It's been said that art, and especially music, is a journey. Moving through the piece is more important than reaching the end.
The same has been said of education: it's all about the process, the journey, not the end product.
My life, art, and education has very much been a journey. Rural Indiana high school, not with terrible academics, but not the types of opportunities many of my later friends had. My 2nd choice, a liberal arts school a bit too close to home, with an environment that all at once was familiar (rural Indiana) and very different (rugged academics, all day/night practicing/working/studying).
A fun summer spent working in Michigan, a side-trip, a chance to feel out a different land. Trips to Colorado, Ohio, Seattle, LA, San Fran, Phoenix--some on tour, some on visits. After undergrad, running off to the beach in South Jersey because, hey, why not?
South Jersey was great--new friends, new environment, new yet old industry. Beaches, casinos, trips to Philly, NYC, Boston, and the occasional job in Delaware. I did a masters in Brooklyn.
Lived in Brooklyn for a solid portion of time, traveled quite a bit around the coast, met awesome people, lived. Took another trip to LA.
"Lost" my job (or did it lose me?). The industry tanked, there were no jobs. And, with a masters, I quickly became...overqualified. Turned down everywhere local. My choice was a casino gig (if I could land one, which in the economy was doubtful) or move back to Indiana.
I left Jersey, the closest place to feeling like home. There were more reasons, but the job was the kicker.
Back to Indiana...not a good time. Took months to get a job, crashed at friends' places after some nastiness with the family, begged for any opportunity to leave.
I took the first offer--UMKC. Didn't even put in any other apps. I loaded my jeep with cooking supplies, an inflatable bed, toiletries, sundries, and a space heater. Moved into an apartment sight-unseen. Moved around the KC area, lived alone and with others, partied, got wasted, got published, traveled to Sweden, NYC, Buffalo, Portugal. I saw the world with jaded eyes.
KC is attempting to grow. It's lost a lot in the last 30 years, but they're trying. The arts are coming back, even as Google Fiber brings in more industry. These things go hand in hand.
KC is not home. Neither was NYC, LA, San Fran, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Denver, Phoenix, Lisbon, Indianapolis, Sharpsville, Kokomo, Tipton, Milwaukee...They've never felt right.
In a short while, I leave for Stockholm. I've been before, and it felt good to me. I hold no illusion that, suddenly, I will find home. But, at the same time, I won't deny it until it's failed.
This might seem like a 29 year old man that's just not "settled." That all I need is a steady job and a good woman or some other stereotypical things. No...that's not it.
I think everyone gets a sense of where they belong. I used to think I just suffered from "wanderlust." But, I've realized, if I suffered from wanderlust, I'd probably like traveling...and I don't. But I feel uneasy in most places, like my insides just aren't settled.
This is what my music is about. It's about that uneasiness, about never quite feeling completely at home. It's why it'll start in one place and end in another--even though the change shouldn't feel completely wrong. It's why short pieces always return to the beginning. Those simply describe a week, or maybe as long as a year.
My music is some sort of journey...but not necessarily in a single piece. But all of them together, well...I guess that's just my life.
And my life revolves around one main point: finding home.