Apple Music

what it's not about is money


I used to think musicians were special, as if they had some capacity or intelligence that was above and beyond anyone else. I don’t believe that anymore; like Dr. Howard Gardner’s famous M.I. research, people are intelligent in different ways and I just spelled “intelligent” incorrectly.

Thank you Spell Check for making me dumber and lazier.

Again, like Dr. Gardner, we must first define intelligence–that definition not including a firm tendency to rely on the automated functions of a machine. Accepting the definition loosely as “adding value or making something,” you can see how that opens the door to a completely different method and system of wealth valuation and value itself. Incorporate that with the ideas of technological development and human evolution and the conversation practically walks on its own. Fun!

Anyway, in my life and travels I’ve realized that music is one of many ways someone can add value or make something. And if someone has a gift or developed intelligence in something, no one is going to be everyone’s everything; anyone’s going to be less-able in something or have some impaired particular skill.

A topic I will likely repeat on this blog is that my music is not entertainment. It is a communication. It is a goodbye. A friend of mine asked me to write lyrics, and another has asked me to “do a live show” in Beijing, both invitations I am flattered to receive but, again, are not in my vein of personal expertise or intelligence.

I don’t see myself as a musician because that implies a skilled professional. I am neither; I am a communicator. That, above all else, is where my talent and intelligence lay. I haven’t the slightest idea how to write for someone, nor do I have the skill-set to perform on stage. To me, writing for someone means speaking for someone, and I just don’t know how I could do that in as personal and intimate way as I do. If the agreement involved monetary compensation, I would probably be dead or dreaming because as of now I am as far away from involving money in this as possible. And the stage show involves a production, a performance, a delivery and giving and energy moving to the audience–all of which require actual musical skills and live performance skills and stage presence. The stage presence is a piece of cake for me, but not the former two.

That doesn’t mean I’m ruling them out completely. It means that right now that is not going to happen. I’m not there right now.

And I am not entertaining. This is not what I’m doing, and writing someone else’s work or performing live would be a form of entertainment, and that’s a problem for me because right now I have absolute control over what I do musically. I am god with this. I can literally do whatever I want to make or not to make the music. I use whatever I want and sing whatever I want and distribute it as I want, when I want. Entertaining people means that my absolute control–my authority–is lost, and lost for money, which to me seems as emotionally hateful and hurtful as anything could possibly be.

As an entertainer, I would immediately be concerned with satisfying others and gathering their feedback and processing that and responding to that feedback. Again, to me at this time, this is bullshit. Hell is others. Think of the idiots I would have to listen and respond to and concern myself with entertaining. How immediately and permanently would I have to become something they want, need and expect rather than remain true to myself and personal communication? And I’m not averse to someone’s criticism either; as of now it doesn’t have to mean anything to me if I don’t want it to. If I were entertaining, I’d have to care about what everyone said about my music and would be obligated to respond. Worse case, I’d even have to apologize for myself, when this music is actually my opportunity to speak without apology. Entertaining would be the antithesis of what this musical effort is to me at this time.

And somewhere in the world there is someone intelligent in the same ways I am and is really feelin’ what I’m saying here.