Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's a Business?

The reason my career never took off in a big way was that I never really got it through my head that I was in a business. You know, selling CDs and concert tickets! My whole focus was on playing the music. Did I get that phrase right? What is the best repertoire? How do you play Baroque trills? All that kind of stuff. But in reality, I suppose, the job is selling tickets.

But, you know, I don't really envy the ones who do just think of it as a business, because I wonder if they really experience the joy of music? Maybe they do, if so, they have it made. Could I have looked at it as a business and lived with that? You certainly should ask yourself these kinds of questions if you want a career in music. It was always too much like a vocation--maybe even a religion--in my mind.

Here's someone that was pretty successful:

There doesn't seem to be much going on in that piece. But here is another version that works better:

That's the same piece, but with nice locations and images and with a subtle percussion track. Much more attractive. But it's the same, musically.

I wouldn't want to be doing this, though. Here's why: this might sell, but I just don't like it. It seems like a mishmash of guitar music cliches (have to do a post on that). I've heard these rhythms many times, these harmonies many times and these little tricks many times. And in this context they just seem to have no musical purpose. So tell me, am I just a curmudgeon? Or is it sour grapes? God, I hope not!

Now here is something really commercial:

I just know that if I go to hell, that will be the soundtrack... You want to know why? Again, a string of cliches and empty effects. Music this devoid of any real expression is painful to listen to.

You can tell this one was certainly intended to be commercially successful. But it just doesn't quite...

...manage it.

 This is more my cup of tea:

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