Hunger

  • How do I start?

    How did I start? 14 years ago I played my own music live for the first time as a finalist in a battle of the bands / demo competition. Half a dozen bands, 2 albums, a dozen EPs and countless gigs later and my audience hasn’t grown.

    I used to be ahead of the curve. I used to be the teenage guy that does ALL THAT at home with a laptop before doing things at home with a laptop was the norm. I’m now just one more bearded white guy with a macbook and a pint of craft ale.

    This isn’t me complaining. I don’t feel hard done by. I’m not disappointed or jaded by the general public’s lack of interest in my egotistical and self-centred musical endeavours.

    This is about hunger.

    I want more. I want to be better. I want my art to be better. I want to play louder. I want deeper bass and more tantilising melodies. I want crisper hi-hats and brighter trumpets. I want a wider stereo field. I want harder-better-faster-stronger and I don’t care if it’s a cliché coined by the same people that wrote that bloody song that I couldn’t dislodge from my conscience all summer.

    This isn’t about playing the dropout, the loser. I’ve had my successes. I’ve enjoyed my successes. We all have. I’ve played packed festivals. I’ve also played to the sound guy, the promoter, the barmaid and no one else. We all have. Some days I cannot be bothered any longer.

    But most days I’m just hungry. And every moment that isn’t geared toward creating better art or sharing it more effectively, with anyone who finds beauty in it, kills me.

    And this leaves me with a dilemma: What do I do with the this hunger? I’ve done everything I know to make better art and share it more effectively for the past 14. Half a dozen bands, 2 albums, a dozen EPs and countless gigs later and my audience hasn’t grown.

  • All we can do, is do all we can. Only then can one find a shred of clear conscience.
    The work never ends.

  • I found this comforting in this respect: http://giftedandblessed.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-note-to-artist.html

    He speaks about a "...flawed idea which is perpetuated by society on many levels, not just among artists, is that the only strategy for success is to work, work, work. For some, this might feel like the right thing. But for many others, including myself, this strategy can lead not only to burnouts but also to extreme frustration when all the hard work in the world won't seem to get us quickly enough to where we want to be. Hard work surely has its place, but sometimes the simple virtue of patience holds more value. I prefer to leave more room for play than work. Remember, we PLAY music."

  • Would you want to be satisfied?

  • @chrisbob12 THAT.... is a great question.

  • like Mick Jagger said

    "I Can't get Noooooooooooooo ......."

    :)

  • @kineticmonkey

    Clearly you're a person of taste and leisure.

    But.

    Are you aiming for the art or the audience? Or something else?

    It's realistic to expect satisfaction from a piece well done: that's the art (and the craft), but the audience is a business proposition, and barely a function of the music. If you want to reach more people, have better marketing. If you want to keep more people, be good, but still have better marketing.

    If you want to develop your art and craft, collaborate, do a course, adopt some off-piste projects, that kind of thing, maybe do some production. If you want to develop your audience, maybe take a leaf out of Lady Gaga's book?

  • "If you want to develop your audience, maybe take a leaf out of Lady Gaga's book?"

    Get dry-humped by R. Kelly on an SNL stage while singing 'do what you want with my body'?!

    Yes! That just might work! I think you're on to something. >;D

    @kineticmonkey
    I still think you should watch WorldWarZ and learn from Brad Pitt's example.
    I'll give you a nice raja-style rant-peptalk if you'd like? No answer required, i'll assume you'd say 'yes' >8D
    (muahahahahaha *rubs hands together*)

    THERE IS DEATH ALL AROUND US. Even the galaxies of the universe are growing farther and farther apart, corralled towards a lonely future growing ever colder, secluded, removed... just like the people here on earth. Dislocated by our technologies which pipe datasets of frivolity disguised as knowledge, experience, and prosperity.
    They work like dark energy all around us, promoting discord to repel us from each other, even though natural qualities such as gravity, could have held us together without them. All we end up doing is taking shelter and seclusion away from each other, away from the constant reminder we see in every other person's eyes, that as long as we are alive, we will always be faced with hunger. There is no distraction great enough.

    THE WAR IS ON! You are being tempted towards extinction; towards thinking that you need to quell your hunger. NO! DO NOT! Your life depends on how you define yourself around your hunger, around your suffering. The spectacle would have you sleep in its cold, neon embrace. Backhand that bitch like the foul temptress whore that he is! (since this is still a set of mainly partriarchical societies we deal in, the spectacle is indeed a 'he'... just thought i should make that clear in the middle of my rant here.... ok then...)
    Satiation means sleep. And sleep is for half-wit conformist pussies! You can sleep plenty when you're dead.
    (slight distantly-related footnote/reference for anyone interested:
    http://library.nothingness.org/articles/SI/en/pub_contents/4 )

    I WAS ONCE LIKE YOU! Eyes aglow with an extra enchantment of youthful confidence. All the ladies knew my name from Colwyn Bay down to Cardiff Castle(you're from Wales right? ya, i'm just shooting in the dark here... anyhooo). But then i came upon great folly. I was attempting to please an audience so hard one night, that i ended up splitting my own ego in twain over my own erection(i also get pretty pleased, whenever i'm pleasing an audience ;D).
    Now I am not only a man without his own ego, but my penis has gained 2 egos it stole from mine!
    That's right, i have a rare known condition called 'penis ego'.
    (It's a bit like 'penis envy' except you're always envying your own penis.)

