In the meantime, last time I posted I half promised a new song. Well - I have managed to deliver! I have a couple more "in the wings" so to speak, which are still in the recording process, but hopefully in the next week or so I'll have a bit more time to work on those. Perhaps I'll end up posting weekly for a little while!
This time, I don't have a YouTube video - I couldn't think of something just right to go with this music. I thought about doing another demo like I did for the Lonely Love Suite, however, I don't have much equestrian footage and it would have meant reusing either his footage or Goldie's footage. So, while my creative juices flow a while I will see if I can come up with something, but if you, dear reader, have an idea, a video, or even some animation that you would like to use the music for, feel free!
Oh right - you haven't heard it yet:
So - the next pieces will perhaps find themselves together with this one to make a "suite" like with the Lonely Love Suite, where they are all able to be used together, but they are written for different numbers of cellos.
What else - well, I'm in hot pursuit of a horse to ride now! If you know of anyone who wants to do a horse share in the Berlin area, preferably somewhere on the southeast side, closer to where I live, let me know! I've sent some messages and hope to get to meet some of the owners and their horses. I'll probably snap a couple of pictures when I get to that point.
I have also finally gotten together a real string quartet, or rather a piano quintet, of musicians to play in events such as weddings, parties, restaurants, funerals, and more. We'll be mostly classical players, but we can also throw in some seasonal repertoire and jazzy pieces as we go along. We also won't always play all together - we can be hired as soloists, or in any combination up to a piano quintet. Well, possibly more! There are always good friends around who can join us. So if you're looking for music in the Berlin area, look no further! Just contact me.
This post has been quite an advertisement so far! Sorry about that. I've gotten to the point now where I can say that I'm busy daily with something music-related, other than my regular practicing, so it begins to take over my life in that way! Such is the life of a musician - we have to be our own promoters, salesmen(women), and machines of musical perfection - along with the challenge of being an artist. It is often hard to find the right balance, especially when we're starting out somewhere new.
For example, I really did want to go with Enda Gallery to London - it will be a great tour with some good gigs at cool bars and clubs, and playing alongside the Charity Children is always a treat. However, my more commercial obligations, such as teaching and performing in the Berlin area, sort of got in the way of that. While there are certain obligations that I can move around, there are others that are impossible to move because the client cannot. And performances are always fixed, nearly in stone, unless the person putting them on cancels them!
Most performances tend to be on Friday and Saturday nights, which makes sense because that is when the majority of possible audience members will be free and interested in going out. However, it means that most musicians have no weekend to speak of, and not only that, our availability is reduced from 7 possible days a week to only 3 or 4. Making it difficult to schedule things. Everyone is always vying for those choice weekends, on these choice days of the week, and then before you know it, you have to say no to playing in certain places or even miss out on going to see concerts yourself because you're already performing somewhere else.
The thing is, it is not so easy to find a replacement for something that is really a part of you, such as when I play with Enda in a fairly improvisational setting. There aren't any fixed parts, so any other cellist will come up with a totally different accompaniment. This isn't always a bad thing - for Enda Gallery, for example, it will be an interesting foray into a different interpretation. However, it isn't what we've been playing in the last 3-4 months, therefore it may not be quite as smooth as what we've achieved together, simply because of the fewer practice hours the replacement will have. For most audiences, that won't matter at all - the replacement will play wonderfully. But for Enda's followers here in Berlin, who have seen his performances primarily with myself playing as well, the difference will be noticeable. The nice thing about Enda's music is that it is flexible enough that even with a totally different cello part, it will still be great singer/songwriter music.
What I wanted to talk about though was really self-managing and how difficult that can be, because we want to be artists and live for our art, but we also have to find ways to feed and house ourselves, and our families. Being a freelance artist, whether musician or anything else, is a difficult balance of art and commercialism in order to generate income. I feel like sometimes it must be easier for people with managers and people who take care of their advertising and promotion, but I've also heard from these selfsame people that they then start getting pressure from their manager to produce certain types of art which are perhaps considered more "popular" and "sellable". This is where musicians (artists) begin to rebel against their managers, or end up falling into cookie-cutter patterns which eventually stop working for audiences. I really do believe that audiences will only tolerate "boring" art for a relatively short period of time. Good marketing can do a lot for boring or bad art, but in the end, what lasts a long time is usually also what was better, in the sense that it had more quality and was also palatable for audiences. It is always a balance between what the people like and what the artists want to portray, and the great artists of the past have always been people who managed to hit a perfect mix of these two. The ones who died poor didn't have a good manager, or weren't good managers themselves. The ones who die rich had a great manager, and perhaps also great material.
Of course, much of this is a bit generalized, but it is those big trends that are what really show actual tendencies, like with any good test group!
That's it for today, folks - I'll be writing again soon, hopefully with the next part of this new suite (I have yet to pick a name for it... hm...)
stay well and healthy, and comment if you'd like about what you think of musicians managing themselves, or anything from this post!