Kickstarter Success + Summer Adventures

KS Thanks
I am happy to report that my Kickstarter to fund my first album finished successfully last week, achieving the goal with pledges totaling $6,150! The work has already been going strong for the last two months and I’m grateful to have the support we needed to complete the project. Many, many thanks to all of the incredible people who are partnering with me to make this beautiful thing!

My team and I spent another full day in the studio this week recording vocals before I depart for a month-long sailing and sea kayaking adventure off the coast of British Columbia. Wild! More than once, the course description mentions the necessity for bear precautions, and that privacy may be limited due to BEARS. I think it’ll be fun.

I’ve been feeling a lot of feelings this last week as I’ve been knee-deep in recording these songs I’m so proud of, as I’ve seen so many people show up to contribute to helping me finish the project, and as I’ve been preparing for this crazy adventure I’m about to have. Did I mention that I’ll be totally off the grid for a whole month? No cell phones or contact with the outside world allowed! I think that is the scariest and most exciting prospect!

You may be wondering (or you may not be wondering) why I am going on a sailing and sea kayaking expedition in Bear Country, British Columbia. And don’t bears tend to dwell on land, rather than at sea? As far as most scientists can tell, yes, bears generally tend to stick to land habitats. And to the former question, I say, why not? And, doesn’t everyone dream of sailing and sea kayaking in the wild?

Although I’ve got most of my gear ready to go, and I’ve got most of my loose ends tied up neatly and ready for me to leave them for a month, there are a lot of details about this expedition that I’m kind of in the dark about. It feels a bit like stepping out blindfolded, and I’m just going to have to trust that someone capable is going to lead me along with excellent verbal directions so I don’t fall and break my neck. Or get eaten by bears. There’s a healthy amount of risk and suspension of expectations involved in this thing I’ve committed myself to. And that strikes an incredible parallel with the process of making art. After all, art is exploration and risk and challenge and discovery.

I’ll close out this mumbo jumbo with one of my favorite passages from Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild:

Off the southeastern coast of Iceland sits a low barrier island called Papos. Treeless and rocky, perpetually clobbered by gales howling off the North Atlantic, it takes its name from its first settlers, now long gone, the Irish monks known as papar. . . .

The monks arrived as early as the fifth and sixth centuries A.D., having sailed and rowed from the west coast of Ireland. Setting out in small, open boats called curraghs, built from cowhide stretched over light wicker frames, they crossed one of the most treacherous stretches of ocean in the world without knowing what, if anything, they’d find on the other side.

The papar risked their lives—and lost them in untold droves— not in the pursuit of wealth or personal glory or to claim new lands in the name of any despot. . .  When the first handful of Norwegians showed up on the shores of Iceland in the ninth century, the papar decided the country had become too crowded—even though it was still all but uninhabited. The monks’ response was to climb into their curraghs and row off toward Greenland. They were drawn across the storm-racked ocean, drawn west past the edge of the known world, by nothing more than a hunger of the spirit, a yearning of such queer intensity that it beggars the modern imagination.

So I go forth, both in art and in adventure, not knowing exactly what I’ll discover along the journey. But I find myself committed and compelled, as the Irish monks were, to push boundaries and seek out that intangible something. Stay tuned for more updates on the album in August!

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