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Creative Corner: Music can tell a story, it can also form connections

"​​I'm a singer, songwriter and I play acoustic guitar, and it's folk music."

Music is how Tim Ostdiek tells his story. Whether it is reflecting on his own life, sharing his pain or announcing his gratitude, his  "feel-good, big-hearted folk with a drop of something funky” music is open to all to join. 

Ostdiek left college to join his sister in Longmont in 2012. Upon arrival, Ostdiek found a thriving arts community and was eager to join. 

Ostdiek said musicians like Paul Simon and Jackson Browne inspired and influenced him, however, he wants to ensure he doesn't limit himself and that his music is uniquely his. 

"​​I'm a singer, songwriter and I play acoustic guitar, and it's folk music. But I've never felt too limited by having to fit into something like a specific genre," Ostdiek said.

Keeping in line with his folk influence and background, Ostdiek uses his music to tell stories. For his current project, his upcoming album, The Lost Days, storytelling takes the form of a conversation between his now 30-year-old and younger self. While he acknowledges there is much to be grateful for, he also takes stock of the painful parts of growing older.

"I'm wanting to be honest about both sides of getting older. Not necessarily wanting to sugarcoat the fact that, as you get older, some parts of you die, things don't go the way you necessarily want them to and that there are parts of it that are really painful. I want to do justice to and honor the challenges of getting older  — while also enjoying the fact that just getting the chance to live 30 years in the world is pretty special," Ostdiek said.

In his 30 years of life, Ostdiek has valued connections to others. Many of those he has made through his performances and acoustic jams. 

The jam began as an open mic, but a particularly quiet night led to a new vision for the event.

He and his friend, Scott Ramsaur, were waiting for people to show up to a monthly open mic night at 300 Suns Brewing. Not many came so instead of an open mic session the event turned into a jam session, Ostdiek said. 

The small group found it more exciting and more fun than an open mic night, he said. 

"This (the jam session) is more of an open thing where it still feels like a performance, but everybody gets to play together," Ostdiek said, adding the event felt special because it was different and often more powerful to sing and play together than to have spoken conversation.

"When you're in a circle and you're playing songs with people, it does something to you. It opens you in a way that you can connect with people, in a much deeper way than talking or anything else," he said. "I think the way those relationships are formed by singing each other songs keeps people coming back."

Before COVID-19, it took place weekly. Of course, there was a temporary pause during the shutdowns and beyond. The event has recently returned as a monthly acoustic jam with some COVID-safe protocols in place. The sessions are usually outside in a large circle and the singers don't use microphones.

The acoustic jams are open to anybody, with any musical style and any skill level. They take place at 300 Suns Brewing every fourth Wednesday of the month. The next one is July 28 from 6-8 p.m.
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