In March 2012, I was named a Fulbright Scholar and awarded the opportunity to spend 6 months in Bergen, Norway. Since my family and I received the news, life has been a whirlwind of activity as we prepare to embark on this adventure. It feels like each day a piece of the puzzle had to be put in place. Some days it was a little piece and others it was a big piece. From passports to plane tickets to residence permits to project descriptions, there has been so much work leading up to this point.
Now comes the tricky part. Now we have to pick up the puzzle and transport it across the Atlantic. Those that have attempted such an operation with an actual puzzle know this is no easy feat. There is a sense of accomplishment and pride at seeing the completed picture. Then there is the uneasy feeling as you work through the logistics of moving this puzzle in your head, knowing that one false move could cause you to lose a big chunk of your hard work. At a certain point, you just have to start the process, taking it one step at a time and knowing the whole time you are at the mercy of certain forces beyond your control. The analogy isn’t perfect, but seems to capture most of emotions this day evokes.
Once we arrive, there will be the inevitable adjustment period as we figure out routines and settle into our new surroundings in the city of Bergen. One of my favorite favorite things about travelling to a new place is exploring new surroundings. Bergen sounds like it will be great for such exploration, with a mix of old fishing wharfs and more modern transit developments, all surrounded by stunning natural beauty. I anticipate lots of photos, some videos, many sound recordings and even more memories that media simply could not capture fast enough or convey adequately.
I also look forward to getting started on my research project, which will involve significant updates to my previous work with granular processing (plans that I have previously written about here). I’ll be working closely with Trond Lossius, who works at the Bergen Center for Electronic Arts (BEK) and is one of the principal contributors to Jamoma. All of these ingredients should make for a productive time as I work through my plan of action, but some of the results remain a mystery even to me, which is as it should be in any research or creative pursuit. There are certainly some grey areas in the plan where I am trying to keep an open mind and see where the work will take me.
I am so thankful to the US-Norway Fulbright Foundation for this amazing opportunity and Stetson University for granting my sabbatical to facilitate this work. Both have displayed great confidence in me, which I appreciate more than I could ever express with words. I would also be remiss if I did not take the opportunity to publicly thank my wife. The aforementioned puzzle would have likely been half done had I not had such an able partner.
I plan to blog about my work and other adventures on this website, so check back for new entries at least once a month. For more frequent updates, you can follow me on Twitter. Here’s to the next six months!