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Early Autumn and the New England Trail


Hi everyone — I’m happy to announce that throughout the next several months, I’ll be working in part as an composer-in-residence in collaboration with the New England Trail (NET), a 215-mile footpath linking New Hampshire to Long Island Sound that in 2009 became the newest addition to the National Park Service’s system of National Scenic Trails. The trail is managed by NPS in partnership with the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Connecticut Forest & Park Association — I’ll be working with those groups in and out throughout the year to write and present new music about the landscape of southern New England and about this singular way of moving through it, and I’m excited to get started. On September 27th, I’ll be giving a performance at Wesleyan University where I’ll talk more about this whole project, and I hope you can make it to that.

I’ve got some other shows coming up around New England, too — see if you can get to one of these:

9/24 COLEBROOK, NH – Tillotson Center, 2pm
9/27 MIDDLETOWN, CT – Wesleyan University, 7pm
9/29 CUTTYHUNK, MA – Cuttyhunk Writers Residency (with Stephanie Jenkins), 6pm
10/5 CAMBRIDGE, MA – Lilypad, 7:30pm
10/12 & 10/13 BOSTON, MA – HUBWeek Festival
10/19 TAMWORTH, NH – Tamworth Lyceum (with Honeysuckle & the Western Den), 6pm
10/21 WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT – Open Door, 7pm
10/22 PETERBOROUGH, NH – Bass Hall, 3pm
11/17 BURLINGTON, VT – Light Club Lamp Shop, 7:30pm

More shows and all details are listed here. You might also like to check out a couple of essays I’ve recently published in the magazines Orion and Taproot.

Finally, I’ll leave you with a recent review of Salt that I was thrilled to see in one of my favorite publications, and with this highly enjoyable interview I did with Brian Farrell at WCLZ in Maine last month. Thanks very much, everybody. I hope to see you soon.

“Salt” Announcement & First Single

Hi everyone,

I’m happy to announce that I’ve got a new record coming out later this spring. It’s called Salt, it’s a bit shorter and quieter than my other albums, and all the music on it is about liminal landscapes — places at the edge of things, where the relationship between water and land is sometimes ambiguous. I wrote the bulk of these songs a while ago, during a fairly rough and disorienting time, and I found it helpful and (ironically) grounding to be working on music about places where instability and flux are normal, and where the ground tends to come and go. So these songs are about ice roads, tidal estuaries, salt marshes, floodplains, places where earthquakes happen, ocean travel, and that kind of thing. In one sense the record is all about a very specific type of landscape, but in a broader one, it’s really about finding ballast in difficult situations, which I think just about everyone has had to do at some point.

The first single from Salt is called “Champlain,” and starting today, you can hear it for free exclusively at Junction Magazine, a great publication based in the Upper Valley of NH/VT. It’s one of my favorite songs on the record, and I hope you’ll like it too:

http://junctionmagazine.com/first-listen-champlain/

You can also preorder a digital download of the whole record here. I can’t wait for you to hear the rest of Salt. I’ve been playing a few of these songs for a long time now and I’m happy that they’ll finally have a home.

Also — if you live in northern New England, please know that I’ve got a few shows up here on the immediate horizon in the next week or two:

4/6 NASHUA, NH – Riverwalk Cafe & Music Hall (opening for Ian Ethan Case), 8pm
4/7 WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT – Open Door, 7:30pm
4/8 BURLINGTON, VT – Light Club Lamp Shop, 8pm
4/9 PORTLAND, ME – Blue (with Jamie Kallestad), 7pm
4/15 CRAWFORD NOTCH, NH – AMC Highland Center, 5pm (talk/Q&A) & 7:30pm (show)

Thanks for your support, everyone. I’m excited for you to hear this thing. Talk to you very soon.

Ben

VPR Interview

Yesterday I got to talk with Mary Williams of Vermont Public Radio about what it was like to write music about landscape from out in the middle of the ocean. You can hear the whole segment here.