I had just given my workshop to students in Moscow at the State University of Arts and Culture. About 60 students were there. They were curious, engaged, and enthusiastic about learning every aspect of how Pop music works in the US, eager to share details about how similar or different the Russian music industry is, and we shared laughs and jokes even though speaking two totally different languages. I performed for them live, and played some recordings. Several students asked about recording techniques and how they could set up small home studios to record their own music, which is a very popular method in the American indie music scene. After the workshop, I was taking the metro and a student, Mikhael, from the workshop happened to be in the same train car. He came up to me and hugged me and said that he writes music because he wouldn't survive if he didn't. He said he feels it's his only connection to the world and he would die without music. He wants to record his own songs and he felt like now he had the information to set up a small studio. I felt like Russia and the United States were very close at that moment, because I think we all play or sing or write for different reasons, but it's truly a Universal language that can heighten and liberate and free you, and it connects everyone's happiness and sadness into one common humanity.
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