One year ago, during one of the darkest chapters in the pandemic, I faced an uncertain future as a musician. My last performance before a live audience had been nearly six months earlier, in March of 2020, just as the virus was spreading silently across the land. Mass vaccinations would not begin for months, and the prospect of a return to live music seemed dubious and fraught with uncertainty. Facing existential challenges to my livelihood and career as a musician, I entered what became a period of intense soul-searching.
The pandemic’s changes forced each and every one of us to navigate our respective “new normals” as best we could, one day at a time. For me, that meant turning to daily rituals to get me through. One of these rituals included writing. I began to step back and ask myself larger questions about music and its role in my life, a role that has been central to my sense of identity and purpose since early childhood. I wanted to understand, if I could, what music really meant to me at the most essential level possible. When so much of what I had previously taken for granted about music was suddenly and without warning stripped away — live shows, in-person lessons, even rehearsals with other musicians — what was left?
Looking back one year later, I can better appreciate how this difficult chapter, a chapter defined by uncertainty on a magnitude I had never before experienced, actually became a powerful catalyst for growth, both musical and personal. Alex Chadsey Music (ACM) and this website are a few of the fruits from this period in my life. ACM is my attempt to integrate the values and interests nearest and dearest to my heart as a musician and human being into a set of containers, or spaces, that I hope will ultimately benefit my community and the world at large.
I see my role as a musician — especially during times like ours that are rife with uncertainty and change — as one primarily defined by service.
What services can I offer? I think the website does an excellent job of describing these in detail, but I will add that my deeper purpose, what I aspire to achieve in my role as a musician, is to help bring about the larger transformation and change — the kind of waking-up, or growing-up (in the words of author and psychiatrist Charles Johnston) — that we, as a species, must risk if we are to effectively meet the challenges of our times, challenges which threaten our very existence. Put simply, I seek to align my life and work with broader efforts to support what Baruch Zeichner calls “a viable future for life on earth that includes humans.”
I also want to acknowledge that the journey that began last winter and culminated one year later with the launch of the ACM brand and website has been rich and rewarding thanks largely to the excellent company I’ve been blessed to keep along the way.
Scott Sanders, who designed the site and ACM logo, has been a delight to work with. I’ve been extremely impressed by the unique, and rare, combination of skill, intelligence, intuition, and empathy that they have brought to every step of the process. If this project has been my “baby,” with Scott I always knew that my baby was in good hands.
Jeff Brock did a brilliant job bringing Scott’s web design to life in the development stage of the process. His clear and transparent communication, open-mindedness, and collaborative spirit make Jeff an invaluable addition to our creative team.
Cassandra Croft of CL Croft not only lent her expertise with words and language, but, like Scott, contributed a genuine curiosity and interest in the core goals and values of ACM.
Olli Tumelius helped bring the services ACM has to offer into vivid focus with his beautiful photography.
Last but by no means least, Jonah Falk was there from day one, patiently and enthusiastically offering invaluable feedback and encouragement throughout the entire process. Thank you Jonah!
Please take a moment to look explore the site, savor the design and content, and come back often. Drop me a line using the Contact form. Maybe we can start a conversation about music, or about how each of us, in ways big and small, can tap our natural creativity as human beings to tackle the challenges we collectively face. This is our chance. Let’s not it miss it.
Photo by Olli Tumelius