As a creative artist I am engaged in a lifelong investigation of the process of making works and sometimes sharing them. Some of the concrete fruit of this work is described below.
Since high school and college music and theater days Performance has been an important recurring fascination. I learned and have performed on several instruments (piano, guitar, cello, trombone, to name a few) and have been a performing singer for over 20 years. Sacred Chant has been a central focus of performance for a couple of decades; I helped found and lead the group Peregrine and produced their two CDs, and have chanted and led chant in many different contexts. In 2021 I completed a first draft of an album of newly written autobiographical songs. You can hear its current state here. Public speaking and storytelling are two other interests that have periodically come into play; I love them because they weave together performance and teaching.
Works: formed and led jazz combo, adult theater group, Gregorian chant group; produced “Gregorian Chant” and “Night Chants” music CDs; produced numerous medieval and chant music concerts and participatory programs; arranged music and ritual experiences for over 20 Gregorian chant retreats; won Toastmasters storytelling award; wrote, produced and performed “The Face of Desire”, a one-man show; wrote and recorded the album “The Psalms of Joseph.”
When I was young I thought Writing would be my vocation; while technical and business writing has been part of my daily life throughout my career as a technology manager, I think I had something more artistic in mind! It has taken some time for this dream to come to fruition: in recent years song and poetry writing have been showing up more regularly; I had a couple of (what I would call) successful spirituality blog, and also wrote a business blog on mindfulness and technology development for a couple of years (as part of that work, I also wrote a book, so that can be checked off my bucket list).
Works: Joseph Healing blog (on this site), Joseph H Anderson Consulting blog, Cultivating Attention (business book), lyrics and poetry, Lotus and Lily Field Notes blog
Visual Art is a continuing interest of mine; I completed an art installation in 2016 and continue to work on visual art projects, mostly in conjunction with my personal ritual and spiritual practice. My wife Victoria Scarlett is a visual artist and I am learning a lot from her; I love the way working with physical materials grounds me and forces me to think in new ways.
Works: Orchard Oculus art installation
One of the overarching themes of my life is Teaching: high school for several years, adults regularly since then (in Experimental College classes and classes and workshops for the Center for Sacred Art). The process of designing and delivering curriculum is a highly creative activity and has resulted in its own body of work.
Works: Courses on literature, world religions, journalism, Grimm fairy tales, Gregorian and world chant (in many flavors), Soul Cartography
In 2021 I started studying with Christina Lee Pratt of Last Mask Center. This has brought me into the creative space of ritual, working with the elements, my well ancestors and other helping spirits, my own energy body and my shadow. Many interesting projects, most not for public consumption, have been generated through this work.
From 2017 to 2019 my primary creative focus was on a technology consulting practice. It’s no exaggeration to say that it made use of everything I’ve learned from the below, and much much more. While other public works like those below may bubble up from time to time, consulting (and the writing, speaking, coaching, marketing, and other highly creative pursuits) was where I put most of my creative attention during this period. When the universe finally woke me up to the realization that being a business consultant was not the path to integrity for me, I shut the practice down and moved on to other pursuits.