“Everything worth doing takes time. You have to write a hundred bad songs before you write one good one. And you have to sacrifice a lot of things that you might not be prepared for. Like it or not, you are in this alone and have to follow your own star.”Read More
Rejection didn't dampen Stephen P. Brown's inner fire. Instead, being turned down from achieving something he wanted flamed his desire to grow and change. Here's his quest.
As a conductor of orchestras, bands, choirs and musicals, it has been my privilege to see thousands of people laugh, cry and directly connect with live music, whatever language they speak. My life journey has taken me from a small village in the English countryside to the sunny shores of Florida via Europe, Africa, South America, and much of the USA and Canada. Through all my travels I occasionally needed to compose music specifically for the ensembles I worked with, and I dabbled in some formal composition training here and there, but I never considered myself a 'composer.'Read More
When we talked to Luke, he told us, “At the age of sixteen I wrote in my journal: 'Tonight, when I was driving home, I had the desire to point The Bronco in one direction and just keep going and going and going.'”
Many travelers will relate to his stories.
After I ditched my return ticket in Chile and took out a student loan to finance hitchhiking from South America to Alaska, people said, “You’re crazy!” I replied, “So was Columbus!” They insisted, “This is so financially unsound!” I cried, “So were The Pyramids!” I joke sometimes that eight years ago I went to South America and I never came back. Really, it means I performed some paperwork magic to graduate early and created a path that was there for me to take or not.Read More
What's it like to live and work as a nomadic, traveling musician who relies on crowd-sourced support? We found a guy doing exactly that. Here are his stories from three continents and counting.
I was raised barefoot and wild on the tip of South Africa, in a little village called Scarborough. My early days were spent in my father’s guitar making workshop as he crafted some of the world's top custom guitars. My boundaries were the ocean and the mountain, and my whole life has been shaped by those first years of raw nature and unfettered adventure.Read More
It was long ago and it was far away, and it was so much better than it is today.
I had an eclectic taste in music when I was a kid. Much of it came from my dad, who introduced me to Bob Dylan before I became more of a fan than he was. There was also Tom Petty (early years), Warren Zevon, and Bruce Springsteen at some point.
I was growing up at least ten or fifteen years late, in other words.
But our generation had an edge on the previous one when it came to technology, or so it seemed at the time. I'd saved for a Sony Walkman, a prized possession acquired at age eight, and over the next few years I recorded songs off the radio for later listening. Late at night, I’d play myself to sleep on many of those songs.Read More
Dotan Negrin likes a challenge. Three years ago, he started taking his upright piano with him everywhere he went. Here's how he tells the story:
I didn’t know piano playing was a goal of mine. I didn’t even learn to play until I was 19, and when I hit the road I was in no way ready to start performing. But I did it anyway because I realized the biggest thing standing in my way from living an extraordinary life was myself. Once I became determined to live differently, it was impossible not to.Read More
Duke Ellington spent forty years traveling, composing, and performing. Ellington composed as he lived, on the road and on the fly. He wrote his pieces in hotel rooms, Pullman cars, and chartered buses, then rehearsed them in the recording studio the next afternoon or on the bandstand the same night. He had little choice but…Read More
This is a reader story. (Read others or tell us yours.) There’s never a good time to leave a good job, but yet people still do so. Some of them leave for a new career, and others head off on a different kind of journey. I’ve known Jon Mueller for years, beginning from an event…Read More
Doha, the capital of Qatar, isn’t the kind of place you usually pop into without a task at hand. You might come on assignment for your company, or you could be transiting on Qatar Airways, or you might drop in because Qatar is a country and you’re on a mission to visit all of them.…Read More
A long time ago, I was a jazz musician. I listened to Thelonious Monk and Bill Evans. I loved what they had done for the jazz world, and for the joy of music in general. If only I practiced or memorized enough, I thought, I might not be an original, but I could at least reproduce what they had done. (At least in this case, I decided, individuality is overrated. If I could be like one of them, I'd be happy.) But no matter how much I practiced, I could never be Monk. There was something about the technique, the choice of notes, phrases, and syncopation that couldn't be imitated. I got the feeling that even if the imitation was perfect—mine certainly wasn't—something would be missing ...Read More