New Haven, Conn. resident Taylor Ho Bynum ’98, an acclaimed avant-garde jazz cornetist and composer, is undertaking a strenuous 1,000-mile bicycle concert tour in September of all six New England states. He will travel by bike for two weeks to 10 venues from New Haven to Portland, Maine, and back.
As part of his Acoustic Bicycle Tour, Bynum will perform at Wesleyan’s Crowell Concert Hall on Saturday, Sept. 11 at 8 p.m. with vibraphonist and Wesleyan music professor Jay Hoggard ’76. (Click here to order tickets.) Bynum has also performed with Wesleyan music professor Anthony Braxton in several jazz concerts outside of Wesleyan.
Bynum was recently interviewed by Owen McNally in The Harford Courant.
Here a few excerpts from the interview:
Q: You seem like a rational person. Why are you doing this?
A: Exotic desire. I really believe that there is an analogy between traveling by bicycle and pursuing a life in improvised music. With both, it’s a lot harder to get somewhere, but it’s a much more satisfying journey. There’s a finite combination of extreme physical exertion and a sort of great, Zen-like contemplativeness.
Q: What are your thoughts on the philosophy of the open road, reflections on a kind of mix of Zen and the art of bicycle maintenance? Does biking in the great outdoors on Whitmanesque vistas do anything for your mental, physical or spiritual well-being, particularly as a creative artist?
A: Absolutely. We’re all much too tied to our computers, so it’s refreshing for me to get outside for three or four hours a day. Thanks to biking, I’ve been composing more in the last month than I have in ages. Biking gives me a chance to get away, to hear things in my head and really think about music. So it’s been an incredibly rewarding creative process.
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