What am I doing here?

I'm a musician, a writer and a mother with a lot of years on the road and in the studio. I'm a North Carolinian, with stints in NYC and Paris. I spent a joyful while in Andrew Bird's Hands Of Glory band and collaborated with classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein. For over ten years, I've interviewed artists about process, integrity and making one's own way on The Spark, originating from Marfa, Texas. I've always wanted to be a career artist; my heroes are listeners who move seamlessly in and out of intensity without fanfare.  

When my daughter was two, I made the large and terrifying decision to stop the very thing I dedicated myself to -- touring. But with time in my studio at home, my work expanded in curious ways. An object installation as a seed for a song cycle. An old motel renovation. Mapping artists making their own way as a public history project, singing as care work as defined by archivist collectives of care, performance circles as a means to have conversations across silos. And always vintage textiles. 

Nightcap is my studio archive. Long before a project turns forward facing, beta tests, questions, failed drafts, surprise pleasures, writing, music and laughter line the walls. Nightcap tracks my project threads, and the questions that bind them together.  

The light is on, the door is open. I'm not quite sure where we're going but it isn't where we started.

Why pull up a chair?

I rarely tour these days and certainly not for long stretches of time because I have a young daughter who deserves real roots, so these are my shows.  I'm also making work that doesn't fit into neat packages.  My projects take longer and ask lot of questions, so this is the way to get to know them. A process archive is something I need to make to remember the ground covered -- but to me, the process is the best part of the show.  

Share Nightcap with Tift Merritt

Subscribe to Nightcap with Tift Merritt

Songs & stories from the studio of musician & writer Tift Merritt. Nightcap is a travelogue of process & projects in motion.


Writer, musician, mother, found object collector hoping get essential information into the world through storytelling to make positive change.
Writer, musician, mother. Collector of lyrical presences, birds nests, and proof of life of the map.