David Brittan, curator and editor of The Necessary, is a professional word person, an amateur music person, an even more amateur visual art person, and an admirer of human creative endeavors large and small. An immigrant from the U.K., he grew up in southern California, where he spent his childhood drawing, writing stories, reading science fiction, putting on plays, practicing musical instruments — trombone, cello, and accordion — and exploring the Pasadena sewer system (about which he promises to tell you more someday). He learned the accordion well enough to major in it as an undergraduate and to compete at the international level. He also picked up some piano. He went on to Harvard University to study musicology, but found the scholarly life less than exciting. Falling back on the word trade, he went to work for magazines in the Boston area, including MIT’s Technology Review and, later, Tufts Magazine, which he edited for nine years, until 2015. While working at Tufts University, he refined his piano skills, studying with Thomas Stumpf and presenting recitals. After Tufts came a stint as a novelist. With The Necessary, he has come full circle, reclaiming his childhood glee in the exploration of all kinds of art (but no sewers this time). He lives in Newburyport, Massachusetts, with his wife and teenage daughter — he also has three grown sons — and sings in the Newburyport Choral Society.