Have you ever been inspired by art?
Samuel: I'm more of a literal appreciator of art, so I would say the works of Tolstoy actually got me really excited to visit Russia.
Has a piece of art ever made you laugh or cry?
Samantha: I was on a trip somewhere in the south, and it was a gallery that had very traditional art and I saw this giant painting of a Prussian battle. You could only see a tiny corner of it at a time because it was so big, so I walked along the bottom and saw a white horse and a dark horse. It reminded me of a reading that I'd done with a guy that I fell in love with and had to part ways with the year before. I actually had to sit down in the gallery and was weeping.
If you weren't working at your current job, what job would you like to try?
Samantha: I would be a cellist. It's why I write about music—because it's as close as I can get for now.
Samuel: I would be a performer. I would act. I would tell jokes for a living. I would live as many lives as I could through the craft. My jokes aren't funny enough for that, so I'm going with teacher instead. I get a built-in audience that way and they can't leave and they can't get a refund.
Where would you want to travel?
Samuel: I'd love to see more of the American Midwest and the plains. I've been to South Dakota and I'd love to see more rural Minnesota. I'd love to have an experience of communion with land. I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and I think it would be very edifying to maybe farm or something. The interior of America would be a lovely place to go.
Samantha: Maybe a motorcycle tour in Vienna, Poland, Romania, or Hungary—a lot of my favorite composers grew up in Hungary. Just to see what land and music are like when they come together.