A Foray Into The World of Vlogging

I sing. I write and I sing. I don’t like talking. Talking is too much like, you know, work. It takes a great deal of energy. In writing, I can carefully craft what I want to say and paint pictures with words. In singing, I express myself with the most freedom – no longer reaching for what to say or struggling to get my point across. However…

a friend of mine has told me that, in this day and age (where video has well and truly killed the radio star), I need to TALK in order to connect with the fans (and potential fans) of my music and reach my internet audience better. So, I’ve done it! Eek. My first ‘vlog’. In this, I TALK about my music, in an effort to help people discover and connect to me as an artist. It gives an overview of where my music comes from and what it’s about and who might be interested.

On another note, my friend John watched it and told me I, apparently, have a sexy accent and sexy lips.  So, if you watch it for no other reason than that, you haven’t wasted your time. 😉

Thus, with no further ado…

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Compulsions

While success continues to elude me, I continue on because:

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It’s sort of like breathing. I’m a wreck at life. I don’t like it (life, that is). It annoys me (and that’s on a good day – the rest of the time I detest it). And, yet, I keep breathing… it’s that thing I do. But, unlike life, I am good at making music. Talent, I have. But, talent means so little in this business. I do this when there is no real reason to other than the compulsion to do it. If I could stop myself breathing, oh I would.  One day I may figure out the way to do that. Until then, apparently, I’m going to continue making music.

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At the moment, I’m getting in touch with the tribal; I’ve gone native. It feels right. It feels now. It feels ancient and now. Sometimes, I picture myself sitting against a tree in Queen’s Park or somewhere, with my hat off on the ground (to collect any stray change a kind passerby might give), playing my wooden flutes to the wind. I doubt that I will actually take up busking any time soon, but  that’s the visual in my imagination right now as I compose pieces layered with driving rhythym, accented by the haunting sound of my “second voice“.

I’m not releasing any more music (not putting out any more to sell, that is). What’s out there is out there (on bandcamp, cd baby, amazon and i-tunes). It is failing to fly off the virtual shelves. I will continue to share some of my new stuff online (and if and when gigging comes back into the picture), but it isn’t worth the amount of time (blood, sweat and literal tears) and money (I don’t get my money back, let alone make any on what I put out there) that it takes to produce and distribute if people aren’t going to buy it. It’s good stuff, but there’s too much competition and far too much apathy. I’m trying not to be bitter. Did I mention, life sucks?

I am always grateful for those who do enjoy my stuff. So, as I say, the stuff will still be there, but no new albums or singles.

I spent time this morning on another stab at an exercise in futility: uploading yet another song, one of my best (or so I’m told) to BBC Introducing. I’ll wait to hear that it’s been listened to…and then remain hopeful for a few days until I realise that, just like all the other times, they don’t want me.

Screw it. I’m breathing. And thus…I can’t escape it. I’m driven to do it, to make music whether anyone else is interested in what I have to offer. It’s beautiful. It just is. It allows me occupy the present moment and almost, nearly (as close as I get except maybe during orgasm), to enjoy it (the present, the moment, that is).

It used to be all about my voice. I finally realised, it’s bigger. I’m not just a vocalist. I’m a musician. I make music. I’m not a failure at making music. I successfully do the making thereof. I’m a failure at getting discovered/heard/famous. I’m a failure at making my passion and what I am good at pay my bills and contribute to the financial needs of myself and family. But, making music? At making clever, unique, versatile and pretty damn awesome music? At that… I’m a colossal success.

Perhaps, after I’m dead, my music will be discovered. Perhaps it never will and it will die with me. But, whatever the case, I’m making it because I don’t sing the song, it sings me. I don’t play the music, it plays me. And in it… in it is something pure and beautiful, something untainted, something that – for a moment – can make me feel like fucked-up-me is contributing something beautiful to this world…for a moment. And, I must do it. Like breathing, it’s a compulsion.

 

This is the piece that I composed as a thank you to the dear friend who sent me the gift of a second voice – my Native American wooden flutes. I have this set to play automatically so that, if you have the volume up on whatever circuity device you are reading this on, you can listen while you read. If you like what you hear, why not check out my other stuff? Thank you for reading and listening.

Trending

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I’m trending on ReverbNation’s Folk Chart. And, I think it’s definitely worth blogging about.

I started out so low on the chart that I really didn’t pay any attention – something like 76 and now, at the time of this post, I am at 37 on the chart. Climbing, slowly but steadily inching really, up the chart. All of a sudden I noticed some time a couple of weeks ago that I was rising in the chart and I went to look at it. That’s when I saw that I was featured, with three other artists/bands, on the right of the page, under the label ‘Trending Now’. The brilliant thing is, the people/bands that I started out ‘trending’ with, have come and gone, but I’m still there! 

 

I want to say thank you, ReverbNation, for the exposure. Thank you to the people who are hitting me – because it’s obviously getting these hits that is keeping me trending – thank you, and, please, keep it up! I had a friend and fan tell me that he hoped that I was on the top 10 by Christmas. That would be a fabulous Christmas present if it happened.

 

Every little creep up is encouraging. I never looked for overnight success. When you begin your singing career at the age of four, overnight success really isn’t an option unless someone looking for the next big child star discovers you right then. Alas, I wasn’t discovered then and neither was I discovered at age 16 when I had made the definitive decision that this is all I wanted to do; but what I did do was keep plodding along. Now, decades later, some would discourage me and expect me to finally give it up, leave it to those younger, to those backed with more money and support. But, I won’t. It’s the small victories that can mean so much and keep me going: the accomplished musician who expresses how much my range has impressed them (it’s not hitting those high notes that gets them – it’s how low I can reach that is impressive); the lifelong singer/songwriter I respect so much who tells me how good he thinks I am; each sale of the single, ‘Hope Breathing (A Lullaby)’, and the album, ‘Gloriously Autumnal’ (they may not be flying off the virtual shelves, but I celebrate every sale I do get); each new LIKE on my Facebook Page; the trending on ReverbNation and inching UP the chart. These things whisper vital encouragement to me in the times when other influences would scream at me to quit.

 

So, again, thank you. Thank you friends and fans. Thank you, ReverbNation. Thank you respected musicians and songwriters who are properly impressed. You spur me on, you combat others’ apathy, obtuseness, lack of taste, total misunderstanding and any number of other things that those others bombard me with. Please…keep whispering and, hopefully, I’ll keep trending. I like it!

 

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