Nonsense and Practice
“I was intending to make these into a vinyl record. I thought this would make me feel good and powerful. A way of saying HEY EVERYONE THIS IS ME AND THE THING I MADE. But it would have cost a lot of money and then I would have had to have sold those records to people for money and it feels strange equating being in love and writing about it to paying for an object.”
My friend Roxy's blog is good. I mean good like that maple-pumpkin risotto you only had maybe once in your life. In her recent posts about her new album she, as usual, manages to connect again to the great universal umami.
Roxy used to be my co-explorer in The World Is Not Flat days. We would ride on trains, and sing in houses, and wonder about things like how record labels and money connected (if at all) to birds and whales and tea in the garden.
In later years, I tried to turn music making into my day job. I found myself dealing with the questions of how to take the deepest magic I'd ever experienced and somehow connect it to such practical matters as how to afford my next veggie burger.
Roxy's conclusion was to simply offer her album for free. I've always admired how Roxy can make things so simple and meaningful at the same time.
Indeed we are all making things, and then what we do with those things, well...we're making that up as we go along. About songwriting, and the whole musical process, Roxy said: “it is both an incredibly meaningful experience and just complete and utter nonsense.” That made me think of art in general—maybe even love. And here is my theory:
Quitting your day job to be a 'full-time artist' doesn't necessarily mean you make more art. In fact, it might help reinforce a false paradigm, one that denies that being an artist is already inherently full-time, just as being a lover perhaps.
Yes, there are points in space-time when a lover's love is more obviously manifested, but isn't every action, every motivation and decision, somehow inextricable from that love?
And just as they do with love, finances and careers support and prevent and touch and squeeze so many sides of art. But tying both art and finances together into a ramshackle attempt at a unified organism, that rarely feels natural or simple.
It comes back to practice. Developing a lifelong practice of love, or art, and founding that in integrity, and pure wonder.
You can download the new album by Two White Cranes at twowhitecranes.bandcamp.com
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