    Now whenever i go on stage, i feel nothing. My penis feels all the glory, while i feel NOTHING!
    That audience that night, they wouldn't have mattered. There could have been so many other audiences.
    I could've sang, i could've danced, i could've laughed!
    I COULD'VE BEEN A CONTENDER!
    But what's the point now, i will always be outshined by the sheer size of my penis's ego(my penis itself is physically quite small, so it really shouldn't have such a big ego either).
    Now i am just a small shell of a creative person; more forums than man!

    The moral of the story is: Too much satisfaction in life, can lead to an overwhelmingly large ego, which will stifle the humility you used to become creative in the first place... and may also be easily used against you... by your own penis.

    DO NOT END UP LIKE ME! Forever doomed to reign over nothing but a pathetic poseurdom!
    Hopping from thread to thread on various internet forums, begging people "please pay attention to my music, because i am too much of a micro-penis-endowed, socially-awkward loser to find enough gigs that would make me feel like a real artist any other way.... no wait... hey! i'm just kiddin! ignore me! ignore me! ...no wait... fuck you for ignoring me! ...no wait... hey! i'm just kiddin! hey! you're all right ;D" as if acting out some forum-based schizophrenic Rodney Dangerfield skit.

    YOU STILL HAVE HOPE! YOU ARE BOTH KINETIC! ....AND MONKEY!
    Don't let these slow ass potential apes get in your way! Def Leppard's drummer lost his arm. His FUCKIN ARM! He still kept playing. Like a madman music-playing zombie machine!
    Lady Gaga has a terrible voice. A TERRIBLE VOICE! But she keeps singing. Like a... wait... she doesn't work as well for this part of the story *ahem* moving on...

    TIME TO SACK UP, SON! So what you gonna do about it?! You gonna sit here and whine like a little bitch about all the 'used-to-be's?!
    Or are you gonna get mad and crazy enough to be all the you that you can be?!
    The conformists are at your door, they want to build a highway over your throat while using your asshole to sharpen antique No. 2 pencils they own 'just-for-show'.
    You know there's too many for you to be able to get out alive, but that doesn't mean you'll die being their bitch!
    If they take your arms, you smash their face with your head!
    If they take your legs you crawl to bite their balls off!
    If they take an eye, you take 10!
    YOU FIGHT LIKE MAD TIL THE DAY YOU DIE SO THAT THE MEMORY OF YOU IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO KEEP FIGHTING ON YOUR BEHALF FOREVER MORE!

    (and the same is true of playing your music no matter what the audience or appreciation for it)

    /EndRant

    (on a more serious note, sometimes it's also helpful to remain objective by considering others with problems of their own involved in continuing their music:
    http://monome.org/community/discussion/17138 )

    Anyways, keep ya chin up :)

  • Thanks for your replies -
    @chrisbob12 I am both satisfied by and hungry for my art. The first time I ate Ben and Jerry's I ate a whole tub of phish food. Believe me I was fucking satisfied, but I was also sooo hungry to try every other flavor. I guess I know the routes I can take to develop my art and do so as often as I can - I collaborate a lot, I teach electronic music - which really develops me, and produce for other people. I create art because I am a fan of art and I think that keeps me pushing - I'm relatively happy with where I am on the path to artistic enlightenment, and where I'm going. So I guess I should get better marketing. And maybe that's what this post was about in the first place? I dunno.

    @raja - You've made my fucking day. Thanks for the inspiration. Thanks for taking the time to write all that. Thank's for telling me not to whine like a little bitch. On an aside, I would pay good money to get dry-humped by R. Kelly on an SNL stage. Can you set this up for me?

    @ioflow - I've told you before how much I appreciate your music - you've been a huge inspiration to me ever since I started frequenting these webs. You're music is awesome and I had no idea you had any physical difficulties in creating it. Fucking hell man - YOU ARE LEGEND.

  • @kineticmonkey - when I referred to Lady Gaga, I was thinking about developing audience rather than performance, but hey, whatever works. In this case, she has cultivated a core fan base; her little monsters, I think, which means there's an audience pretty much wherever she goes. If you're teaching, then you have a recruitment opportunity for the kinetic army.

    My own experience is that friends and family will only follow you a short geographical distance, and venues have a core audience that turns up for whatever. On top of that, you have passing trade. Whichever way you cut it, you need to nurture a reputation.

    Do you put on a show? How do you translate laptop practice to give people something to do with their eyes?

    Do you have a hit list of venues that you want to play, or have you been to all the places you want to go?

    @raja - love your writing! Your posts have even made me lift the lid (briefly) on supercollider - your reputation is assured.