We all know things are crazier now than ever before. We’ll take that as read and move on.
Maybe I’m behind the curve, but it seems like the performing arts are never going to get back to the way they used to be. When bands go on tour with the tagline “as seen on YouTube,” you know it’s time to change the way you think about show business.
That’s been a very hard thing for me to do. I started working in the performing arts when I was a kid, and got seriously into theatre when I was 15. Since then, the bulk of my creative efforts have always put live performance at the top of the priority list.
I had hoped that people would have missed the energy that is part of a live performance, but it seems not to have happened as much as I would like. While that’s disappointing, what it really means is that I need to change my thinking instead of waiting for the world to do what I think it should. It also means that I’m taking advice that’s been given to me by a lot of people, which will enable me to explore in new & exciting directions.
Simply put, I’m going to focus more on creating and less on trying to make everything about performance. If people like what I do and want me to perform, then I can work out the on-stage logistics as it becomes necessary instead of allowing those concerns to limit what I try. This gives me the chance to compose for multiple instruments and experiment with new production ideas. The advice I mentioned is all along the lines of, “…you play all these instruments, you should work on bringing them together somehow.” Well, now I’m going to do that.
It’s a daunting idea. Not because it represents new directions and learning, but because I have always relied on some kind of feedback in the moment. Now I will be more like an author–you create a thing and put it into the world, and you may never actually hear if someone likes what you did. My focus has always been on the audience, and somehow I need it to be more about what I want to say rather than what they want to hear. As Michael Hedges said, “Make the music you like. And if you are very lucky, others will like it too.” I get it, but to me that seems incredibly selfish and that is not what I want to be. Maybe it’s the price of being creative in today’s world?
In any case, some things are already starting. I’ve found a studio that I feel good about working in–my increasing blindness and the lack of genuine accessibility in audio production has made it necessary for me to bring others in to help me, but I am looking forward to more collaborative effort–not to mention getting rid of the headaches (both figurative and literal) associated with the in-home production process.
The first project will be completing the Submarine Haiku series of short videos. Other ideas include reviving my album project “Nature Walk”, plus videos and audio featuring multi-layered music and sharing my process and inspirations with the world at large. I hope folks like it. But if they don’t, I’m going to have fun doing it anyway–man, that is so hard to write!
To those who have stuck with me through all these years and offered their support and encouragement, I am most grateful. I hope that you will like the monster you’ve helped create 🙂 As the Flying Karamazov Brothers said, “It doesn’t matter how you get there if you don’t know where you’re going.”
Stay tuned for whatever’s coming next, coming soon.
Eagerly but anxiously,