A New Chapter: Thoughtful Music for Troubled Times…

Hi there… it’s 2018 (how did that happen?) and once again I find myself in a transitional phase where life circumstances have kept me from making new music for a while, but I’m gearing up to try to jumpstart a creative burst… alongside a fresh attempt to find ways to bring the music I make (and have made over the years) to new ears and a wider audience. I’m not going to go into detail about all of this quite yet, but I thought I’d tease a few changes here…

I will be retiring some projects, repurposing others and overall trying to bring my focus back to music pure and simple, rather than spreading myself too thin on too many peripheral projects. Some legacy albums will be retired or reimagined, others will stick around. You’ll also notice a few new names and/or taglines I’ve settled on to try to capture and convey a sense of what I do and what I’m interested in – and that I hope may capture others’ interest as well.

On a musical level, my goal is to integrate some of the major but often separate threads of the work I’ve done over the years into a more cohesive fusion: acoustic piano improvisations, electronic textures, multi-instrumental performance, and incorporating visual imagery into the compositional process.

Other changes will be more on the distribution side of things…

Like a lot of music fans, I have migrated much of my listening to a streaming model (I’ve been using Google Play Music). But like a lot of independent musicians, I have an uncertain relationship with the whole paradigm shift that these services have brought upon us. I like the idea of convenience for the listener, I think universal access is generally a positive thing, and I figure it’s not very productive, now that this particular Pandora’s box is open, to try to go backwards or pretend the world hasn’t changed. It has.

But I’m also uncomfortable with the unsustainability of the whole edifice. Big companies vying for market share, losing money while adding subscribers, most of the money going to a tiny number of people (as always), and virtually none going to small-scale independent musicians like myself. Nothing about it seems particularly fair or genuine.

So I’m looking for a middle ground. I think the answer for people like me, both as a consumer and a content producer, has to do with personal connection, engagement, and support… rather than impersonal flat-rate access to content.

I will keep some of my music on the mainstream services, but I have already taken much of it down and will likely pull some more. I’d like to focus more on direct engagement, which is where the mailing list comes in.

I’m going to use a mix of a few platforms to bring new tracks – and some re-issued, remastered material from the back catalogue as well – to market. This will likely include subscription/support platforms like Patreon, where I’ll be providing ongoing access to new material as well as personal engagement, in exchange for ongoing support.

For those who prefer a more traditional model where you actually just buy the music you listen to, I’ll provide that too, in download format obviously but I’m also looking at the possibility of releasing some material on vinyl if there seems to be a demand for it. Heck, I’d like to have my own stuff on vinyl, maybe others would too! That may involve a Kickstarter-style crowdfunding approach to offset production costs.

I’m also interested in more forward-looking, next-generation solutions involving Blockchain distribution and cryptocurrencies; one such solution is called Musicoin and you can already check out a few of my tracks there – it’s kind of like an alternative streaming platform where artists are paid in cryptocurrency. I don’t pretend to have any deep or sophisticated understanding of that whole world, but it seems like it may be headed in the right direction, so I’m going to keep a foot in the door and see how it develops.

I hope you’ll follow me on this journey, and to that end, if you’re not already on my mailing list, please consider signing up – make sure to check the consent box towards the bottom!

Onwards and upwards…