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To tour North America and Europe, bringing people together with intimate and inspiring music-conversation-and-food gatherings.
Most of my travelling is done as a musician playing in people's homes, so this profile is geared towards that. However, I am also very open to just spending the night without putting on a concert, if that's your preference.
I'm a piano-guitar-player-singer-songwriter-troubadour and have been doing music all my life.
I've done many tours of Europe and North America, playing most of my shows for small gatherings in people's living rooms. Here's what I'm offering/requesting: I'll come to your home, and play a lovely set of music for you and a small group of your friends and neighbours.
House concerts are fun and easy:
- You don't need a large living room (an audience of 5-10 is enough)
- You don't need to supply food or alcohol (though you can if you want, and a potluck is nice too)
- It works well on weeknights, being all done by 930PM.
There's no need for microphones - it will all be at a nice quiet volume. A real piano would be amazing, but not necessary - I'll have my portable keyboard, acoustic guitar, kazoo, tambourine, fez, clown nose, bunny ears, etc. to put on a funny, serious, sad, happy, and entertaining variety show ranging from original classical pieces and beatlesy pop songs to covers of everything from Debussy to Miles Davis to Prince to Fela Kuti.
If we like, the show can be a starting point for a conversation between everyone who's come. When it's done, I'll pass a hat for voluntary contributions from your guests, and YOU will get a free CD. The show will be free for you, of course.
"Michael's Scriabin-influenced piano playing is so exciting, I can't get enough of it." -- Owen Pallett (Final Fantasy/Arcade Fire)
"Michael Holt is a diamond among too many rhinestones. He brings empathy, ingenuity and raw dignity to his lexicon of heartfelt songs." -- Bob Wiseman, Toronto songwriter
"Michael Holt writes an all-too-rare kind of music, in which sophistication is in the service of emotion. His personal, powerful songs are really smart, but you realize that only after you first experience them as intimate, direct, and deeply meaningful." -- David Garland, WNYC, America's most-listened-to public radio station
"It's a powerful gift Holt is using, and he wields it well." -- thefourfour.com
Follow inspiration (tao)! Here are the rules for living which I have been actively and diligently pursuing for about 3 years: when I am inspired to do something, I do it. When I am not inspired to do anything, I do nothing (meditate, listen, wait, etc.) I believe if everyone followed those simple rules, we would have a much better, more peaceful and fun world.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Mainly by offering "couch concerts" – in-house shows for my host and their friends. I feel a real sense of kinship most of the CSers I've met so far, and I am also totally interested in grass roots, do-it-yourself, community building.
So far I've had several great experiences of staying with people and putting on concerts in their homes, and one great experience hosting a couch surfer. I've also slept on many, many couches over the years as a touring musician!
I am a touring musician, song writer, author, recording artist, teacher, explorer of Taoism and other spiritualities, piano player, singer, guitar player, foodie, and son of environmental/political activists. My mission is connecting myself and others to our own sources of inspiration - living and doing as we really want to! I love nature, cooking, improvisation in all things, sustainable/alternative/noncorporate living, and all kinds of music, especially classical, and within that, especially Ravel, Scriabin, and Bach. I mainly eat vegetarian and vegan, and love to indulge in the occasional humanely raised meat and dairy. On the the one hand I am short-haired, organized, focused, ambitious, hardworking, and competitive. I don´t drink, smoke anything, or do drugs. On the other I am a free-spirited, spontaneous, hippy-at-heart who is into spreading love on this planet, which includes talking and processing honestly and openly through any conflicts, giving backrubs to strangers, cuddling with people of all genders, and maintaining close friendships even when they get challenging, requiring work and communication. I am discovering a passion for learning, and for giving. And for the first time in my life, I'm discovering the fun of athletics. I particularly like badminton, volleyball, biking, swimming.
Music, Movies, and Books
- The Book On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts. (and who you really are is God).
- The History Of Love by Nicole Krauss. (a novel)
- Tao, The Watercourse Way by Alan Watts.
- Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein
- Wings Of Desire
- Juliette of the Spirits
- The Motorcyle Diaries
- Moonrise Kingdom
- The Man Who Fell to Earth
Music: Ravel, Scriabin, Bach, Beatles, Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Fela Kuti, Captain Beefheart, XTC, King Crimson, early Genesis, traditional musics from around the world, Thelonius Monk, Bob Marley, and much, much more.
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Co-writing an entire musical play in three days, and performing it on the following two days in England.
Teach, Learn, Share
Music improvisation, songwriting, music theory, piano, ear training, how to improvise with food, meditation, following tao, inspiration as a way of life.
What I Can Share with Hosts
A beautiful, inspiring, entertaining, funny, absurd, thought-provoking, and moving house concert for you and your friends.
Countries I’ve Visited
Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Canada, United States