what makes the MFS Artist Collective different?

what makes the MFS Artist Collective different?

For the last couple of months we've been inviting a select group of musicians - some of the leaders in the field - to join the MFS Artist Collective. These musicians are each committed to carrying on the mission of Music in Familiar Spaces: to create opportunities for people of all backgrounds to engage with and enjoy classical music at its highest level. We're truly honored to have such talented, hardworking and exceptional artists joining us.

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the future of Music in Familiar Spaces

It's hard to believe that it's been three months since our last blog post. We are slowly adjusting to life in one place and beginning to process some of the experiences from last year. After taking two months off from organizing concerts, this last week we had two Bach & Beer shows in the area. It was a bit strange to load up all of the gear and drive over to the venue - it felt almost normal and yet from a very different time in our lives. The two concerts were exactly what we could have hoped for, and a great reminder of the value in Music in Familiar Spaces. That's why we're so excited that Music in Familiar Spaces is not stopping!

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and the tour has officially finished!

and the tour has officially finished!

We have spent the last 13 months travelling North America, living in less than 100 square feet, giving concerts in 30 different states, and sharing music with thousands of people. We had our last concert three weeks ago. It’s hard to believe we’re finished. We’re finished, absolutely, but I don’t think that the experiences we had this year are not finished with us. They’re not finished shaping and stretching, challenging and teaching me and Steuart. Hopefully the music we shared and the conversations the concerts inspired are not finished with the people we encountered either.

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the human connection

the human connection

Last week we celebrated 365 days on the road. One year of constant travel, spent living in our 19-foot trailer from the 50’s, driving all across North America. We marked the occasion with a picnic dinner on top of a mountain. 

What this year and this project really comes down to is human connection. The whole impetus for Music in Familiar Spaces was a desire for greater human connection, first with one another as husband and wife, and second with the people with whom we share music. I think we've all had this conversation: “the internet, social media, TV – they’re replacing real human relationships. People are turning more and more inward, unable (unwilling?) to give what is necessary for a true friendship to flourish.”

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on the importance of space

on the importance of space

We have lived in just over 100 square feet, together with our dog and two big instruments, for the last 11 months. Our home-on-wheels was made in 1959, 28 years before we were born. It doesn’t have automatic leveling jacks, control panels, slide-outs, battery packs or even a water heater like the new RV’s. But it is our space. With its warm wooden walls, craftsmanship that has proved strong over almost 60 years, curved aluminum body and a coziness that makes you feel safe, our trailer has allowed us to be home no matter where we are. I had never understood or felt the importance of having one’s own space – no matter the size – until this tour. A space where I can let all consideration of others’ opinions fall away; a space where I can cry without fear of making someone else uncomfortable; a space where I can leave my dirty t-shirt on the floor, or keep everything clean and tidy.

When it is raining and we are dry, or it is cold outside and we are warm, I am thankful for our space. When I am thirsty and we have water to drink, or I am hungry and we can take food from our well-stocked pantry and cook a warm meal, I am thankful for our space. This appreciation for some of the more basic elements of life is an unexpected gift from our year on the road.

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a month of good friends & food

a month of good friends & food

We have eaten some incredible food over the last 10 months of traveling. We tried shrimp and grits in South Carolina, had Nashville's best fried chicken, oysters on the Gulf of Mexico, BBQ in Texas, deep dish pizza in Chicago, lobster in Maine (and Long Island), poutine in Quebec and dim sum in DC. We've had the privilege of being invited into countless homes for family meals where we've noted recipe ideas and discovered new ways of fixing old favorites.

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F.A.Q.'s and other stories from the road

F.A.Q.'s and other stories from the road

We meet new people every week. We tell them our story: what we're doing and why we're doing it. It's not a common story and it's not a common way of life. I think this is why we often find ourselves in uncommonly deep and interesting conversations with people we've only just met. Our story invokes questions that one would not ordinarily ask a stranger, and our way of living somehow invites people to think about our lives with more scrutiny (I don't mean negative scrutiny) then they would had we met under different circumstances.

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finding a balance

finding a balance

It's hard to believe that we're halfway through this yearlong project. Since the beginning we have tried, with mixed success and failure, to find a balance: not too many concerts, but enough to meet our expenses; enough time in one place to enjoy, but not too much; time to rest while having enough time to get all our work finished. We recognize that this trip is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and while we want to make the most of it, we also have to work hard to keep it going.  

Last month (March) we experienced a mix of failure and success in finding this balance. ...

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