On this page you can learn about my life outside of academia.  My full name is Brett Francis Larson, but I prefer my middle name Francis (pronounced fron-SEES).  I was born in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, but spent most of my life growing up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and have come to feel most at home in the desert among the beautiful sunsets and mountains of Arizona.  

As I grew up, I was constantly involved with music from a young age, and was a member of the Grammy Award-winning Phoenix Boys Choir (hear me on the Drops of Golden Sun CD).  It was here where I first fell in love with music and foreign languages, as at the yearly International Concert we performed songs in over 30 languages.  Much of my current interest in the arts and language

can be traced back to this experience.  Later in life I would begin studying piano, guitar, bass, and drums, and have been a part of many choirs and bands since. Now, I continue with music as a professional busker (street musician) and have sung in over 25 countries around the globe.  The above photo is me busking in Queenstown, New Zealand.  Other arts I have periodically studied is calligraphy, book-making, and Gwoka drumming. More information on myself as an artist and my artistic creations can be found under the artist tab, as well as current projects related to the arts or academic publications.

Another love of mine is travel. Through a series of road trips I visited all 50 states (except I flew into Hawaii and Alaska), and have visited 45 countries on four continents.  Also, I have lived in France, Lithuania, Switzerland, Guadeloupe, South Korea, Hungary and New Zealand.  Some highlights from my travels are climbing mountains in Landmannalaugar, Iceland; a 5-night kayaking trip down 120 miles of the Whanganui River in New Zealand; a temple stay in Jeollanam-do, South Korea; and boating between the islands of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean.

When I am not reading for my PhD, I enjoy international fiction (classics and contemporary) and poetry, writing letters with pen pals, and learning new songs to perform on the streets.  

My US Travels & Road Trip Map