This is the legacy blog for VINCET.NET – come over there to see more!
I was asked this week which comes first, the poetry or the music
[I’m going to assume it’s not a question of prioritization for the time being]
And I really don’t have an answer, well not any that is any easier to understand than the chicken and the egg at least.
Sometimes a line of poetry will spur a melody, or a chord progression on the guitar – and a song will emerge.
Sometimes a chord progression or melody will in turn spur a line of poetry – or at least a lyrical frame – and a song will emerge.
Sometimes a complete poem will sit for weeks, months, years and suddenly a piece of music will make sense when bedded beneath the words.
One marked shift over time – I will rarely if ever write a lyric for a song
[verses, choruses, bridge, etc.]
without a guitar in hand. In my immature, naive song-writing life, that was how I mostly did it – writing on scraps of paper and in lyric books.
The songs that emerged were ponderous and didn’t grab people.
So I stopped doing that – long pieces will typically stay as poems, or be reshaped to song.
Reading over this as I write, I realize that I interchange poetry and lyrics all the time – I know that probably upsets some purists, but these strands of the muse run so close
for me, that it’s easier not to try to separate them.
So, which comes first? It depends on where the muse leads me in the moment.
Not much of an answer, I know, but an answer all the same!
So, here’s an interesting thing – I have a favour to ask. Would you be willing to be part of an experiment with me?
Back in September, I shared how I was moving most, if not all, my spontaneous creative work to Patreon. It’s why I’ve been so quiet here since.
A small number of people followed me over there, and I’ve been posting fairly regularly – new songs, impromptu jams, an unfinished novel, prompted poetry – you know, that sort of thing…
I’d like to get more people there but I came across something really, really ANNOYING about Patreon’s functionality.
Put simply, it’s REALLY difficult to find artists on Patreon, unless they’re already successful.
The flip-side of this is that it’s nearly impossible for an artist to find patrons on Patreon! Basically, you have to build audience elsewhere, and get them to Patreon to pay you.
[Patreon then reaps the reward of your hard work through their fee]
Sigh… Such is the way of things in the arts on the internet.
Still, it got me thinking – and the idea for my little experiment began to form.
Here it is in a nutshell:
For every 5 patrons I have at Patreon, I will ask the community to tell me 3 undiscovered artists who I can, in turn, sponsor on Patreon.
Basically, each one of my patrons will actually be sponsoring 1.6 artists just by sponsoring me at Patreon
[8 artists sponsored by 5 Patrons]
Though, of course, in reality it’s me sponsoring the extra 3.
[and yes, passing on 60% of my sponsorship]
My self-interest is simply to be able to afford to keep making music, writing books, and offering them to the world – but to be able to do that while also helping others do the same is just amazing.
So, here’s my question: Are you willing to be part of my experiment?
If so, all you need to do is sponsor me at Patreon – here are the per-month levels:
- $1 – No reward – just for those who want to help me do what I do
- $1 – Music Fan – you receive a physical and digital copy of any new CD I release
- $2 – Avid Reader – you will receive a hard- or e-copy of any new novel I release
- $10 – SUPERFAN! – you will receive physical and digital copies of any new CD or Novel I release, and private invitation to special events online and face-to-face
And, of course, you can choose to pay more than those subscription levels, but the amounts above are the minimum to get going.
So what say you? Are you willing to help me help you help my sisters and brothers in art?
First off, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has read me here over the past seven years – you have my love – but it is with a pragmatist’s mind that I’ve decided to move all my spontaneous creative work to Patreon.
There are two main reasons for this:
- The reality of needing to put food on the table, so there MUST be some return on investment for the time I spend creating
- My growing annoyance with the “let the public have everything” nature of art on the internet – I would rather create for a small, select group who actually care to join me than for a wide public who pass by every now and then
I’ve learned much about myself and presenting myself to the world over the past seven years – and my major learning is that this experiment doesn’t work for me.
So it’s time to try a different track.
If you like what you’ve read here, please come along and support me at Patreon – just a dollar a month gets you through the door.
And if you don’t care to join me, thanks for being here anyway. If not me, please consider supporting an artist today.
Who will you blame
when you’ve shut everyone out
when no scapegoat is left
the tar and feathers
When it’s all been taken from you
by those you trusted
who told you everything
was safe in their hands?
When alone on your island
times gone by
keep you barely warm?
Who will you blame?
Who will you blame?
She’s an oil painting
The day’s end
but a universe
[I have no idea where this came from this morning, it just started speaking to me]
I am very, very lucky to be part of an incredible music scene here in South East New England
[some have suggested New London, CT is the Live Music Capital of New England – and who am I to disagree]
The Whalie Awards celebrate the breadth and depth of talent across our corner of the universe and I’ve am honoured and humbled to have been nominated across the past few years, including winning the Americana Record Of The Year for 2014 with Sparse.
While winning may be nice, I know of no musician here for whom the making of music is in pursuit of awards, and the same is true for me. Every year, the Whalies serve to remind me of how lucky I am to make music, and to share that music in collaboration with so many others. For this reason, you won’t see or hear me shouting that you need to go and vote for me or mine in the people’s choice awards. If it helps, you should know that I don’t vote for myself in the awards!
For those keeping track, though, I (or we) have been nominated for the following awards this year:
- Best Rock Act – Anne Castellano & The Smoke (my lead guitar gig)
- Best Rock Act – Monkey68 (my band)
- Best Singer-Songwriter – Vincent Tuckwood
- Best Music Series – Common Ground Open Mic
Voting for People’s Choice ends tomorrow (6th June) and ceremony is next Saturday, 11th June – immediately following that, Anne Castellano & The Smoke, are playing at 33 Golden Street, just down the street from the awards – so I guess we get the after-party!
The beauty of accepting that my music has limited commercial viability
[I am blessed to have a small group of followers who enjoy and support what I do, and they have my love]
is that it removes nearly all my self-imposed constraints.
My online-only release last year, Writer’s Flow – Music For Writing, is a great example, recorded and released in short order, and trying to be nothing more than it is: music for writing.
Start to finish, it was an enjoyable piece of art and craft – a large part of which was that it wasn’t song-based. I’ve always made instrumental sketches, and have many demos of non-vocal tracks, but because of that notion of commercial viability, I’d always limited myself to the expectation that I was a
songwriter, who would perform, record and release records of songs. With lyrics.
As I let this go, I can feel a
instrumental record emerging. A couple with words, but mostly instrumental.
In practice, things like this are emerging:
Literally, the first thing I played after pulling an old flanger out of the cupboard and adding it to my practice board. And, while it’s a rough take on my Ditto Looper, it’s not a million miles from what will end up on the record.
For any of us, giving up a long-cherished hope/aspiration, is a tough road, yet the acceptance can lead to just doing what you enjoy doing – music is such a gift, and these instrumental ideas/motifs are always just beneath my surface – diving into the pool is proving sweet relief.