This is my first blog post in five years. Wow. You would think that I've been doing nothing all this time, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Here's what I've been up to, in a nutshell:
2009 - 2010
I left Portland for Mil(iving)wauk(H)e(ll)e to do a training to be a Montessori teacher. While doing the training I recorded a rough guitar/bass demo and staged a reading for Success!, got a regular gig playing shows at an art gallery, and designed the album cover for Secret Notebook, and released digitally two albums: Secret Notebook and The Ideal Home Music Library, Vol. 2. Milwaukee is a real dump.
After I finished the training for my day job and moved to Germany to work in a small school about 20 minutes outside of Frankfurt. There, on weekends and weeknights, I finished the piano score for Success! I also went to Finland to record the latest Reclinerland album. I worked on the vocal and piano tracks in my apartment, playing on a little piano that a generous man named Herr Reinke loaned me.
While living in Germany I went to Finland in the Spring to record the album. Anthony Georgis and I spent a weekend working with Jarkko Heinio, or Japi, as he's nicknamed, in his home studio. We also walked a lot, ate black licorice ice cream, among other Finnish desert delights. For details, check out the albums page. We finished the album and released it digitally later that year.
I returned to Portland and started writing for musical theater. My first ventures were 10-minute musicals, the first of which was Up On The Orange Moon, which was considered for the 4x4 Musicals show. My friend Rachel Sakry, who staged an amazing musical of her own called Whatever Girl got me in touch with Rich Rubin, who wrote the book for Happy Valley. So I spent this year working on the music and lyrics for Happy Valley while also writing songs for the next Parks & Recreation album.
2013 - 2014
These two years seem like a blur. A lot happened in my personal life, but I continued writing the songs for Happy Valley. We staged a reading of the play in late 2014. I also wrote another 10-minute musical, this one completely through-sung, called You Are Standing at the Mouth of a Cave. It was rejected by the 4x4 Musicals show, but I had a great time writing it. I also wrote about 20 songs for the next Parks & Recreation album, which I worked out and rehearsed with Joe Ballman and Bob Ham. Let's see, Happy Valley got a table reading. Oh, and in 2013 and 2014 I submitted Success! to the National Music Theater Conference, where it made the third round of selections before being roundly rejected.
And now, it's 2015. I've finished the music and lyrics for Happy Valley. Parks & Recreation are going into the studio later this year to record our third (epic) album. I have to get started on the string arrangements. I'm starting a new band with my fiancee called This Is It!. We've already got half the songs for our album written! I've begun work on a new musical play called Summerhaven. I'm putting together a showcase of Success! for the Fertile Ground festival. Whew.
So you see? I haven't been blogging, but I haven't exactly been slacking either.