Six degrees of Seth Boustead

Tonight is Seth Boustead’s 40th Birthday Party! Also known as, a concert of his music at the Chopin Theater, which we’re honored to take part in.

Today I was reflecting on Seth’s awesomeness. And I realized with astonishment that a huge number of things in my Chicago career today can be traced back to Seth and his awesome organization, Access Contemporary Music.

- A lot of my inspiration for having an ensemble can be traced back to my guest stint with Palomar Ensemble. I still have a crystal clear memory of the voicemail message Seth left me, inviting me to play with the group. (Thanks for recommending me Alyson!) Playing with Palomar made me feel like a real professional, which is a big deal when you’re at the very beginning of becoming one. I saw the way Seth lined up performances and got an awareness of different groups and venues doing the same thing.

- Our collaboration with Kyle Vegter and Manual Cinema can be traced back to Seth, too. Seth recommended both Kyle and me for a Homeroom project two years ago.

- Oops. Our collaboration with Eric Malmquist can be traced back to that Homeroom project too!

- Seth recommended us to Matthew Pakulski, and we performed his string quartet at the Rumble Arts Center last year.

- our new violinist, Kate Carter, was in the audience at that concert. She later joined the group!

- … Whoa. Amy Wurtz was also in the audience at that concert. She later reached out to ask if we’d record her string quartets. Which we did. Last week. Remember?

And just today, Seth played a bit of our performance of his string quartet on WBEZ. I suspect I’m not the only person who’s had their career given a big boost by Seth. He’s just that kind of guy. He spends a huge amount of time and energy promoting the work of other composers, and offers a huge variety of professional opportunities to performers. And, as we’ve been discovering in working on his string quartet, his music is REALLY cool!

Thanks Seth for sending so much greatness our way. You deserve a fantastic birthday!