Archive for April, 2008

After hours of staring at an intimidating MS Word screen , I finally knocked my A-level music essay into shape. I don’t know why I felt so daunted, I like writing essays once I get into it. Anyway, it’s now been handed in for further feedback and I think I may finally have it sussed.

Rehearsed with Rebecca, who will be accompanying me for the A-level recital next week. She’s a very unusual creature, a black Romanian classical pianist, can’t be many of those about! You go girl! I made a total loon of myself by fluffing one of the final phrases in Virgam Vertutis, when I’ve sung it loads of times, and try as I might I just couldn’t sort it out. How embarrassing.

Am now settling down to spend the rest of the evening playing final fantasy 12 with Gary. I must finish that fleece rabbit soon as Dan and Becky had their baby, Martha Grace, last night


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adapt or die

Spent the day in Burslem as a panel member for the MU  event . Lots of interesting discussions took place, and it was a great chance to meet members from the Stoke area.  I thought it was a bit of a shame that Burslem is so run-down looking as there seems to be a fair bit going on, looking at the notices in the door of the venue, the old school of art. It seems as though there are many people trying to organise things for local people to do, despite the areas problems.

The subjects for discussion mostly centered upon the implications of new media for musicians, and the irony of doing it in Stoke wasn’t lost on me. Here was a classic situation of a community that wasn’t able to adapt to the changes in its industry, namely the ceramic/pottery industry. It was sad to see some once-great buildings looking so miserable and redundant, and the effect it’s had on the local community was very evident.

It is an extremely interesting time for muscians right now, yet I meet many who haven’t even got a myspace, or access to a computer. They expect to do things they way it’s always been done, and expect the world to just fit in around them. And then wonder why they don’t get the exposure that they want while others race ahead. These things have simply become a tool of a muscian’s trade along with a reliable method of transportation. They blinker their eyes, and block their ears, reapeating the mantra of “I just have to be really good, someone will notice me, I’ll get a manager, then everything will be ok.”

How utterly passive. Talk about putting your life in the hands of fate. If you wanted to make chairs for a living, you wouldn’t do that. You’d make your chairs, and then you’d be at the trade shows, networking, setting up a website, learning how to keep accounts and keeping up with the latest developments in your industry. And if you wanted to be a professional musician, you’d expect to do similar.

Of course, you may not want to be a musician for a living. And that’s fine. To many musicians, making music is a blessed relief from everyday life and they don’t want to spoil it with running a business. That’s great. I take my hat off to you.  But  I quite like being a professional musician. I take pride in running my business with it’s sole employee, me. I like networking, designing artwork and planning. Because it’s my business. Mine. It’s not even work to me, just an integral part of my life that works in harmony with the rest of it. It’s taken me a long time to get here, but it’s all been worth it. Should I ever decide to make my living doing something else, I like to think I’ve learned some transferable skills along the way.

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I’ve always wanted a blog, even had a few, but none really lasted. You see, I’m just too damned lazy to have to learn loads of techie stuff simply to make it look half nice and do things.

THis one seems nice and easy, at least for now.

I thought I’d set up this blog on the way home from my pal Kate’s hen night. Rather than take the motorway in my ancient, falling apart Astra, I thought I’d take the a-roads in search of a more scenic route. It was lovely. I got to drive though lovely countryside and villages, and was actually able to glance around as I did so, unlike speeding though at a rate of knots. In one of said villages, I stopped at a tea room attached to an antiques shop, where I was served a nice cup of tea, by a nice chatty lady in a nice ceramic pot, cup and saucer. All for less than I would have paid for some weak drizzle in a corrugated cardboard cup grudgingly handed over by some poor underpaid sod forced to wear a baseball cap.

The whole experience seems to really sum up the way of living that I have finally stumbled on, taken me bloody ages, but here I am. I’m embracing the principles of slowing down and leaving a little room for my mental health. Buying less, but better. Seeing the things that I do to enhance my mental well-being and my environment as work that is just as valid as any that I am paid for.

So hence the blog. I hope I can share my ideas and experiences, start debates, and even rant a little from time to time.

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