Instead of coming back for his junior year at Keene State College, Nick Tornatore (musically known as James Bird) decided to set off on a cross-country journey to spread sounds of peace and music to new faces.
“I started traveling because I felt that I needed to do something more,” Tornatore said, “I believed in my intuition that I should get out there so that’s what I did. I didn’t leave with many plans, but I realized that I can’t change people by telling them what they can do, I need to embody what I believe and what I think is possible and find the infinite possibility of soul.”
During his time at KSC, Tornatore was not only focused on his music, but on giving the campus comminity peace as well.
According to friend of Tornatore and KSC junior, Maggie Mason, Tornatore was responsible for starting the Peace For Keene program, which is a collective group of peacemakers who are striving to provide love for the community of Keene after the destruction of Pumpkin Fest.
“It was inspiring for him to take such a big step to reconnect with the community after what happened,”
Mason said, “He also was responsible for DC Appreciation Day and was constantly spreading peace throughout the Keene State community.”
Tornatore’s service acts were not the only thing that left a memorable impact on the KSC campus, however.
KSC junior, Shawna Flynn, said that Tornatore spread his peace mostly through his music and by performing at any chance he could get.
“I probably went to every one of his shows,” Flynn said, “The longer he was here, the bigger his following grew. People loved hearing him play all the time and all the peaceful events he set up too. People were always down to be a part of it.”
Flynn continued and said that going across the country is good for not only Bird, but also the people he will meet. The peaceful words of his music, according to Flynn, will teach a lot of people how to accept who they are.
“I didn’t leave with many plans,” Tornatore said, “I kind of just left and only had a couple of
shows booked. But that’s the craziest part about all of it, is this gypsy lifestyle that you have to take in. It is very powerful because you kind of just have to surrender and know that you don’t know where you’re going but you know that you will be alright.”
Tornatore has been taken in by many friendly strangers on nights when he had no place to stay, usually in return for some sort of volunteer work.
“I went down to New Mexico for a bit,” Tornatore said, “I was able to stay on these grounds by doing services for them. It was an awesome experience, and through the service work they had me do I learned that I have a passion for helping feed other people.”
Even though Tornatore only started his journey on September 8, he said that he has already gotten what he has set out to find. Tornatore said the best part so far has been the people he has encountered.
“I have met so many cool people that I feel like I have known in a past life,” Tornatore said, “To be able to sit down and talk to them has been the coolest part of this whole trip so far. I have never met anyone like them before, I just have to take people in as they are.”
Where Tornatore is planning on ending up is yet to be determined, but his songs and peaceful messages are helping pave his path.
“Right now I don’t have a set destination to end on,” Tornatore said, “I knew that I had to do this, and this is only the beginning. I’m just gonna see where I end up, and we’ll see where I go.”
Olivia Belanger can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org