As my 44th birthday approaches I’m thinking about my newborn album, The Art Of Being, that’s only two weeks old. Now it’s “out” I feel like I’ve climbed a mountain – although it wasn’t a struggle, it was more of a pleasant walk, with such inspiring scenery you don’t realise how far you’ve come!
I’m seeing the world from a new vantage point. I guess it’s something that happens after being carried along by the forward momentum of a big undertaking and imagineering a project into fruition. There’s a kind of urge for a natural rest period at the end of it before you transition into the next thing. My intellect fights that instinct to stop and take stock. The music industry, business oriented part of my mind pesters me with inner dialogue like, “This is the time you should be pushing hardest!” “Let the world know the thing exists!” “Get your ducks in a row!” “Now the “real” work begins!” And on and on… I am careful enough not to listen too much to that voice, to that programming.
This album came into being in such a graceful way with very little force or drama. I’d like to see it continue its journey in the same way. I feel a softer approach, one that allows me to stay in a state of allowing, is the way to go. I just know it. Having tried it the other way for years I now know joining the cacophony of hard sell, go the hard yards, strategise your brains out etc,.. That old ideology, it doesn’t work. Well, at least not for me! I have loads of examples and stuff ups to prove it. For now, I’ll share an example of how a lighter touch seems to yield the best results.
I did spend a little bit of money on putting the word out about the album the week after it came out. I used a radio distribution service that submits to platforms radio stations access – to see if there’s anything new they’d like to add to their playlists. I was actually really cynical about it and thought to myself “This is probably a waste of time and money… The music will be a needle in a giant sonic haystack… What are the chances?! ” Two weeks later 150 or more stations in the U.S alone have picked up The Art Of Being. What the?! And what’s that strange sound? Oh, that’s just me. Eating my words. lol!
I’ve had such challenges mastering detachment and juggling it with passion and desire. Now I’m having another glimmer of a realisation: Could cynicism create an accidental letting go or detachment – and a space – in which magic can happen? Could that be a thing?..
Whatever the quantum mechanics are, I am so very grateful to all the good people choosing to play The Art Of Being for their listeners. It’s a wonderful feeling to think a home-spun album, made with the help of a small team of talented people who love what they do can actually reach so many people and be given a chance to be heard. Without hype, without glitz, without a big budget marketing plan.
Like so many other events of my life the last few years, it makes me realise I often don’t know best, I aim too low and the patterns of the past that I’ve observed do not always predict the future. No way. It feels like I’m learning from one of the songs on The Art Of Being, The Angel Within. In it I wrote,
“let you heart break open, let new light in…”
I’m still doing that. Trying, at least. Letting new people in, letting new information in, letting new ways of doing things in, letting new ways of feeling in. I recommend it, whoever and wherever you are, kind and curious reader of these words. Think about it. If you were to try something similar in your life,.. Make something. Let it happen. See what happens. Without knowing what will happen. Sure, there’s an element of risk. You might be disappointed. But there’s also an element of joy. You might be amazed.