Monday, November 23, 2009

Different and The Same

I had some feedback from a customer today, who bought 4 CDs, then followed it up with the Feather's Breath CD. Their comment was "the music is all the same music on all the CDs". Well, of course that's not true. Sure, like most artists, i don't deny that much of my music has my trademark sound. But Feather's Breath in itself has no electronic sounds on it AT ALL, is all voice and flutes, and is quite a diversion from my other recordings. But i got to thinking, maybe they're right. Maybe all of my music is the same.

I don't think that's a bad thing. In fact, i have also been critisised by some fans who dislike anything which isn't like my first release, the "Coral sea Dreaming" soundtrack. So what can i do with all of this feedback? I know you can't please all of the people all of the time, and there's always going to be someone who has a strong opinion on which music is better than another, but where do i file this in my head?

The fact is, i really have very little choice in what comes out of me. Yeah, i might start off with some kind of concept, or an idea, but when it comes to the guts of creating music, it all just evolves out of where i'm at at the time. Sometimes that's in familiar territory, sometimes in unchartered waters, but it all has one thing in comes from me.

I was looking at an older painting done by the very talented artist Karin Taylor this morning, and i knew it was hers just by looking at it. It's very different from her current work, some 8 years later, but there's a familiarity about it that i recognise. I'm sure i could analyse it to find the elements that make it familiar, but it comes from her, so it is a part of her. In fact i'm glad there is a familiarity to it. It made me immediately warm to the painting, because i enjoy her work.

So, I'm comfortable for some people to find my music similar, and happy also for other people to find my music somewhat eclectic. It's going to be very interesting to hear what others have to say when i begin releasing music in completely different genres. I'm sure, like anything, there will be those who'll be very supportive, and those who'll be critical, but one thing is for sure. It's all a part of who I am, and what i create.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Messy Messy World

I create mess.
In fact, it's possible the biggest talent i have. That's how good i am at it.
I don't like mess. I don't like living with it, seeing it, or negotiating my way around it, but i'm surrounded by it.

I leave stuff lying around to remind me to do stuff. I leave countless things on my desk, on the floor, in piles, on boxes, in doorways, on benches... each of which is a reminder to attend to something. The problem is that after a while, i just look over it, and dont attend to many of those things at all. Then i get sick of the mess.

I'm also a bit of a hoarder. I hang on to things for many reasons, just like my mother. You see, it might be useful one day, it would be a shame to just throw it away...what a waste. The kids might use that. I'm going to fix that thingamebob one day, and that'll be just the thing. This is encouraged by my strong concerns for the environment, and being mindful of waste. BUT it adds to my mess.

I figure what i really need is a really big white board and keep lists instead of stuff on my desks and benchspaces. I also need some super storage, where i can sort my stuff into some kind of system, and not boxes.

Don't get me wrong. I do have some kind of order, of sorts. All my fabric lives in a fabric cupboard now, and whilst my office and stock room are in the same space, i have no choice but to have SOME kind of order. And i like tidy and neat. When i clean up the space, it begins to feel sacred. It feels new and uncluttered, which makes my head feel fresh. I even have new thoughts, to go with the new space.

Living in a house the size of a shoe box has been challenging, so i'm curious as to how my habits will change when i have space in the near future. But in the meantime, i really do need to make the most of what i have, clean up, and turn my mess into open spaces, where my creativity can be let loose without clambering into a teetering stack of boxes

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Artists Boxed

I was interviewed today in a government artist survey.
As i have come to be accustomed to, i didn't quite fit into their boxes. The questions weren't adequate in their scope, and so i found myself and the interviewer (who, luckily for me, had some experience in understanding the music business) squeezing my work, my art, and myself into the various boxes of the questionaire.

It did get me thinking, though. It got me thinking about where i've come from, how i got here, and how hard i've worked to create my career. I thought about the choices i've made personally to fullfill a desire to persure my goals and my creations. i don't consider that i've made persoanl sacrifices, because i've always prefered to be poor and happy working on my projects than finacially seccure and hating my job. But i realise that i have made personal sacrifices, even though i kept a smile on my face.

Artists get used to not fitting in. We generally don't fit in to the usual boxes, and our works are often overlooked as being indulgent or unnecessary. Yet any historian will tell you that it's the art of all cultures that truly reflects society. Art, in all it's forms, brings people together. It's the music we listen to, the stuff we watch on television,  the shape of  your coffee mug and the design on your tshirt...everything that came from an idea is a part of the creative stream of our time. Art is an integrated medium, whether we want to believe it on not.

So next time you see that small scultpure hanging on the wall of your local cafe, bear in mind that the next inventer to see that could be sparked to create something that future generations can't do without in their day-to-day lives. That CD that you're listening to, might create a fashion revolution, inspiring a designer to draw to the music, and create something extraordinary, and that photograph in that magazine, could invoke a new way , a better way of dealing with climate change.

So, whilst we will never fit into any of the obvious boxes, consider us an all-inclusive package, right where your sitting, right now.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Make more stuff

I wish i would draw more.
I love to draw. I drew a lot as a kid. But i rarely do it now. I know other people who draw all the time, and they inspire me to draw more. But i've let it go. Now, i need to schedule in drawing time to my week. That's ok. It's better than not drawing at all. And when my kids first saw me draw, they were flabbergasted, immediately gathering paper and pencils to share the experience. Now, i WILL draw more.

I want to sew more. Sewing frustrates me, because i don't like following the rules. My mother used to sew a LOT. She is an awesome seamstress, probably because she had to make all of her clothes when she was a kid. But she follows the rules. She's pedantic and finicky with it. I'm haphazard, and go off on tangents. But i want to find a place in my life for sewing. She taught me how to sew. I don't want to loose anything she's taught me. Sewing is beautiful.

I've never had my own garden, one that i totally own. But soon i will. I want to fill it with plants that provide something, that contribute. Food, medicine, shelter....a plant for a purpose. But i want them to eventually be self-sufficient, surviving and contributing simply because they exist. I look forward to my garden.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Artistic Solar System

The world of creativity isn’t limited to one artform or another. It’s a rich reality of possibilities, and the artist is at the centre of this giant universe, like the sun in a solar system. Sometimes this reality seems still, dark, and unending, but swiftly it can change, errupting into a passionate outburst of color and shape, momentum and life. this is the place where the artist resides, where anything is possible, and silence is merely the calm before the storm