I don’t know about you, but the fact that somehow we’ve found each other on the internet and are connected in some way tells me, we’re not so far apart from each other in terms of music. Listening to this interview brings back the days, when I’d be crouched down in the tiniest of abodes/rooms you can imagine, with slanted walls, barely leaving room for me to stand upright anywhere else than the door at no more than like 4 ft. something and listening hard to the artists and music I cherished then, from the early Psychedelic and Prog Rock days of Pink Floyd and Kansas to Rubie Turner to Chaka Khan to Mother’s Finest to Steely Dan and even Manhattan Transfer had an impromptu play here and there. Kere Buchanan channels all these fine memory imprints with his second release “Goodbye Yesterday” in ways that I’d expect his musical role models to do proud. Check out, what he has to say on insidemusicast.
Found this on TJ Scrugg’s Facebook wall (below Lefsetz letter, I mean). My response to this? I was a musician first, with aspirations of becoming an artist/composer. I settled for a conventional life style in the past 25 years and it has eaten my soul. I’m trying to resuscitate the artist/musician/composer part of me and attempt to use what I’ve learned while running with the pack of wolves (a.k.a. business people). Now I seem to zero in on realizing: I’ll never be anywhere near being or becoming an artist again (if I ever was one to begin with or want to become one any longer, the jury’s still out on that), if I don’t manage to send the damn businessman into the desert – where he belongs along with every businessman that was or gets born. If we learn anything from “business”, it’s this: It took the world to where we are now – one hair away from extinction.
At last! Someone eventually putting things in perspective for us! I blame one doobie too many for not having gotten this sooner!
Hilarious, those two gentlemen! And I find a great many experiences confirmed through them. In other words: Paid my dues, too – albeit on a much smaller, less significant scale. It’s a business first. How much personal reward you get from it – that’s your personal business.
Of course, I had been aware that not only musicians are expected to work for free or give away the results of their hard work. Here’s how professional photographer replied to a magazine openly asking for her work – without compensation in return.
It’s a freebie: I’ve dabbled in something new, a little ambient/meditation music. Didn’t exactly arrive at what I had in mind due to severe technical limitations on the part of the hardware. However, maybe you’re going to like this, too.
Right-Click your mouse on choose “Save as…”, then save to your hard drive or download from Soundcloud, alternatively.
The backdrop to this story is different from where I’m going to set this image against. And writing a blog post like this, where it’s supposed to be about music, is – I think a first for me. (I think… it’s not that I sit down at night going over all my other blog posts from the past…)
Seeing the picture and reading the story about the controversy surrounding it’s coming about had me remember a personal anecdote in my earlier, post-teen life. It had me remember Glenny, a US citiizen, living and working as a DJ in Sweden and occasionally taking jobs elsewhere in Europe and Scandinavia. Like so many US citizens working in the music business back then, he had come to Europe with the US Army and stayed after having completed his contract with US Forces. What made him different from most other American GIs and former military personnel was that he seemed to be more adventurous than most others I had met so far. At the very least, falling in love and moving in with a girl from Sweden – far away from more familiar surroundings – had him stand out in some way – or so I thought back then.
The other thing that had me become friendly with him was that – much like me – he enjoyed turning the night into day, often preparing a full-fledged meal in the early hours of the new day, heating up the kitchen stove in the appartment we inhabited together with the other musicians in my band along with the girl-friend I had chosen to more or less “abduct” from whatever she called home in the French part of Switzerland. Needless to say, as we were travelling and never stayed more than 2 weeks in one place, she depended upon me – entirely. Food, lodging, health care, your occasional shopping. (In hindsight: Jeez – I made some good money in those days, or else, I wouldn’t have been able to afford two people living this kind of life. We didn’t lodge in exactly the most shabby abodes where we performed and I had to cover her accommodation at the usual rates, sometimes in the hundreds per night). So, like me, Glenny wouldn’t go right to bed after the job, but fire up the stove, fix himself and me all kinds of gumbo, we’d pop a couple of cold ones, and when he’d start to dig in around 2 am, I’d keep him company, listen to his stories and ramblings and we’d talk and discuss all kinds of things – most often until the sun came up. I must have loved it or I was overly polite – or maybe a mixture of both. But somehow, I enjoyed his company a lot more then the company of my fellow band members, who’d be satisfied with either watching porn at night or trying to “score” a minor… you get the idea. I wasn’t big on either, so I’d exhale whenever the job was done for the night and they’d go about whatever business they were after, while I enjoyed some cooling off with Glenny. (On most nights, girlfriend had long gone to sleep and would barely snort in my direction to acknowledge my presence.)
