Havilah’s Summer 2015 Adventures

IMG_20150708_115339-2 IMG_20150719_155435Greetings friends far and wide, young and old! I’m writing to you from Portland, OR in my favorite coffeeshop called Singer Hill (fitting right?) where they have delicious coffee and vertical gardens all over the walls! My mom helps run the art gallery that’s just upstairs and even has some of her own paintings on the walls. Over the years, I’ve accumulated many “homes” and this is one of my favorites. I love the fresh air and green trees and white capped mountains that line the horizon. I love having bonfires in my Mom’s backyard and sitting on her deck in the morning sunshine with my guitar. Yesterday we went on a hike in the middle of the city up to a mansion. Portland is such a cool town with tons of yummy restaurants and music venues and bookstores and beautiful flower gardens everywhere.

IMG_20150728_131810It’s been a busy summer to say the least. I drove from Austin to the Pacific Northwest in early June and held the first songwriting camp of the summer in the Methow Valley with 12 incredibly creative and beautiful young songwriters. From there I went to Bellingham, WA where I spend a few months out of the year visiting family, hiking and of course writing songs. My songwriting camp there was small but sweet. We spent the days exploring urban settings, recording the sounds of a water fountain and just plain having fun. Our CD release performance at The Honeymoon was a smashing success and one of our live videos was viewed over 1000 times in two days! Orcas Island was my next Songwriting Camp tour destination. We were housed in a rustic two bedroom cabin on the beach. We set up our recording space in a room with a big window facing the ocean. In between writing, recording and practicing, campers enjoyed exploring the rocks and sand and swinging on a big orange buoy hanging from a tall Madrone tree. Our hosts were a fun and friendly couple who took us exploring on their skiff. We zoomed around the islands and saw all kinds of wildlife including eagles, a sea lion, a grey whale and even dolphins!

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From Orcas I returned to Bellingham and played a few gigs around the area. I also visited a retirement home and interviewed folks about their lives. My goal is to write an album of songs inspired by true stories of elderly people. I went on some beautiful hikes and even ran into a baby mountain lion during one of them.IMG_20150722_160153-2 He was so adorable I almost forgot the fact that his mama was probably only a few feet away, pondering the best way to eat me. I ran back to my car but not before snapping a few pictures!

IMG_20150719_083744So here I am in Portland, taking much deserved week of rest and planning for the upcoming months. I’ll begin my trek back to Austin the first week of September and hopefully arrive by September 7th. It’s a long drive but I’ve got friends to visit and gigs to play in California and then hopefully camping out for a night or two in Joshua Tree. I am so looking forward to seeing all of my Austin friends and students when I return! I’ll be offering Young Songwriter Worshops as an after school program during the months of October and November. Stay tuned to find out the details! I’m also available for private singing, songwriting and recording coaching sessions. Just email me at havilahrand@gmail.com to explore the possibilities.  Enjoy the endings of summer and see you soon!!

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