Make Music Hartford


Thien Nguyen: Faces of #MakeMusicHartford

June 3, 2019

Thien Nguyen is a walking (and cycling) encyclopedia of all things local. As a frequent user of public transit, Thien knows the ins and outs of the capital city. He also happens to be a consumer and lover of art and culture. As an ideas person, he immediately came to the table with excitement and a vision of the endless possibilities for MMH. His love of Hartford is evident from this article – just wait until you meet him.

What is your instrument(s)? If not a singer/musician, what is your connection to the arts?

For me, art has always played some part in my life. I’ve always been connected to it in one way or another. Maybe because I am surrounded by so many creative and artistic humans in their own way, or maybe because somehow, whenever I fail to express myself through words, art helps me, which is the one thing I love the most about art.

When I’m at work or at home, and a favorite song play is playing on the speakers, with nothing but art on my mind, I feel happy and serene. In an ever-busy schedule, art is an escape for me from the constant chaos and pressure. When it comes to art, you can be anyone you want to be and express anything you want to.

An engineer can be a great guitarist, a doctor can make perplexing sketches; art doesn’t always have to make sense to you. You are not expected to solve problems or explain theories in art like you have to in mathematics or science. Art itself is the solution and a remedy. Art is therapeutic.

What do you do other than music/the arts – professionally? Hobbies?
I enjoy travelling. So, I work often to make that sustainable. As a city dweller, I spend a lot of time on my commuter bike on the streets, and on the rails-to-trails. As I age, into age, I find myself spending more and more time in nature: hiking, kayaking, and camping. 

What drew you to MMH?
The opportunity to bring an international project, home, really appealed to me. This [being art] was and is something that Hartford ought to continue to talk about. Art ought to be accessible to ALL people.

What drew you to Hartford and what is making you stay?
Over the years, living in various Hartford neighborhoods, time has shown me that Hartford is a city where making impactful and tangible change is possible. And, there are humans here, who like me, want to be happy and proud of where they work and live. Community projects like MMH, inspire and encourage me to get involved. Sharing passions and enthusiasms with other like-minded humans help me to feel like I belong and accepted.

Top 3 favorite things about Hartford:
– Biking and walking the city freely after 5pm, when the silence and solitude settles in.

– Feeling humility and sincerity when being caught off-guard seeing something new on the streets I walk/drive/bike by everyday. Make sure that you take a few minutes out of your everyday life to notice and appreciate your beautiful surroundings, no matter how small/normal/mundane.

– Connecting with people, on a deep level

Fun fact:
I never knew the levels and depth of my appreciation and gratefulness for having a front porch. Hammocking, reading, breathing, being – my front porch is the perfect “carrier”

What part of MMH are you most looking forward to?
All of the things. But really, that MMH is something that we can all share together. For, we are all we have. And art, is one of the best things to share ?


Photo credit for “The Faces of Make Music Hartford” photo series: Mike Marques Photo