To recap a little, the first year was the book. The second year was the blog. The third year was the blog and a documentary film. The fourth year was the blog and me recording myself playing music with musicians in the open mics around the world, as well as a series of podcasts of people running the open mics and playing in them.
So where does this whole trans-media epic stand at the moment? Another recap: I take these worldwide trips as a journalist reporting on Formula One auto racing for my newspaper, and in my free time I seek out places to play, in these cities and countries where I would not otherwise expect to find open mics – in many cases. And each time I like to have a new project to work on to document it, or do something “else” with it. This year will be no exception. I again have projects in the works. What are they?
First, I want to say that my goal this year is perhaps more ambitious than in all the other year combined. Because my No. 1 goal will be to COMPLETELY finish all of the projects that have accumulated but never ceased to spin out. In other words, I’m still working on the book – it’s written, but I’m now editing it – and I want that finished finally by the end of the year, but hopefully within the next couple of months. I want to work with all the recordings I did and make some kind of CD – ie, the podcasts and some of the stuff of me playing with other people. And I want to finish the film, finally. To that end, I have made a number of very important steps in recent weeks, and I’m very, very excited about them, and I will write about that in the coming weeks.
For this year, I will not simply sit back on my laurels and be satisfied with finishing the other projects, but I will start one or two new ones. In addition to simply continuing to play at open mics and jam sessions everywhere I go, and recording it here on the blog, the first new project is that I will be adding a new page to the blog at every location I go to, which will be a Thumbnail Guide to the open mics and jam sessions, etc., that I know of in those cities. Having now had four years, and this will be the fifth, of accumulated and growing knowledge about each city’s open mics, I finally feel like it is time to put it all up on the blog in a usable form. Of course, my Paris guide to open mics will always be the most up-to-date, since that’s where I live and play the most. But the other pages will, I hope, serve their purpose well, and give a whole knew heft to this site.
The other project I plan to do, but this one may or may not be feasible, is that I plan to write a new song in each country and city I visit, and the song will in some way be inspired by the place. I have no idea how big a task that will prove to be, but I really want to face the challenge and try it. If it produces one good song, then that’s cool enough – the rest will just be a great exercise and discipline…. I will decide whether or not to make the songs heard on the site, but I expect that I will only manage to lay down the melodic idea and write the full text, but not perfect the song at each place – since I’m often not present in the countries long enough to do that…especially given all the work I have to do for my day job.
So that is it in a nutshell: 20 countries in 9 months; a new web of evergreen material for a worldwide open mic thumbnail guide of where to perform; 20 new songs inspired by the places I visit; and finally, all of my previous years’ projects finished and finalized to tie together the entire multimedia, trans-media, worldwide musical adventure. Sound like I’m a dreamer? I hope so!!!!
PS, here is the schedule of places I will visit, and when (although the date usually but not always represents the last day I am in the country – and while there are only 19 countries here, the 20th is France, where I will play in between times):
Mar. 17 Australian Grand Prix Melbourne
Mar. 24 Malaysian Grand Prix Kuala Lumpur
Apr. 14 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai
Apr. 21 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain
May 12 Spanish Grand Prix Barcelona
May 26 Monaco Grand Prix Nice/Monaco
Jun 9 Canadian Grand Prix Montreal
Jun. 30 British Grand Prix Silverstone/Oxford
Jul. 7 German Grand Prix Nurburgring/Cologne
Jul. 28 Hungarian Grand Prix Budapest
Aug. 25 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps/Liege
Sep. 8 Italian Grand Prix Monza/Milan
Sep. 22 Singapore Grand Prix Singapore
Oct. 6 Korean Grand Prix South Korea/Seoul/Mokpo
Oct. 13 Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka/Nagoya/Osaka
Oct. 27 Indian Grand Prix Delhi
Nov. 3 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Abu Dhabi
Nov. 17 U.S. Grand Prix Austin
Nov. 24 Brazilian Grand Prix Sao Paolo