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September 13, 2008 / alunatunes

September 13-Nine to Five vs Dusk to Dawn

Cory Brackett in NYC with a visiting Orb

Cory Brackett in NYC with a visiting Orb



“Since the beginning of man, the hours between dusk and dawn have belonged to the tellers of tales and the makers of music.” Stanhope House, 1790

Vincent Van Gogh believed the night was more alive and more richly colored than the day. Thomas Jefferson professed “the sun has not caught me in bed for fifty years”. Jefferson was an inventor, an architect, a gardener, a politician, an intellectual. But Van Gogh was an artist and with the artists’ temperment comes a strong affectation for the night. Whether it is the peace and quiet that lures us to work into the wee hours, or the simple fact that most music events happen at night, troubadors adopt the evening as their work “day”.  Musical performances typically begin between 8 and 10pm. and musicians are expected to play from late in the evening to early in the morning. It’s extremely difficult to simply fall asleep after performing. Which makes the typical bed time of a musican at least an hour past dawn!

This would not be a problem if the music BUSINESS world worked only at night. Albeit, many projects and meetings do follow the up all night, sleep all day regime, business generally falls not between the hours of dusk and dawn but between the hours of 9am and 5pm. An effective musician needs to learn to shift between these hours to optimize communication and facilitate business.

“The never refreshed are not that much fun to be around.” Sarah Ban Breathnatch reminds us. And the sleep deprived are not very effective. Those of us who have precariously balanced raising children and day work with the demands of playing schedules and studio sessions, understand that finding the right time to work and rest often means learning to adapt at all hours. Our stamina and energy coincide with our internal timing, our circadian clock. Our trancendent clock, our kairos timing, resonates in our creative selves. Combining the two into a steady stream of efficient energy is worth the effort.

Be aware of your timing. Is it off on Mondays after a full weekend of shows or studio sessions? Do you feel more energized at the beginning of the week than the end? Does your sleep schedule invade half of the rest of the world’s workday? Pay attention to your own circadian clock and use your peak hours and days to optimize your music business work.  Never forget sleep is nature’s way of restocking our stores of energy, enthusiasm, clarity and creativity. Sleep allows us to dream and discover and is necessary for us to unlatch creativity and performance.

“One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” said Leonardo da Vinci. Heed his words. Master your time. Master yourself.


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