This website is for me. I spend a lot of time thinking about, creating, and tinkering with stuff for the web, much of it for other people. This is my place to do all of that stuff without any outside constraints, even (or perhaps especially) when it seems self-indulgent or geeky or pointless.
When I decided to redesign this website, I wanted it to be more personal, to better reflect me as a person. My motivation for keeping a home for myself on the web is partly as an exercise in vulnerability and transparency: to keep a public record of who I am and who I become as it happens.
With that in mind, the idea of a static declaration of who I am seems silly, and inept. My homepage used to say “I make everyday life more beautiful as a professional Jazz musician and a web designer & developer”, but that feels too precious and reductive. Instead, I hope to keep this section as a running document of a more personal, biographical nature than the Writing section. This is new territory for me and more than a bit discomforting, which I take as a good sign.
In High School, I fell in love with Jazz and found my voice in a big awkward instrument that I affectionately refer to as the six foot violin. Fortunate to have good teachers and an obsessive temperament, I picked it up pretty quickly and was playing around Atlanta professionally by my last year of High School.
I hadn’t thought about becoming a professional musician until High School, but in 2007 I put my identity as a computer geek on hold and went to Florida State University to study music. In Tallahassee, I found a community of peers with the same unsatiable drive that I had for Jazz music. In 2011 I moved back to Atlanta with a music degree and two equally impractical minors (philosophy and religion) that I thoroughly enjoyed getting.
In Atlanta, I played music and worked part time for a sex cushion manufacturer where I dealt with giant spreadsheets and with Amazon. I was lucky to develop close musical relationships with a group of creative like-minded musicians in Atlanta, but it got stale.
I began to wonder what being a Jazz musician means in the twenty first century. If it means playing the same $100 background music gigs for the of my life, then maybe it’s not for me. I knew there was more to it, but I didn’t think I could get to it in Atlanta.
In December of 2013, sufficiently fed up with my routine in Atlanta, I took a risk. I bought a one way ticket to New York City. I brought a suitcase and $7000 in savings, and set out to find a job and a place to live.
Knowing that I’d need a good job to survive in New York, I spent the year leading up to the move reconnecting with my computer geek side and deliberately building up my skills. I fell in love with the web. It had changed a lot since I bought my first HTML book at age ten, and I wanted to be a part of it. I learned about responsive design, fell in love with typography on the web, had some fun with Rails, and became pretty good at CSS in the process.
In February 2014, I took a job as a Front End Developer for Something Digital, an agency in midtown Manhattan. I get to work all kinds of projects with some great people, and I learn a lot.