Until now I hadn’t mentioned that Glenny was black, have I? Because it never mattered in whatever regard to me. It wasn’t until him catching hell with the boss of the establishment we were both hired for that I got introduced to the fact that racism is real and happens just about anywhere. I didn’t know any of this at the time and took it for a random occurrence. Gosh, I was so naive… but I’m digressing. Glenny was a DJ, as I said. Back then, being a DJ meant hauling your vinyls all over the place. In Glenny’s case these came as two humongous flight cases, each probably weighing some 150 pounds or more. I was used to carrying and setting up heavy equipment at the time, seeing as the Porsche-loving guys in the band rather saved money for gas then affording us one or two roadies or stagehands. Anyway, I just meant to say that Glenny’s cases were really heavy! (and it was me at most times, who’d kneel and crouch down in the tour bus to accommodate all the speakers and amps and whatnot and then drive that mother to the next venue…). I began to wonder, how he’d be able to travel alone. What about his clothes, suitcases and other “road-gear”? Anyway. We’d sit down and talk a lot. And sure enough, at some point Glenny confided in me that the owner of the establishment we were working in had a problem with him. And somehow it seemed to revolve around the fact that the boss had eyed a particular lady at the club, who – on the other hand – had layed eyes on Glenny. Beginning of drama – and you’d think, only ladies do that? No, Sir, sorry to burst that bubble!
Long story short: Our contracts had a catch. You had a kind of probational period during the first three three days of the contract. In other words: Club owners were given the opportunity to check you out for an entire three days until they were supposed to commit to the contract. I had never been aware of this as I was touring with a band, who apparently had risen above those standards as far as contracts were concerned (P.S. Do I want to know exactly how our manager had established this situation? I probably don’t want to know. But I have any number of ideas in that regard…) Anyways. Glenny caught hard times, because this cheap fuck of a club owner had gotten jealous of him. And as naive as I had been around that time: It was plain to see and hear. Whenever they talked to each other – which was rare -, not one kind word was said.
Come day three, Glenny was fired. No more late night meals, no more bonding in the wee hours of the morning over a couple of beers. I saw a different Glenny. Despondent. Scared. The same person who had boasted statements like “Most white people wonder, why we’re still around” had trouble suppressing his tears and fear. Because he hadn’t gotten paid yet. No advance and what little money he had brought along he had spent on calls with his far away girl friend and food and supplies during the day. He was effectively stranded in a foreign country with barely any cash on him.
I talked to my girl friend about this. We’d have to make some more cuts into our budget in order to afford him a train ticket back to Sweden. But it didn’t take too long a discussion until it was a done deal. We’d – make that “I” – would buy him a ticket, so he could at least get home. I will never forget this moment. He barely kept it together and so did we. We’d drive him to the train station in that Swiss town and all of that was against the express consent of my band. They threatened me, too. They’d say, we’d be kicked out as well and there would be a fine, which I would have to cover all by myself (fines ranged from a couple of thousand Swiss Franks to several tens of thousands, depending on the contract). I didn’t listen nor care. So, on day four we had arranged to pick up his baggage, including these two flight cases, each holding about 100 vinyls and weighing a perceived ton, haul all his shit into the truck I drove at the time, take him to the train station, pass some time together for the last time over a cup of coffee and wait for the train to take him home.
About two months later – I had a few days off – I receive a phone call on the rotary dial phone at my aunt’s, where I stayed over. Glenny was on the phone. We had exchanged phone numbers and he had insisted on taking down my bank account information. I was more than happy to help out and didn’t even want his money back, knowing it’d probably be another few months until he’d make just enough to pay for the ticket. (there was a “tops” cap we had agreed on and he had decided to get some small things for his girl friend, which I was more than happy with). So the phone rings, Glenny’s on the phone and inquires, whether the money he had sent was put in my bank account. I confirmed to him that yes, all the money had arrived.
So, the moral of the story: You think an ill-fated photograph is a problem? Or the media’s and social media’s response to it? Well, baby-girl and -boy: In the real world it’s about despair and not knowing where to turn next instead of egos getting mildly bruised with questionable “art”. Eat this for a change.
