I’ve had a few people ask me how I came up with the idea for this project, and honestly it’s simpler than you think.
I moved to Chicago from Denver five years ago knowing no one, and when I moved I hit a creative wall. Work was more scarce than you think (the depressed economy hit the arts first before it hit everywhere else), and I wasn’t really sure what to do. The same hamster wheel of auditioning, master classes, lessons/coaching, and recordings wasn’t cutting it anymore.
I decided to reach out to various creative groups around the city. I went one night to an “Artists’ Way” meeting and in this meeting we were charged to write down our “top 5” in various subjects. We had to write these ideas down immediately with no censoring. I don’t remember all of the topics, just one. The topic was, “Top 5 projects you can see yourself doing in your lifetime.”
Wow. This was the last topic too. I couldn’t blow this one off. I stared at the page and thought, “What do you love to do the most?”
The words came organically without struggle: Sing, Travel, and Write.
The next thing I remember, I saw “Singing Travelogue” on the paper. Even though I don’t remember writing it, I knew I wrote it. This idea out of everything I wrote, has never left me.
In the days that followed, I thought about the path I would take. Where would I go?
I looked at the highways that traverse this country, and found history everywhere in the national highway system of the United States. These highways were built over Native American trails, Pioneer trails, War trails – all the trails that have made this nation into what it is today.
Roads have significance in other cultures as well. In Australia, when Aborigines go out on “walkabout”, they follow ancestral paths and sing their ancestors back into existence. These paths are called “Songlines”. By following the Lincoln Highway through song (the first transcontinental road in the United States) , it is my hope that in my own way, I will sing our ancestors back in existence. Hence why I have titled this project “An American Songline.”