It has been a while since I last sat down and put thoughts to paper (virtually, at least). I avoid doing journal-like accounts of my days as that takes time out of whatever I’m doing. While I do have my BA in Journalism (!) if I try chronicling each day I get wrapped up in grammar, phrasing, sentence flow, etc. and spend too much time on composing material that satisfies the writer aspect of my life. If progress for that day was less than instantly spectacular I tend to get a bit sour in my accounts (which shoves me into cynicism, which tends to stick around). Too frequently I don’t see immediate benefits from my promo/calls/emails/EPKs – even my practicing – but the results are apparent later (days/weeks/even months). If I let myself get dragged down with a muddy attitude I lose my focus and miss opportunities and deadlines. And, as anyone involved in artistic pursuits can tell you, that attitude can shut down any sort of progress that may be underway.
One thing that tends to operate a bit under the radar (at least for me) are the various pages I am involved with on ReverbNation.com. I discovered RN years ago, primarily to utilize their easy-to-use widget audio player. Their capabilities have expanded over the ensuing years and thousands of artists and fans put these functions to good use. They do tend to focus most of their promotional and booking endeavors on popular markets (as do most of these sort of service-related sites), but they are out there and that widget audio player is still easy to use.
Here’s a listing of the current RN pages I’m part of:
http://www.reverbnation.com/mattrichards – my solo guitar and sideman projects
http://www.reverbnation.com/mattrichardstrio – Matt Richards Group
http://www.reverbnation.com/mattrichardsduo – my duo with flutist Katherine Barbato
http://www.reverbnation.com/jaykatzmattrichardsduo – my duo with vocalist JayKatz
http://www.reverbnation.com/mattrichmusic – my composition / soundtrack work
The composition page is probably new to most listeners. This is work I’ve been involved with for the past year via my use of Finale. The music falls outside of my usual material — in fact, it’s not intended to be performed live. I have orchestrated older pieces of mine and composed completely new works. While I may incorporate some Finale orchestration in my recordings in the future I’m primarily just exercising my composing and arranging skills. I do entertain the idea of doing soundtracks with the music, but it’s a whole new thing for me. (I’m a better guitarist than composer right now….)
On other fronts, I’m working on the new solo recording along with performances with JayKatz, Howard Miller, Tony Hughes and Katherine Barbato (who’s back in town now).
I’ll have more updates soon, as well as some guitar/music-oriented postings. It’s time to do the late-night promo push.
See you all soon.