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Music is a Human Right

In my work with Urban Voices Project, a nonprofit that provides music programs to people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, one theme I regularly encounter in conversation with members and colleagues is how making music meets fundamental needs. These are needs for expression, connection, community, validation, and identity that can be met regardless of whether a …

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The Ongoing Saga of My Baldwin Piano

If you have followed my blog at all over the past few years, you know that a) I own a magnificent 1912 Baldwin piano that I chanced upon for fairly cheap and shepherded into loving restoration by one of the Pacific Northwest’s top piano technicians, and b) when I moved to New York, I no …

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Space is the Place

As part of the notoriously laborious process of moving to New York, one day I was required to visit the post office to try to track down a very important piece of mail. I had overnighted it from Portland, Oregon, to my new address in Brooklyn, but it was MIA. My new roommate on the …

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Outsiders In: “Song To My City”

I wrote “Song To My City” in the summer of 2015. Portland had been changing for a while, but 2015 was the year I felt like I no longer recognized it. Being both a long-time Portlander and originally a transplant from California, I had a lot of mixed feelings about the rapidity of Portland’s growth. On one hand, I’m …

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OPP: Other People’s Pianos

Piano practice has always been the back bone of my life structure. It is foundational and usually comes before all other types of practice, and sometimes before breakfast. But of late, with my living situation in continual flux, my practice has shifted from luxurious focused solitude with the instrument to: Where can I find a piano, and for how long? In …

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DEAR JONI

It is an understatement to say that I am a lifelong fan. Maybe devotee, reverent student. At twelve years old, I discovered “Blue” and “Song to a Seagull” in my mom’s box of old records, and ever since Joni Mitchell has been like a family member to me, the High Priestess presiding over my dawning musicianship …

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Spring Things

Last year I decided I was finally going to learn how to grow a proper vegetable garden. I’m not new to either vegetables or to gardening—in fact, in my daily life I could be mistaken as somewhat of a “plant expert” where I work, as a visual merchandiser at a garden center. With a few …

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