Thank you.

Hey everyone, 

Greetings from steamy NYC. Some news to report to you all.

I’m in the planning stages of releasing Aerial Photograph’s next record, which will have a lot of the material from the ‘City of New York, 2013’ series. I’m excited to put this music out there. What a crazy year it was! In all honesty, it was pretty overwhelming. I think when it ended I was so over-the-top saturated with writing new music, promoting shows, logistics, organizing recordings and gigs, connecting with New Yorkers in every possible way, and still maintaining my regular playing and teaching schedule, that I pretty much checked out from Aerial Photograph for a few months to catch my breath. That explains the abrupt halt to any blog updates… 

But I’ve caught my breath and I’m psyched to get back to doing cool things with this group again. We are traveling to South Korea in October this year to perform in the Jarasum International Jazz Festival(!).  I’m also working on getting some other things scheduled closer to home, so stay tuned! 

In the meantime, a few quick links… 

All of the music from the 2013 series is online! It’s all available (36 tracks, and all of the accompanying stories, posters, sheet music and pictures) for a measly $25 here. Pretty great. And if you decide to buy it, please let me know what you think! 

Here is the Aerial Photograph Facebook page. It gets updated pretty regularly with what’s going on in our world. Be our friend! please? 

Thank you a million times over for all of your support! I really appreciate every bit of it. 

Onward and upward,

Matt

Caregivers

This month I am talking with caregivers in NYC.  I am writing music based on some of the incredible stories of selflessness, compassion and love that they have shared with me.  I pulled up some statistics about disabilities and the number of people who require daily assistance from others because of their disability.  I found it really fascinating. These numbers are a little outdated, but still really eye-opening. If you are in NYC this week, this show is Wed. the 20th at the Douglass Street Music Collective in Brooklyn.

As always, thanks for reading – 

Matt

 

 

Disabilities in America

Info is from from www.disabledinaction.org

51.2 million
Number of people who have some level of disability. They represent 18 percent of the population.

32.5 million
Number of people with a severe disability. They represent 12 percent of the population.

11%
Percentage of children ages 6 to 14 who have a disability. This amounts to 4 million children.

72%
Percentage of people 80 and older with disabilities, the highest of any age group.

20%
Percentage of females with a disability, higher than the 17 percent of males. On the other hand, among children under 15, boys were more likely than girls to have a disability (11 percent versus 6 percent).

 

Using or Needing Assistance

10.7 million
Number of people age 6 and older who need personal assistance with one or more activities of daily living (such as taking a bath or shower) or instrumental activities of daily living (such as using the telephone). This group amounts to 4 percent of people in this age category.

2.7 million
Number of people age 15 and older who use a wheelchair. Another 9.1 million use an ambulatory aid such as a cane, crutches or walker.

 

Specific Disabilities

1.8 million
Number of people age 15 and older who report being unable to see.

1 million
Number of people age 15 and older who report being unable to hear.

2.6 million
Number of people age 15 and older who have some difficulty having their speech understood by others. Of this number, 610,000 were unable to have their speech understood at all.

14.3 million
Number of people with limitations in cognitive functioning or a mental or emotional illness that interferes with their daily activities. This includes those with Alzheimer’s disease, depression and mental retardation. This group comprises 6 percent of the population.

 

On the Job

11.8 million
Number of 16- to 64-year-olds who reported the presence of a medical condition that makes it difficult to find a job or remain employed. They comprise 6 percent of the population.

56%
Percentage of people ages 21 to 64 having some type of disability and also employed in the last year. The rate ranged from 82 percent of those with a nonsevere disability to 43 percent with a severe disability. For those without a disability, the rate is 88 percent.

44%
Percentage of people with a nonsevere disability who work full time, year-round. This compares to 53 percent without a disability and 13 percent with a severe disability.

 

Perceived Health Status

33%
Percentage of people ages 25 to 64 who have a nonsevere disability and report their health as being “very good” or “excellent.” This compares with 13 percent of those with a severe disability and 73 percent of those without a disability.

 

Income and Poverty

$22,000
Median earnings for people with a nonsevere disability. This compares to $25,000 for those with no disability and $12,800 for those with a severe disability.

