Music is for Everyone!
Calling all bands! Calling all DJs! Calling all musicians! Calling all noisemakers! Calling all sound healers and performers! Calling all humans!
Play an Instrument While You Ride - Harmonica and kazoo work nicely for safe riding. Consider outfitting your bicycle with more than one bell, or a silly horn.
Bike to a Public Space and Play Music - Throw that guitar on your back and head to your nearest traffic circle, quiet intersection, or park bench to jam.
Make Music in Your Porch or Driveway - See if you can get your neighbors to join your band from their pads. If it's nice weather, maybe bring out instruments you need to plug in...
Make Your Bike The Instrument - Pack a pair of drumsticks and play your bike at every stop.
Real Life Musical - Why not SING while you pedal? Have a Covid Companion? See if they'll reenact a scene from your favorite musical with you while riding...
All Things Yodeling - Yodel, sing, play kazoo or harmonica, or just shout.
Xanadu Singalong (7PM) - Sing and dance along to the songs of movie Xanadu with the help of your mobile audio/video systems.
"Music is for everyone" is my approach to music, but also extends to my belief that our society presses too much on the need for "perfection" - that people are pushed to spend too much energy fretting over something being "perfect" rather than simply creating. I was once paralyzed from creating because I worried about what others would think, how other "better" art would be compared to mine, that it prevented me from doing anything at all. These mental barriers extended to other aspects of my life. I still often deal in having to overcome these barriers, that "negative voice," but I am more liberated from it now than ever. I owe it both to shift in mindset (one that occurred on bike, but that's another story!) but also a beautiful arts community in Portland that embraces creation and experimentation rather than perfectionism - it is a community that inspires me every day and their inclusiveness and support is something for which I am eternally grateful.
Music is for everyone. I've heard people say "I'm not musical" but this isn't true - music is all around us and can be created in infinite ways. Music is just pitch and rhythm put into sequence. It's mostly about getting into the flow state and letting go. This is why music jams are fun - because more experienced musicians can help prop you up. You are contributing way more than you think, even if you're just hitting the cowbell. So get all your friends and family in the mix, even if they're "not musical" - you'll blow their minds when they let go for the first time and find themselves in that flow state.
I'm honored to be supporting a Pedalpalooza theme day this year - Music Fest 2020! It's going to be different year but in limitation comes creativity and adventure. I want to promote expression of all kinds. In these uncertain times we need spontaneous creative energy more than ever. So let's light up Portland with music for all kinds!
I'd say "go out and have fun out there" but I'd rather say "go out and be you." Yesterday as I watched the weather gently flip from sunshine to rain and back again throughout the day, I saw the beauty of balance - without rain, I wouldn't appreciate the sun - without sadness, I wouldn't appreciate joy. These are tough times and your music might reflect that - and that is more than OK - go out and express that. Music Fest Day will be joyous because we embrace the balance, the sadness along with the joy.
I'll be maintaining this blog leading up to Music Fest Day on June 9th - I'll be posting my own music in support of the day and I encourage you to send me yours to promote! Send me videos of your musical expression around town and how you plan to support Music Fest - I'll get it posted on the blog.