November 24- The Musician and Money
Irretrievable, precious minutes, hours and days are spent on the job in the pursuit of money. A full quarter of our finite life time here on earth is spent earning and spending dollars. When I first stumbled upon this paragraph three years ago, I re-read it a dozen or more times. Never had I thought of life energy, hours, minutes quite this way. As a frugalist in a world of consumerism, I understood the power of saving over spending, but had never thought about the “life energy=money” equation.
In the art world, we’re accustomed to perhaps working a day job or plying an alternative income path as we work on creativity as an income source. We recognize the day job as life energy forming a dream fund for our music pursuits. We work 9-5 to play guitar from 10-2.
The musician’s life energy is spent in the rehearsal room, the studio, the bar, the venue, the festival. His life energy is spent alone in a bedroom working on guitar tone, phrasing, vocals, and songwriting. He travels on bus, van, car or plane. His life energy becomes one continuous symphony of all the elements that go into creating music and bringing ideas to fruition.
Your life energy is irreplaceable. It will have an end. As much as we love to work on our craft and as much as we hope it will serve us as an income source, we would do well to remember music often does not pay enough to sustain us. It therefore, becomes imperative to think about simplicity and frugality as intrinsic elements to help us along our path of survival as a musician. This week, as Black Friday and the spending furor that is Christmas begins, we’ll take time to understand needs and wants, how to curb our spending to create more time for art and how to find alternative means of sustaining our music dreams.
Understand, money is life energy. Understand if you purchase an Earth Ticket (as Col. Bruce Hampton calls the material life) you will seriously erode your ability to focus on your art, as paying for all your “stuff” will take all your life energy. Being a musician is a practice in balance. Learning to earn and spend wisely frees us to create more time for music and to connect with spirit to bring love and gifts of harmony to the world.