Thursday, March 15, 2012
The Life I Love...
Photo: Brennan Aitken-Ganz
And The Music I Love.
If I wanted to make a living making music I would be touring. Or I would be living in a much larger market than Ashland. I would also be a lot more focused on appealing to other people and a lot less on primarily pleasing myself.
Lucky for me, I have no such ambition because I really do love this town, this valley and this part of Oregon. I also really love doing music exactly the way I want to do it and seeing who else likes it that way. Needing to make a living at music would put a lot of pressure on me to get gigs, have them pay, sell CD's and have my music appeal to more and more people. If I was interested in the priority shift this would entail, and I'm not, the next thing on my agenda would be getting out of here, because this market is just too small.
But the life that creates the music I love is this one, not the life of a professional traveling entertainer. It's the life of a T'ai-Chi teacher in a small town, close to Nature, close to his friends, close to his wife, who writes songs because he has to, and wants to do that without commercial considerations playing much of a part. When it comes to music, I'd much rather be free than rich. Actually, when it comes to music, I'd rather be free than anything.
The weird thing is that since I stopped caring about how well I was doing and just started doing it to do it, I've never been more successful or gotten more appreciation from the world...Granted, it's an extremely modest amount of both but it's still more than I ever got while I was "climbing", or trying to climb the ladder. Until I "retired" I was constantly upset about the music world, constantly debating whether or how much to even do music at all. Now I just focus on the parts I love: writing, performing, recording and posting; and forget about the stuff I don't love: strategizing, politicking, marketing, traveling and worrying about what other people think about what I'm doing. My expectations are pretty much rock bottom so I'm rarely disappointed and often surprised.