I’m happy to be here at ISLAND (The Institute For Sustainable Living and Natural Design) at the Hill House Artist Residency Program, where I was in the spring of 12’ in residency with Elisabeth Pixley-Fink! I’m here because one of the artists in residence had to cancel last minute, and when the call went out to program alum’s, the timing was perfect for me. So much has transpired personally and creatively since my last stay, thanks in part to my residency two springs ago. In short, I learned a lot about building a platform for creativity and getting out of your own way. Today is the last day to apply for the Hill House artist residency program for residencies from December 2013 through May 2014, so I encourage you emerging artists to brew some coffee and get down to the application!
“If you’ve ever been gripped by a poem, held rapt by a song or been enchanted by a movie or play, you’ve likely benefitted from an artist residency. Residencies are the research and development centers of the art world. The difference between a residency and a home studio is more than just dedicated time and space. Residencies offer an opportunity to expand an artist’s resources, whether in the form of community, collaborators, support, access to equipment, or presentation of their work.” –ISLAND Institute
I’ve found that just the act of applying for and being awarded a residency sets things in motion. While preparing to head up, my friends Mike Savina, Andy Catlin, Ben Lau and Chris Bathgate helped me install/figure my way around Ableton enough to do basic recordings. Tony Roth also rigged up an electric guitar for me to learn on! I’ve got a smattering of me and Pat’s things to aid with the creative process too. I’ll be here till October 14 writing, practicing, recording, performing & outdoor venturing with friends at the Wagbo Farm.
I’m excited to play music for three "Guild Social & Farmer Appreciation Parties" through ISLAND during my stay. I’ll play the first with my friend Adrian O’barr backing in Harbor Springs on Oct. 5 at Bliss Gardens, the second with Adrian and some Traverse City friends on Oct. 6 at Birch Point Farm, and the last one with Bowhunter, my string band on Oct. 11 at Wagbo Farm. Come on out if you’re in the north! Check out the ISLAND Institute website or the ISLAND Facebook page for event details.
After the residency, I’ll stop at the Montessori school in Traverse City to play for their end of the year harvest dinner. (Thanks Jamie!) Then, I’ll drop down and get to studio-work on Lasso’s album at the Double Phelix in Kalamazoo. I’m excited to hear what Andy’s been cooking up… After that, I’ll have some studio time racked up to trade in for engineer work on my budding album, along with overdubs for the upcoming “Hearth & Hymn” album with Elisabeth Pixley-Fink.
Come late October, there’s a Cider Pressing party brewing at the Understory Farm in Bangor, MI. Rumor has it that it’s on Sunday, October 20th, but I’ll report back once it’s confirmed. I think I’ll be playing with my friend Richard Whitfield, and some other local old time musicians. Can’t wait to see the Bangor crew again, it’s been too long! After that, I’ll be prepping to play the Lamplight Music Festival in Grand Rapids. Check it out with this new promo video. It’s a house-show festival in it’s second year, founded by my friend John Hanson. I suggest coming for the whole weekend. Witnessing the community shape around this do-it-together style festival is going to be inspiring, not to mention the music and food. From there, I’ll be gearing up for a November 6-10 tour of MI with some Earthwork friends (details forthcoming on the Earthwork site.)
Whew. Things just sort of fell into place for the fall. I’m feeling lucky to be making music with, and being supported by so many friends this season. I'll leave you with a sentiment that my sister shared earlier:
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables.
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