Nomadic Productions

In 1995, the programming committee of the Southeast Alaska State Fair asked participating musicians to send a five-word-or-less description of their acts to help with publicity. Ken Waldman described himself as Alaska's Fiddling Poet, a moniker which stuck. The three words were evocative enough that for several years they helped Ken get a foot in the door at venues and festivals that rarely paid attention to newcomers. The quality of his work ensured that not only did he get booked, but often was invited to return.

Over time, as Ken's work evolved, the title Alaska's Fiddling Poet no longer explained what he did, and, in fact, limited how he was perceived. No, he had to explain, he didn't have to come all the way from Alaska to play a concert or festival, or do an education residency. No, he had to explain, that though he could indeed come solo, he was not necessarily a solo artist, and enjoyed bringing accompanists to join him.

Nomadic Productions, an offshoot of Ken's in-house Nomadic Press record label and publishing house*, better explains his many projects, from booking and appearing in shows, to producing events, to consulting. His memoir, Are You Famous?, is not only the story of Ken's transition from college professor to touring artist, and his subsequent life on the road, but is a handbook for anyone wanting to make a living as a practicing, and productive, artist. Ken often leads a workshop, So, You Want To Go Places With Your Art, that encapsulates and demystifies the process for anyone wanting to go further with their own creative work.

While Ken may still appear as Alaska's Fiddling Poet, his work with Nomadic Productions encompasses much more.

*After Ken's book, Nome Poems, sold out after a second printing, the publisher declined to print a third run, so Ken decided to publish it himself. A few years later, Ken self-published his children's book, D is for Dog Team, with accompanying CD. Within months, University of Alaska Press offered to distribute the project. Both examples show how Ken continues to keep current with industry trends.

                                                                                                                                                                                         above photo taken by Jennifer Nguyen