My first blog
Welcome to May 2016 and my first blog, “Why?”
Why would I write a blog? What bit of wisdom might I contribute to anyone reading this?
- Maybe we don’t always read to gain wisdom.
- What kind of insight or entertainment, then?
I write to better know myself.
I figure that some insight into what makes me “tick” might be of interest to someone else, as well. Someone who listens to my music, perhaps. For me it feels more natural to blog than plugging my gigs and promoting myself (which I do not enjoy, at all).
To begin, I exist in this “no man’s/ no woman’s land” somewhere between the classical/folk/jazz/pop world. I was committed, for many years, to classical music (as a pianist and as a composer). In fact, I did not own a pop or rock album until the early 70’s when Iron Butterfly’s “In a Gadda Da Vida” came out. I bought it four years after the fact and probably because I wanted to feel “accepted” or “normal” in a world where classical music was not cool at that age in my life. Even worse, practicing required many hours alone (not fun) when everyone else was out playing. It did get better as I became more proficient but for a reasonably social person, it was very difficult. The best part was escaping the chores of real life and the drudgery of my day to day life as a teenager. That’s kind of how I saw it, then. Plus, I had a very active imagination and my mother told me I had better use it in a positive direction or it would work against me. No doubt, she was trying to get me to practice - which was no small feat.
I realize I am dating myself here. If you are keeping track, you can do the calculations and figure out that I am as OLD as Prince (may he rest in Genius Heaven), somewhere between Elvis Costello and Diana Krall but nowhere near Herbie Hancock. In the world of jazz, I am just approaching the age where I am finally beginning to “get it”. I am not a prodigy (although my mother believed I was), I am not a genius (which you may have already guessed), but I have worked hard enough and long enough to have developed a “voice”. This voice is the culmination of my life in the classical and jazz worlds and it bumps up against the worlds of pop, folk and every other influence in my life.
For years it felt like the pursuit of music as a career was a race. Probably because in my head I felt as a woman I had a much shorter “shelf life” than say, Herbie. That I was making up for lost time, somehow, and over the years I have had to participate in that “age old” search (like every artist before me and every artist after me); what is it that motivates me to continue the day in/day out work of an artist, especially when it becomes so challenging?
I’m certain that in my younger years it was fame. That need to have mass adulation; to finally have some numbers behind you to confirm that you are working in the right direction. It’s just like trying to become popular in high school - I discovered it was possible! - it just took up so much valuable time.
OR, even better, MONEY - the ultimate affirmation that one’s existence is worth something. The more money you get, the more worthwhile you must be.
Hmmmm - I know this jerk millionaire….
Now I see this all as being somewhat shallow and insecure. Does that mean I don’t care if anyone listens to my music?
NO, I have obviously put it out to the public in the hopes that someone, other than myself and my band, etc. will hear it and, best case, like it.
Does it mean that I hate money?
NO, NO, NO! Money can be a good thing and, I admit, I am an addict.
However, what I won’t do in my life for money is discount the most important influences in my writing by denying them my time and attention. My partner, my daughter, my ex- husband, my parents, my friends. The people in my life who have made and continue to make me who I am, that have helped me with that old question and motivated me to write about the rich and wonderful life that I have been blessed with (NO, it has not been all easy as you may suspect upon listening to my music). Blessed is how I feel and the difficult times have given me some of the greatest blessings. I feel so fortunate to have music in my life because it gives me a direct link to my subconscious and allows me access to the answers and questions that keep me aligned with what I hold most valuable in my life; love.
Stay tuned for my next blog (June 1) “Going into Fear”. OR “Fear, my greatest motivator”.