About the Artist
Small Town Girl Turned Wandering Soul
A lover of the outdoors and a fangirl of adventure, Alysen Marie's favorite things in life include traveling, backpacking with friends, soaking in natural hot springs, practicing yoga, working and playing with children, making people smile, and of course playing music.
Raised in the beautiful, flat, desert farmlands of Eastern Washington, Aly began her musical journey at the young age of two when she began taking piano lessons and performing on stage with her sister at their small hometown's county fair. Growing up, she always loved participating in dance recitals, talent shows, band and choir concerts, plays, and musicals within both her school and community, so it seemed like a no-brainer to her when it came time to pick a degree to pursue in college.
Aly graduated from Washington State University with a BA in Music, emphasis in percussion. She had originally chose to study piano, but after joining the Cougar Drumline and getting introduced to the percussion ensemble, she quickly discovered (and fell in love with) the marimba, describing it as the "perfect combination of piano and percussion." However, the thought of busking didn’t really occur to her until her last year of school.
After a summer of road trips and attending her first Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert,
Aly returned to her last few semesters with a new love of "Life on the Road" and feeling inspired to tune into the wildest dreams of her heart. But the summer soon ended and the weather was turning quickly while Aly, aside from going to her classes, was spending an average of four hours a day in tiny, fluorescent-lit practice rooms in the basement of the music building. Naturally, this started to wear on her and what began as a simple complaint about missing out on the last few sunny days of the year, turned into a life-changing suggestion from her roommate to just take the school's marimba outside to practice... and "maybe even try putting a hat out there to see what happens."
As soon as she pushed the marimba out in front of the music building and started playing through the pieces she had been studying over the years, something inside her lit up and the performer in her was given a new life, with a new dream soon to follow.
It only took a few times of busking at her university before Aly got the idea to live on the road full-time and travel the country as a street musician. Motivated by how much she enjoyed the laid back, casual, and interactive form of performing that busking was, and inspired by her recent adventures, she began planning her unconventional career choice. Determined to save enough money to make her dream a reality, she finished her last year of college while living out of her car, sleeping in a tent or on a friend's couch. After over a year of saving up, she was finally able to purchase a 4:3 marimba and a small home-on-wheels (a Winnebago Itasca Phasar named Irv).
Aly officially hit the road in the summer of 2012 and has been living a nomadic life ever since, playing the marimba, guitar, and ukulele for events such as farmers markets, kid's camps, cafes, and house parties. Although she hopes to someday find a small city near the woods to grow some roots, raise a home, and start a studio, she's loving every second of the ups and downs that come with the unpredictable lifestyle of living on the road.
If you love what you see and hear, and would like to support Aly's artistic endeavors and musical adventures, you can do so by clicking the button below. You can rest assured that every little bit will be greatly appreciated and will go towards keeping Aly self-employed. Helping her to pave her own career path by doing what she loves - spreading music, joy, and smiles. ;)