18%
Percentage of people with a nonsevere disability and household incomes of $80,000 or more. By comparison, 26 percent of people without a disability had household incomes of $80,000 or more with the same being true of 9 percent of those with a severe one.

11%
The poverty rate for people ages 25 to 64 with a nonsevere disability. This compares to 26 percent for those with a severe disability and 8 percent of those without a disability.

 

Living Arrangements

60%
Percentage of people ages 25 to 64 with a nonsevere disability who live in married-couple families. The corresponding rates are 68 percent for those without disabilities and 50 percent for people with severe disabilities.

23%
Percentage of people with a nonsevere disability who live alone or with nonrelatives. This compares with 28 percent of those with a severe disability and 19 percent without a disability.

 

Education

33%
The percentage of people ages 25 to 64 who had a nonsevere disability and were college graduates. This compares with 43 percent with no disability and 22 percent with a severe disability.

 

Plugged In

36% and 29%
Percentages of people ages 15 to 64 with a severe disability who use a computer and the Internet at home, respectively. The respective figures for those without a disability are 61 percent and 51 percent.

 

Serving Our Nation

2.6 million
Number of veterans who received compensation for service-related disabilities as of 2004. Of these vets, 506,000 served in World War II; 237,000 in Korea; 1 million in Vietnam; and 540,000 in the Persian Gulf (the data cover service from August 2, 1990, to September 30, 2004).

 

Small world

With Veterans Day having just past, I thought I would share an experience I had with a vet I met earlier this year – 

       In April, I was walking downtown near Harold Square towards Chinatown. I noticed a man sitting in an alcove with a cardboard sign saying something like “lost my job, need work boots for a job I was hired for next week, veteran, god bless.” After thinking about it for a minute, I went up to him and asked him if he really just needed boots for a job. He said yes, and then began to tell his stories of woe – bad luck, a bad woman, got mugged, no money… I asked him what war he fought in and he said “Bosnia, ‘94 to ‘97”, and then told me a bunch of stories about his time in the service. Unlike some of the other stuff he said, I could tell he wasn’t making anything up with these stories. I enjoyed talking and listening to him.

      Then it got really surprising… I asked him where he was from and he said Philly. I lived in Philly for 10+ years, so I was surprised and asked him where and when. It turns out that he lived a block away from me in Fishtown on Frankford Ave. in 2008 when I lived there. Crazy right?! He knew people and places that I knew.  He even knew a brother of one of my teachers.  We talked about Philly and all the changes that have happened there in the past few years. We talked for a while longer, I gave him a few bucks and kept walking.  I would never have thought that I had any connection to this guy on the street, but we had a ton of connections and talked for almost 40 minutes. You really never know. What a small world.

I hope he got his boots.

Thanks for reading.

Matt

Air Mail

 

 

 

City of New york 2013 – In august I wrote music based on conversations with veterans. I happened to be be at a flea market early in that month and came across someone selling letters that had been sent home from soldiers during WWII, and later.  One of the veterans I spoke with talked about how important it was for him to get mail from home – how it was “euphoric”. I ended up writing a piece called “Air Mail”. Here are some images of the letters/envelopes and an audio clip of a veteran speaking about receiving mail while in Iraq.  

 

 

 

                 ImageImageImage

1932

A song from 1932 that I’ve been checking out lately. An apt tune for this month – I’ve been focusing on people in NYC struggling with homelessness. 

“Brother, Can You Spare a Dime,” lyrics by Yip Harburg, music by Jay Gorney (1931)

They used to tell me I was building a dream, and so I followed the mob,When there was earth to plow, or guns to bear, I was always there right on the job.They used to tell me I was building a dream, with peace and glory ahead,Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time.Once I built a railroad; now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?Once I built a tower, up to the sun, brick, and rivet, and lime;Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,

Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,

Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,

And I was the kid with the drum!

 

Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.Why don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?

 

Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell,
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum,
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell,
And I was the kid with the drum!

 

Say, don’t you remember, they called me Al; it was Al all the time.Say, don’t you remember, I’m your pal? Buddy, can you spare a dime?