We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Birnbryer-Lao and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
While I’ve always felt that I could do most anything, I’ve consistently felt like I must make music.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
One characteristic of my music that I’m most proud of is that I strive to authentically and plainly share my experience of confronting fears and growing through that process. I am a new songwriter and I am new to singing. I have been a professional saxophonist for 20 years now, but have yet to sing for a live audience. That’s part of what’s tied to my artistic development, letting myself be seen and heard, even while I’m working it out.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take my friend to Atwater Village and eat at Dune or Viet Noodle and walk along the river. I’d take them to the Self-Realization Center’s Lake Shrine in the Palisades and then grab some lunch in Topanga. I’d want to take them to Eagle Rock for Oinkster and walk the hang there. I would take them for a hike in the Verdugo Mountains and lunch at La Cabanita and walk around downtown Montrose.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Jeff Clayton was my first true mentor. He taught me how to be authentic and vulnerable, devoted and passionate. He showed me how to dig deep and reach into crazyland if necessary to pull out what was needed to grow and develop as a person and as an artist. Jeff passed this year and I’m glad that I can honor his memory with these words.