There are many ways that you can get your music out there. You need to get your music out there. Okay.
If either of these two things are going to happen, you need to really dissect what it means to be ‘your music’, and you need to really consider what it means to be ‘out there’. Everything, in terms of music creation, starts in some kind of sanctum, some kind of established zone, some mentally enclosed area. In this place, ‘your music’ needs no definition… everything who is playing it already has the instruments to understand, and the intimate audience, if there is one, is too engaged to ponder thereupon. In this place, your music is you totally, you entirely, it’s your soul, your surface feelings or your deep feelings, your surface thoughts or your deep thoughts, your surface reflexes or your deep reflexes but whatever it is, it’s you as a person without description, without pretext, context, without validation.
It changes when you leave that place: you tell your friend about the music you were playing, you explain to your teacher that you play music, you email a music blog saying you played music, you list music on your ‘Interests’, you go up to the landlord after a gig saying that you play music too and could you have a gig, you tell someone you fancy that you funnily enough play music yadayadayada…. What kind of music they ask
Do you see where I am going with this? Because, the moment that question is asked, the musical moment you had in that sanctum alone or with a fellow musician now requires some kind of public validation, it now needs to conform to concepts, it now needs communicating. What you say is not a given, it’s not intuitive, it’s a mind game, a brain puzzle, even if what you say translates well in your head, it might have the wrong connotations for the person you’re talking too.
This is the extraordinary world we live in…
…Where art and music is never truly fundamentally recognised, it’s violated every time we even try to talk about it. The moment you talk about it, the moment you plant a seed in someones head for an estranged organ of association, if they ever do hear your music, they will see the label first, and listen a split-second later. This is one reason for preferring bold, memorable yet abstract descriptions, rather than to-the-point, neat, determinate descriptions, when you’re simply trying to express to a friend what of some music you heard appealed to you.
That’s the first horn, the second horn is ‘out there’. Out there in the present day is assumed to be the world at large, an indeterminate space where everyone and anyone will coincidentally roam. It really is, look at the people who ostensibly succeed in getting their music ‘out there’: Ed Sheeran is a guy I played gigs with in pubs in Suffolk when I was 14, he then succeeded in getting his music ‘out there’. Now he’s one of the few really really really famous UK artists today. We consider his music ‘out there’ because he’s everywhere, not somewhere in particular, but tangibly everywhere. Yeah, he makes £££££, but that’s beside the point, we consider his popularity not through his income, but because he’s played on Radio, headlines festivals, is in Newspapers, is trending, on TV screens, has a billion likes, gets on top of the charts. And so, musicians everywhere are advised to get everywhere, to get in the heads of as many people as possible, but in particular the people who themselves influence opinions and perspectives of multitudes. Everything of creativity, in aiming merely to persuade or convince the indeterminate average opinion of the universe, becomes opinions for opinions sake, perspectives for perspectives sake, people for people’s sake; the huge chasm of everywhere that artists direct themselves towards causes a kind of creativity inflation, where the original moments are splayed out for the thrill of nothingness.
In explaining these two horns, I have purposefully left a deficit of eloquence and indeed refrained from developing them further. In doing so, I’m not being cynical or particularly fundamentalist about the matter, but rather stating the fact that the budding ‘UP AND COMING’ musicians of today moderately benefit themselves so much more in thinking practically of their particular music as directed to ‘somewhere in particular’, rather than everywhere, that is, unless the music is a beacon of universality and everywhereness (consider Happy by Pharrell Williams), it warrants a more niche destination; a certain type of gig, a certain type of blog, a certain type of publication, a certain kind of delivery.
If there are indeed any musicians reading this, please keep up the submissions (even if you’ve submitted before), we love reading them and are listening in.