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Alaska & Early Fall

Hello from Homer, Alaska (seen above), where Wild Shore is premiering one of my pieces as part of a beautiful and stylistically diverse program of new music celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Wild Shore is up here this week, but after we leave Alaska, the whole program will be performed again at Federal Hall National Memorial in Manhattan on 8/23 and then at the National Sylvan Theater in DC on 8/25. The music on the program is all awesome, and the performers are incredible; I encourage you to go if you are able. I’ve got to admit that I’m not generally used to sitting passively as an audience member while my music is performed by other people, so I’ve been finding this experience both surreal and entirely agreeable.

I flew up here shortly after arriving back in New England from a long summer tour through what I consider to be many of the best parts of America. Parts of that tour looked like this, like this, like this, like this, like this and like this. For one concert, I got to play inside a log cabin built in the 1890s by a homesteader on the Olympic Peninsula, and at another one I played in a barn full of garlic. I love national tours, and the shows on this one were as gratifying and fun as any I’ve played.

Anyway, after I get back from Alaska, I’ll have a few shows in the northeast during late August and early September, where I hope to try out a few new songs. If you live near these places I hope you can come:

8/22 - BROOKLYN, NY - Pete’s Candy Store, 9:30pm
8/27 - MANCHESTER, MA - Manchester by the Book, 8pm
9/8 - CAMBRIDGE, MA - Lilypad, 8:15pm (details here)
9/15 - FITCHBURG, MA - Fitchburg Public Library, 6:30pm
9/18 - MONTPELIER, VT - Skinny Pancake, 5:30pm

Also, during the beginning of September, I’ll be headquartered in Waterville Valley, NH, courtesy of the Margret & H.A. Rey Center: I’ll be living and working in the cottage where H.A. finished writing the most comprehensible book about astronomy that I know about. Please visit.

That’s enough for now. It was great to see so many of you this summer. As always, I hope you’re all well, and I hope to see you soon.

Ben

Summer Tour 2016

Hey everyone —

I’ll be running all over the place this June & July, starting way up in Colebrook, New Hampshire and then wandering all the way out to the west coast and back, hitting many of my very favorite areas along the way.

More dates will be added to this list in the coming days, but the general shape of those two months is now outlined on this website’s performances page. Please keep an eye on that space for details as more shows are attached! I hope to see you out there.

– Ben

Seven Essays

I mostly write music without words, but I also secretly spend a lot of time writing words without music. Over the last several years, I’ve written a lot of essays, generally about the same sorts of subjects I get into with my music: namely landscape, place, the natural environment, and the different ways people engage with those things. I’ve finally collected seven of my favorites into a little book that I recently started selling at shows. You can order one here and it looks like this:

Each mini-book is handmade, 50 pages long, and full of things I think are cool. It contains one essay about a painter on an island in Maine, one about a mountain I love in New Hampshire, one about a man in the Pacific Northwest who is obsessed with preserving natural silence, one about a midcentury Swedish diplomat who managed to wrestle his demons to the ground in a pretty touching way, and still others about puffins, landscape photography, and the Connecticut River.

Some of these essays were previously published and some were not, but either way they’ve never been collected anywhere before and it’s satisfying to finally be able to offer a big stack of them to you all at once. I hope you like them.

Order “Seven Essays” here or grab one at an upcoming show. I’ll be in touch soon with news about tour dates for the summer and beyond.

Thanks, everybody. See you soon.
Ben