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« Nobody’s going to help you. Does that encourage you or discourage you? | Main | Google Trends on Music Think Tank »
Thursday
Jan082009

Art is An Energy

Lobelia at a House Concert in Nashville. When talking about the changes in the industry in relation to the world of social media, I often talk about the need for injections of energy to proliferate information, knowledge, awareness of an artist or a piece of music.

The most common energy to rely on is money
- input money and hope that it ignites and spreads. Other energies include excitement (fan energy is a great one for spreading the word, and that excitement multiplies the closer the fan gets to the artist…) and shared narrative (people who relate to the stories in your songs, or to your story are likely to use it to tell their own story - whether that be a love song or something more spiritual/motivational).

But it’s really important to remember that ‘art’ and ‘creativity’ are energetic forces. There’s been a lot of talk on here of late about house concerts, and what’s vital to grasp about the house gig scene is that nobody’s in it to get rich. There are no fights with promoters over cash, no dissappointments over low bar takings, and much lower running costs…

No, the people who put on house concerts are mostly motivated by the creative artistic element. They have an altruistic desire to spread the art around. Art is an entirely positive energy all of its own, and one that inspires.

If you understand that, and are suitably grateful for people’s desire to support the art for art’s sake, it CAN be part of you making a reasonable living from your music, but more importantly, you’ll spend your time presenting your art to really amazing people.

For the last few weeks, Lobelia and I have been playing house concerts, (with more coming up) and the number of fascinating, engaging clever, funny remarkable people we’ve met has been mind-blowing. I’ve made some amazing new friends as well as playing in some great spaces (see the photo at the top!), and eating a whole lot of marvellous food.

Ariel Hyatt tweeted a quote from an online marketing seminar that she was watching recently, that said “The marketing is more important than the mastery….” - now, I understand the context it was in, and for someone working with bands in PR like Ariel, it must be the bane of her life to encounter musicians who think that being fantastic is enough to make them superstars.

It’s not, but it is still a prerequisite that you are the absolute best you can possibly be. If you’re expecting people to get behind what you do because they love it, then you’d better be doing everything you can to make it as good as it can be. You invest worth in your art, which translates into energy when your audience gets as excited about it as you are.

For musicians, there’s no either/or about Marketing and Mastery: Excellent marketing ideas are utterly vital to getting the word out there to the world en-masse, but one-on-one, you’d better be playing the music you were born to play, because from 4 feet away, your intentions are audible.

Reader Comments (2)

Steve,

Great post! This is the kind of post that every artist that sets out to conquer/entertain their corner of the world should read.

Great book title: 'Your Intentions Are Audible'.

-Bruce

January 8 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

I'll get working on the book now :)

thanks for the encouragement, bruce, much appreciated.

Steve

January 8 | Registered CommenterSteve Lawson

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