Before the Industrial Revolution industry signified an energetic devotion to an endeavor. After the 19th century industry became synonymous with the production of products for sale… contemporary music industry is in the latter category; the business of producing and selling Art with the sole purpose of turning a profit. This is fully understandable. Any corporate venture needs to make a profit otherwise its very existence is meaningless. Does this mean that unprofitable Art is meaningless? I do not think so. Art is creation and imagination at work and I am not even sure skill is required. What is skill anyway? There is not a single human being alive that does not posses imagination. Even those who claim they are neither creative nor imaginative are only feeding a lie. It is Art that separates us from all other creatures, not language, not emotions, not inventiveness but rather the manifestation of imagination. To think a thought and then place it on paper, or put it into sound, or draw it on the side of rock deep in a cave is Art. Like a god we can all create something out of nothing, therefore Art is a sacred practice that we have been involved in for at least 100 000 years.
These days an Artist needs to make money in order to survive. We all need food and shelter, and we need to be able to finance the Art i.e. whatever Art that is produced needs to sell. Fame is necessary for an Artist to be successful because fame creates a bigger group of consumers than anonymity does, but for some reason it seems that the driving force for many Artists is fame and money, not feeding that internal fire of creation. Neither money nor fame will ever quench the fire that is burning within me. It is a part of me, of my existence. It is who I am. But the marketplace is a dirty muddy pit and I am all dressed in white. How is it possible then to stay true to oneself without becoming corrupted? Is it even possible? The moment a work of Art is put on sale a whole range of problems arise. Should we even allow Art to be sold? How can I put a price on my soul? My soul is in my Art, so how much do you want to buy it for? Can an Artist give the Art away for free? Will s/he even be able to sustain the Artistic endeavor if such a foolish action is taken? And even if my soul has a price perhaps others would value my soul differently than I do?
I create, among other things, music… songs. I adhere to what is known in the music business as DIY (do it yourself), and there is nothing new about this. What is new, at least from my own perspective, is that whatever I produce will be released for free. This is the beauty of the Digital Revolution. It does not cost me anything really to do this (apart from some small fees here and there that I can afford to cover as I am in employment/self-inflicted slavery). It is all about upload and download, like and share. All that is released will also be placed in those areas on the Internet where people can buy music, but it is not placed there so I can sell it… rather I would suggest that those of you out there that download my music for free and like it might, out of kindness, respect or appreciation, buy what you have downloaded. Or send a donation. Either way is fine with me. What is most important is that you share it with your friends and relatives or whomever you think might enjoy it. If you do not like it you are not obliged to spend anything but your time listening. Naturally if you want a physical copy of my music you will have to pay a small sum of money, as I can not afford to pay for printing and postage on a regular basis, as I am sure you can understand. Aside from food and shelter (and the occasional journey) my only pleasure in life is Art and this is where I put any money I make, so any funds that come in from paid downloads, donations and the like will always go back into producing more Art. It will not go into the pockets of people that have nothing to do with the creative process, with my soul. It will all go to me (apart from taxes but that is another subject for another time). So please take what you like, share if you like it and send me a buck or two if you can afford it as a sign of appreciation. Or drop me a line, maybe I can perform in your house!
Thanks for listening!