon and Garfunkel cover duo, a vocal acapella band, jazz combos, stage bands, concert bands, jazz choirs, reggae, world music, heavy metal, ska, the list goes on. 15 years ago now I finished an album and had the pleasure of working with some incredible humans the likes of Kevin Sawka and Jessica Lurie, not to mention a host of talented close friends and family.
18 years ago I met my soulmate, walking down the street with a violin in her hand. I was literally up in a tree playing my flute. It would be a decade and a half before we would come together as beloveds. She’s a harpist and a drummer, I play bass and guitar, and we both sing. We sing mostly her songs, a mixture of music you’d do yoga to and music you’d call people together to heal the earth with. An album will be born soon.
And then there’s what’s going on in my mind and heart in all the cracks between lifing adulting and escaping.
Who I am is the concept of Into Just Nation.
Just Intonation is this concept that you can play music where all the consanances are truly consonant. Our current system is not that, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The current system was adopted at the objection of the most skilled and sensitive musicians of the time, and the pure harmonies that preceded that change are invisible until you start looking for them.
Between the twelve keys there are an infinite number of harmonies, many of which are richer, purer, more mysterious and far more interesting than the litanny of sameness that you’ve been fed.
Don’t get me wrong, I love equal tempered music and have played it all my life. I’ll teach it for the rest of my life. But there’s more. So. Much. More.
“I wish I found some chords In an order that is new” sang 21 Pilots… Well they’re right there. All you gotta do is tune up that major third and it’ll buzz like a power chord and you can run it crunchy with overdrive without it sounding awful. Try it, you’ll see. Ever heard of the blue note? It’s not on your keyboard, look for it in between the ebony and the ivory and start at 11:8.
This is who I am.