We are really excited to have our first artist spotlight here at Ukulele Inspired, and even more stoked that it is the Bay Area's own Madeline Tasquin! She is currently on tour in Europe, but before she left we were lucky enough to get a few questions answered about the ukulele and where she gets inspiration:
UI: How did you first start playing ukulele? Maddy: I was backstage at my friend's birthday party/show in San Francisco and this friend had been gifted a nice little Lanikai concert uke for his birthday. As soon as I started playing it I knew I needed to have one for my own. I went to my local music store in Berkeley the following week and scoped them out until I found one I fell in love with -- also a Lanikai concert.
UI: How long have you been playing the uke? Maddy: By my count, I first started in December 2010. So that makes it about 2 and a half years... a quarter of a decade. Wow it doesn't seem like it's been that long.
UI: Best part about playing the ukulele? Maddy: It's portability! My main instrument is the piano, which I find isn't all that easy to sling over my back to take with me on a hike or the subway or on my bicycle. The only thing more portable than my ukulele is my voice... my other main instrument. So together uke + voice is a perfect way for me to compose songs in places where I can't drag my piano.
UI: Where do you find inspiration? For songwriting, in nature. I write the most when I'm far away from my computer and my mind isn't crowded. As far as ukulele inspiration goes... all the guest performers, guest teachers, and participants at the monthly Ukulele Love-In gathering I put on at the Actual Cafe have inspired me to push my playing further. Organizing that event really flung me into ukulele land, something I didn't expect or even know existed. For that I'm grateful.
Thanks again to Maddy for taking the time to talk with us. If you want to stay up to date with her follow the links below and remember to mark your calendars for September 8th, when her Ukulele Love in makes it's return to Actual Cafe!