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In Which Ryan Is Gone A Lot

July 2022 | 3:7


Koopa is looking forward to a day when people can play in time on their own and he can receive his due bounty of tummy skritches.

What's Been Happening

This month has been the classic Ryan combo of relaxing and tiring. A whole lot of drum corps, a nice trip to Colorado, some more drum corps, and some quality home time with sleep sprinkled in between. Also on the duality front, I keep working to carve out time for my own art projects… and then getting called for different well-paid art projects. At the end of the day, life keeps moving and while it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows, I’m happy with the problems I’m working on and I hope you can say the same.

May your masks smell pleasant and your packages arrive without incident,


Chart O' The Month

Lakewood and WayneUniversity of Missouri Concert Jazz Band
00:00 / 07:11

This is a chart I wrote in grad school at DePaul and it was recorded during my stint at the University of Missouri. The chart itself grew out of a project in comp class where we tried to write tunes that got the “sound” of another tune without being a contrafact or overtly stealing and this was based on some Wayne Shorter tunes I was listening to. I don’t know how successful I was at trying to get his sound, but I like the chart nonetheless.

The title actually comes from my first apartment in Chicago; I lived on Schubert Ave. in between Lakewood and Wayne, but for whatever reason no one ever knew where that was. Every time we had a gathering we’d say it was by Schubert and Lakewood, or Schubert and Wayne, or just our address, and everyone would call us because they couldn’t find it. But, if we said “we live between Lakewood and Wayne” people would get there with no problem despite the fact that the two streets don’t intersect and without knowing it’s on Schubert it could be anywhere in the city limits of Chicago going North or South. I still have no idea why this phenomenon occurred, but sometimes you just accept that you found something that works and keep going.

Epidendrum 'Pacific Sunset' x 'Pink Rabbit'.JPG

Look, Nature!

As mentioned, we got to go to Colorado for a week and did some really cool hikes among other things. This tree is near the top of the Hell's Hole Trail and looks really cool even if you're not loopy from oxygen deprivation.

Education Notes

Coming out of drum corps pre-tour which is essentially music boot camp, I’m struck by two specific and intersecting concepts; mental health and resiliency.

As someone who has struggled with mental health issues myself I’m incredibly glad that it’s become such a talking point and that it’s being destigmatized, especially within education. That said, without knowing what is actually being told to students they seem to be missing that mental health awareness isn’t the end point and that resiliency is a worthy asset. With the disclaimer that unless you’re a trained professional you shouldn’t be acting as a therapist to anyone with serious problems, a few things have already been incredibly helpful for students and educators trying to navigate stressful situations:

Monitoring your mental health is not the same thing as staring at it until you find something wrong. Everyone reacts differently so don’t feel bad for not feeling bad.
Coping skills are a good thing as long as it’s not masking some larger problem. You’re allowed to do things that make you feel better while you’re going through something difficult.
Overcoming challenges is the single best way I’ve ever found to combat future anxiety. It creates belief and fuels hope.

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