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November 24, 2008 / alunatunes

November 24- The Musician and Money


Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for.
“Our life energy is our allotment of time here on earth, the hours of precious life available to us. When we go to our jobs we are trading our life energy for money. You could even say that money equals our life energy. So, while money has no intrinsic reality, our life energy does — at least to us. It’s tangible, and it’s finite. It is precious because it is limited and irretrievable and because our choices about how we use it express the meaning and purpose of our time here on earth. Money is something you consider valuable enough to spend easily a quarter of your allotted time here on earth getting, spending, worrying about, fantasising about or in some other way reacting to. “-Your Money Or Your Life

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.

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4 Comments

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  1. Moxie / Nov 25 2008 2:36 am

    Hey got your comment over at CheapTricks.wordpress.com, Thanks so much. I love this article. You’re right we do spend way to much energy in the pursuit money which is often mistaken for happiness. I think this can pertain to all Artists. Less time focused on making more money and how you’re going to spend it allows more time to create and share your gift with the world.

  2. Frugal Dad / Nov 25 2008 2:46 pm

    “A full quarter of our finite life time here on earth is spent earning and spending dollars.” That quote really struck me, too! In fact, it was probably my favorite section in Your Money or Your Life because it really forced me to evaluate how much life energy I was trading for stuff!

    • alunatunes / Dec 9 2008 2:46 pm

      Moonstruck loves Frugal Dad – thanks for bringing so much to my attention Jason. I enjoy reading your blog every single day!

  3. alunatunes / Nov 25 2008 2:59 pm

    Thank you for commenting. I feel not so lonely now!!

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