Even though I love that my work takes me to so many different places, it has been such a treat to have so many things happening in my home state this month! I lived in Los Angeles until I was 18, and then moved back a few years ago — so I am both an old and new Angeleno!

Last month Street Symphony held our third annual Messiah Project on Skid Row. The event was livestreamed by the Kennedy Center, and was viewed over 11K times by audiences around the world. The full stream is available here. We were also so honored to be featured by the New Yorker in an article by Alex Ross called The People Who Walked in Darkness.

In all honesty, it is not the moments that have lights and cameras and huge audiences that make Street Symphony what it is — it is the relationships that are forged between Street Symphony musicians and Skid Row community members. It’s all the little moments we share, and the trust and understanding we’ve built with each other over the years. I am so grateful for our colleagues from Skid Row — especially for Brian Palmer, Christina Collier and my composition student and dear friend Benjamin Shirley — for saying yes, and for working tirelessly to bring such deeply moving music into the world. And of course, to my collaborator and dear friend, Vijay Gupta, without whom none of this would be possible.

I spent New Year’s Eve with my dear friends at Salastina Music Society, at their event New Year New Music, where I heard my piano trio Saans live for the first time (!!) along with incredible works by other LA-based composers Derrick Spiva, Juan Pablo Contreras, Philip White and Jeremy Cavaterra.

I just returned from San Francisco, where I spent a whirlwind two days with Zakir Hussain and the Kronos Quartet, working on a brand new piece that Zakir-ji wrote for the quartet. It makes me so happy to bring incredible musicians from these two traditions together through my work.

Two tools that I’ve found super helpful as I gear up for this year:

1) I’m deep into Yoga With Adriene’s 30-day yoga series for the new year. I love her quirky personality and how down to earth (literally!) she is in her approach to yoga. It’s a great way to start the year!
2) I have been using this amazing journal called the Morning Sidekick Journal to help me center my mornings. For a night owl like me, I’m so surprised that it’s helped me have some of the best mornings (and days) of my life.

Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful 2018!