Hello, Newgroundsers! It's been a while. How are you? I haven't been regularly posting updates, but I do check this site somewhat frequently. As usual it's been great to see and hear beautiful work shared here. Since I just updated my profile picture, I felt I ought to pop in and write a little about what I've been doing these past few months.
As I wrote in my previous post, this appears to be a time in my life when I've had many opportunities to make live music. I've rediscovered a drive within me to play the piano and connect with musicians. It's been great, but definitely a detour from most of the things I do online (hence my silence on Newgrounds). The truth is I've felt for several years like there's been a disconnect between my different personal and professional interests. Making video game-y audio is a different vibe than playing Respighi, which is a different vibe from transcribing recordings, which is a different vibe from teaching lessons...I feel like my career is sort of a patchwork quilt. I don't know that there's much talk about there except to say that I enjoy doing all these things and find these activities fulfilling. I've discovered that I can get gigs playing the piano in ensembles and accompanying people, so that's what I'm spending most of my time doing these days. This summer I also spent a lot of time traveling and spending time with family and friends, which I'm grateful to be able to do.
Once the academic year starts up, I'll be doing a lot of work at UMass Amherst. As I've prepared for the fall semester and attempted to tie up various summer projects, I've had time to reflect on how things have come together for me and how I might like to spend my time in the future. My feeling is that the more autonomy I have in my professional life, the better. I want to be able to choose the work I take on and the pace at which I progress. Having the freedom to work hard on a project that might not be profitable is really valuable to me. I want to experiment and tackle creative projects that make me excited and curious, not just what people tell me to do because it pays the bills. That's the sort of thing I've been thinking about lately.
The most recent big project I've finished is a huge batch of audio and art content I just uploaded to www.bentibbetts.net. That includes an exclusive content section for subscribers to the site, which is my way of saying thank you to anyone generous enough to donate. I'm really proud of the content on my site; please go check it out if you like my work. I'll also be posting some of the best stuff to Newgrounds. And coming up, I'll be working on playing a lot more piano, editing some videos of myself playing with a talented flutist named Emily Kaplan, and creating another episode of the podcast (overdue!).
Thank you so much for checking in. Until next time :)