This past Saturday I had started my morning walk on the Blackstone River Bikeway when I bumped into Ron Fournier.
Ron and I have a few threads in common. We attended Providence College around the same time and, many years later, were both recording artists for the now-defunct North Star Records. Until this past weekend, the last time we had seen one another was at a farewell concert for Sister Gail Himrod at Providence College’s Ryan Concert Hall. Sister Gail was one of my Providence College professors, and I was fortunate enough to perform at her going-away celebration. That was May 2013, and Ron was in the audience.
It was fun catching up with Ron Saturday. We talked about record companies, past recordings, performing, and, of course, the “good old days.”
We also chatted about how things have changed. What it means to have grown children in our lives. What it’s like being a musician/artist today. We spoke for about 20 minutes before continuing on our respective paths. By the time I finished my walk and checked my email, Ron had sent me friend request on Facebook and an invitation to connect on LinkedIn.
In the “good old days,” we may have crossed paths under random circumstance. But these days, we can bump into one another electronically.
I am fortunate enough to have people from around the world watch me on my YouTube channel, friend me on Facebook, connect with me on LinkedIn, or contact me though email, skype and other ways I never imagined 30 years ago.
One of my YouTube videos has over 10,000 views. In the “old days,” 10,000 listeners would have meant that I would have traveled (almost always driving) between 60,000 to 100,000 miles to present concerts and/or radio broadcasts. It meant staying in touch by connecting at concerts or festivals, telephone, perhaps writing letters and, as with Ron, bumping into them unexpectedly.
My travels have allowed me to meet some of my virtual Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn friends. This past July, I finally met Facebook friend 張沛翎 after a concert in Taichung that 楊惟 (Yang Wei) and I gave. I learned that 張沛翎 is a professional Pipa performer.
As a “seasoned artist”, I sometimes long for the “good old days,” but I like these “good new days” that have given me additional ways to introduce myself, share my art and music and a point of view, and to “bump into” the entire world.