Though it was some time ago now, receiving a Gail Rich Award was an experience that continues to pay dividends for me. It has led to some wonderful opportunities, and I remain deeply thankful to Wallace Baine, The Sentinel, and The Cultural Council of Santa Cruz for selecting me from so many incredible Santa Cruz artists. Above it the video of my portion of the awards ceremony. The complete ceremony, featuring the other five 2011 recipients, is also available on YouTube.
Bryn Loosley is a teacher and a songwriter in Santa Cruz, California. His 2008 debut, The Wrecker, was hailed by the Santa Cruz Sentinel as "a quiet stunner of an album that puts him, artistically, in the league of such better known singer/songwriters as Josh Ritter and Freedy Johnston." His second album, Blood Year, contains 12 songs, one inspired by each month of the year. (Click For Full Biography)
I am greatly honored to have been chosen as a recipient of a Gail Rich Award for 2011. The awards are presented by the Santa Cruz Cultural Council to six recipients in order to "recognize select individuals who inspire our diverse and culturally-rich community." The awards are presented in a ceremony at the Rio Theater. This year's event is scheduled for January 26, 2010 at 7:30 pm.
Given the distinguished accomplishments of folks from Santa Cruz who have received this award in the past, I feel I have a lot to live up to. My thanks go out to the Cultural Council and the Santa Cruz Sentinel for the encouragement this award provides. I hope to live up to it.
On break from school this summer, I spent two months travelling in Russia, Mongolia and China. In an effort to finish a song about June before the end of the month, I worked on "Making It Feel Like June" the entire day of June 30th. I was truly blessed to have the day to write in Suzdal, Russia, a beautiful little village crammed with green pastures, running water and onion-domed churches. I began with nothing, and after an idyllic day of walking and swimming and thinking and singing, I ended up with this. It was a beautiful day. A day worth remembering. I am so glad I will always have this song to help me remember.
Even though I’ve never harvested anything other than a few crummy tomatoes, I’ve lived every year of my life on an agrarian calendar. As a public school student, a college undergraduate, a graduate student, and a teacher, I’ve spent every summer of my life either at leisure, or working a part-time job. Thanks, historically-agricultural economy.
And while I love my job, I also love summer. I look forward to it. Thus, I’ve always spent the month of May in a state of suspended anticipation, looking forward to the bright, breezy freedom brought on by the arrival of June.
The first half of this song is about embracing that anticipation. And the second half is about fighting it. It seems a dangerous thing to be looking forward too much. There is much to be missed by keeping your eyes on the horizon and wishing away the present. That’s what I wanted to express in this song, hopefully without descending into platitudes.
Our friend Brian Granbery has slaved over this very clean video recording of our most recent performance, October 1st at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz. It isn't yet final, but it looks great. Thank you, Brian for all the hard work.