Twenty Thirteen in Review

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If I had to sum up 2013 in a word, it would be grateful. For the labels who released my music, for the professional opportunities that presented themselves, for the life-changing time I spent living in Europe, for the support throughout by my family, friends and colleagues – I am incredibly grateful. Thank you.

Here are some highlights from the past year.

Life

  • Got Hitched – On March 30th I married my love, Michelle. In the words of Humphrey Bogart, here’s looking at you kid.
  • Moved to Europe – Took a job with Soundcloud and moved to Berlin, Germany to lead their Product Design team. While there, did loads of travel – Amsterdam, Munich, Prague, Paris, and London. You should definitely read about our time on Michelle’s travel blog, Funny Duchess.
  • Offline Connections – Had a wonderful time meeting and deepening friendships with online friends Christoph Berg, Heine Christensen, Brendan Codey and his lovely wife, Julie (oh, and their gray tabby Nico, though, I never knew him online).
  • New Friends – Met incredible people during my time abroad. To name but a few: Roman & Laurel of Shakespeare & Sons; Christine, Ralph, and Jen of the “Raumerstrasse Writers”; Mike, Kasper, Marcus, Luis, Sarah, James, Eileen, Monal, Tiffany, Gerrit, and Luise of my design team at Soundcloud; Amir, Jami, Matas, Jean, Diana, Sophie, Leona, and countless others throughout Soundcloud, Berlin, and the places I visited while in Europe.
  • Published Interview – The wonderful Smashing Magazine published an interview with me, entitled Be Humble, Be Honest, Don’t Be Afraid To Fail. If you’re interested in listening to me wax poetic about life, design, inspiration, and more, then please have a read. Special thanks to Leona Hu for speaking with me and making this possible.
  • Moved (Back) to America – A confluence of events led to a bittersweet early departure from Europe and back to the states. Let it be said that moving internationally twice in a year is no joke.

Work

  • NPR Music iPad App – I am still on cloud nine because my design work for this app was recognized as a 2013 Communication Arts Interactive Annual Winner as well as a Webby Award Nominee and a People’s Voice Award Nominee. Incredibly honored!
  • Soundcloud – A bunch of work I started while in Berlin will be shipping very soon. I cannot wait to see it all in the wild and to share more with you once it is live.
  • Caffè Lena History Project – Worked closely with folklorist and dear friend, Jocelyn Arem, on some print design and layout work for her newly published book, “Caffè Lena: Inside America’s Legendary Folk Music Coffeehouse”. Out now on Powerhouse Books.
  • NPR Digital Listening – NPR is pushing forward into the digital frontier and we need your help to guide us along the way. Become a part of our mobile beta testing group to preview new listening options we are working on.

Music

  • The Pace of Which – My third solo album was released exactly a year ago (on my birthday) on the wonderful Twice Remembered, Twice Removed record label. The limited edition CD-r copies sold out quickly (thanks!) but you can still grab yourself a digital copy.
  • Twenty Three and Twenty Six – My short EP of improvisations using my Teenage Engineering OP-1 mini-synthesizer was released free as part of the “Places” series over at A Strangely Isolated Place.
  • The Dwindlers – Continued recording towards our third album. Big plans are in the works. Stay tuned!

Looking Ahead

  • Travel – I am planning trips out West to visit family, to New England for respite and fresh seafood, to Ireland for paper-making and traditional cheesy pancakes, and to Umbria with friends because, well, it’s Italy!
  • Work / Life Balance – Continuing to learn how to say “no” and nourishing side projects. My job, as much as I love it, is but one facet of how I define myself.
  • Health – Work harder at bringing exercise into my daily routine. I am older now and I need to take this seriously.
  • Reading – Continue to work my way through some of the “classics” I’ve never read before.
  • Music – In addition to my work on The Dwindlers, I have a couple of exciting collaborations in the works, as well as new solo material that will all see the light of day this year.

In conclusion, I’d like to thank you all for your continued support – online and off, in reading or listening, in friendship or collaboration – I am grateful for it.

Until next time, I hope everyone has a creative new year!

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