Email correspondence with another songwriter of my acquaintance, discussing the effort put into gigging and publicising music that it often seems no-one wants to hear.
In common with most if not all artists, I believe my own "art" is special
and deserves attention. But, I can’t find a space or an audience in a live
Many of us, I’m sure, live with the feeling that if we stopped producing music tomorrow nobody would notice and it wouldn’t be missed. Yet we don’t stop. Why is that?
Some threads that occured to me:
- because music insists on being expressed (the Fripp answer)
- because it seems to render us attractive in various ways
- because it lets us identify with our heroes
- because we enjoy the physical process of playing, recording, performing
- because we have faith that a wider audience will one day love the music we make
- because we are getting older and making music reconnects us with our youth
- because it occupies and distracts us from unwelcome aspects of present reality
- because the image we present to others is tied up with it. What are we to others if not a ‘musician’?
- because life without doing it looks like being dead.
I’m sure they’re all in there for me, and for many of the people I know. The reasons that aren’t in the list are conspicuous by their absence:
- audiences demand new material from us
- People examine our current work and eagerly wait to see how it will develop
- People criticise our current work and challenge us to improve it
In whatever proportion, some of these motivators push us on, even though some seem ‘worthy’ and some don’t, to keep on doing it.
Many of the people who read this blog are in similar situations – does this chime with you?