When I returned to Chicago from two weeks of performing at the Gesher Music Festival in St. Louis, I found myself in a period of confusion and downright depression. My trio was off for the month, my teaching load was light, and I had all the time on my hands that I had craved and wished for the previous several months. But the time off now felt unwelcome, leaving me restless, adrift and with the distinct feeling that I was doing things wrong.

As July turned into August, I found myself with the opposite problem. Events seemed to present themselves at ever-increasing speed, and I suddenly found myself recording a solo album, moving into a new apartment with my girlfriend, and preparing a 45-minute Mozart divertimento in the space of two weeks. Today marks the end of this big push, and the beginning of another, as I fly to Portland, OR for a Wayfinders residency and then a vacation.

The last three days have left me incredibly grateful for my amazing Chicago Q Ensemble colleagues. It was a rare treat for us to really dig into an entire classical work, as we are so often rehearsing contemporary music. Today we performed excerpts live on the radio and then shared the entire piece with a friendly outdoor audience downtown.

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When it rains, it pours. And I’m grateful it’s pouring down good stuff. It just goes to show how quickly things can change. When I next write, it’ll be from the West Coast! May your dark days lighten and your summer feel long.

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