Gefunden auf Holger Enghardts Pinnwand. Absolutes Lesegebot für jeden, der sich der sog. Kulturszene zugehörig fühlt oder da hin will.
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Not too modest a prologue, I know But wanted to use some catchy phrase for a headline, hence.
Ok, so I’ve been going over some songs and files I started to write a while back, which I haven’t even looked at for quite some time. I did so in order to identify, whether any of them were worth spending the time and making the effort to complete. I found eight more tracks in addition to the five I have released in the past years. (Why does it take me so long? That’s for some other time to “discuss” – if at all, that is). Some of those eight projects are mere musical note taking, stubs, random ideas downloaded from memory and stored for later. They don’t qualify as songs or compositions just yet, some are mere patterns or maybe a theme or something. That’s not a problem. Most times, I fairly quickly find something to add to them and ultimately come up with a chord progression, theme variations, interludes and overall structure that qualify as a song. The hard part is – mustering the enormous patience it takes to record tracks, listen to the recorded material, edit it, where necessary, walk away from it, come back, listen again, finetune, adjust, mix etc. etc. It is an effort that feels gargantuan to me. Somehow I lost the playful approach and excitement by which I went about the tedious parts of the process. And there are lots of very very tedious things involved in writing a song and “downloading” it from your brain to the fingers into the software and ultimately make it audible.
On the other hand: I can’t seem to find closure with this whole music thing. Not just yet, anyway. I’ve more than once wished I had closure and was able to just walk away from it and not look back ever again. Because… a great many things that come after the creative process – including performing – I don’t seem to have as much fun with or ever had in the first place. And that’s putting it mildly… All the sore spots I’ve been doing my best to let heal are being mercilessly pounded upon with everything that happens – or should we say might happen – after the writing process is completed. Plus, I’d have to go via crowdfunding anyway as many artist have been doing or are doing in order to get their projects off the ground. But those artists are for the most part established ones, some even stars in their respective field and genre. I’m light years away from that. Or so it feels. And setbacks have this annoying tendency to push me back another perceived (light-) years. Ugh…
But – next to the kind encouragement I am receiving from my friends on Facebook and some in real life, there is this feeling of responsibility mixed in with Capricorn’s stubborness that I… can’t vanish from the planet without at least one CD or album of (largely) original compositions. Huh. Talk about a catch 22 situation. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Hm. Maybe I can continue to work on myself to smoothe some of the edges that give me a hard time – and have the potential to give others a hard time with me as well If it were for some other activity, I’d say, I’m three thirds of the way there. This music beeoc* however – is a most taxing thing on every level. At the end of the day, it probably has to be this way. What do I know…
So back to the grind every now and then…. (P.S. I know – gratitude… and humility. Must find me some at the respective store…
P.P.S. This might help as a reminder, too – so moving!
After having made my music available via Tunecore in 2008 and having tried to generate a modest revenue from downloads, where the latter tanked beyond my imagination or words for it, I decided that there simply isn’t a point to keep it available there any longer. It’s been a “break even” game from the get-go and never amounted to more. Maybe I could and should have pushed it harder, but tooting my own horn really isn’t my forte. So I’m going to let this renewal lapse as well as the other prompts that are due in a little bit.
However, my meager number of tracks is going to remain available on bandcamp.com. Keeping them around there doesn’t cost a thing until some sales – in numbers that justify the wording – are being generated. Free listening samples will continue to be available here on my blog and over at bandcamp. Should you, my inclined visitor and listener, decided to go for a legal download-purchase, the minimum price is your typical 1,- $ (I did not go for the 0.99… I think that’s ridiculous, we all know that this is pretty much a dollar), the entire EP for 4.99. Upon payment, several formats are available, amongst them a higher resolved, better sounding one than MP3. You also get to enter a price of your own choosing that goes beyond this minimum price. There are other advantages over iTunes and the known stores for me. Purchasing happens via secure online transaction with your credit card or debit card.
Anyway – I thought, I’d let you know in case you were looking for me on iTunes and Amazon after February/March/May 2014.
My heartfelt thanks to all of you who have supported me by downloading and purchasing so far or otherwise promoting my music! I very much appreciate you support!
w., January 2014