I’ve been invisible long enough………..

…..and have, quite honestly, been focused on expanding my visibility via Twitter, Facebook and most other so-called ‘social networks’. Much to my displeasure it seems to take an inordinate amount of my time, time better spent practicing and getting music together. I know I’ve ranted about the disadvantage of artists being solely responsible for their publicity in a 24/7 manner. While there are quite a lot of active musicians doing just that, they seem to active as promoters more than as musical artists. While publicizing oneself is a real requirement now, it seems time and effort must be spent on assuring that what you are promoting (your music/ your performance) lives up to the hype. Without naming names, that is, too often, not the case. The packaging ends up being much better developed than the contents.

I’m struggling mightily to prevent myself from sliding down that slope. There’s a balance somewhere, an even surface where I don’t always feel pressured to post photos of my breakfast coffee (or tea) each morning…. Old School? Yeah, perhaps, but I am a musician first and I want to be really excellent at that.

My 19yo son commented the other day that there are very few exceptional guitarists under the age of 50 — he noticed that Hendrix was in his 20s when he essentially re-invented not just guitar-playing but modern music. Now, a Hendrix-level artist isn’t going to be a commonality, but given the fact that the artistic doors have been pushed wide by Jimi and so many other kindred spirits (McLaughlin, Coryell, Beck, Johnson, et al) beginning from that time more guitar slingers should be building upon those concepts and ideas. With very few exceptions, in limited ways, they’re not.

It may well be that the business of music has overwhelmed the creation of music – the emphasis is rarely on being a great player but, rather, on marketing. Yes, that is necessary and vital. But, the music needs to grow and evolve and the artists need to do likewise. So few of the young players to day will have a life-long career as they don’t spend the time to develop their artistry and become great musicians who will grow and set the pace for music.

Now, I’m going on and on about one of my favorite issues….. You’d think after three months’ absence I’d have something new…. Oh, here’s a new photo from a recent outdoor event:

From a solo outdoor performance, Spring 2015

From a solo outdoor performance, Spring 2015

(Guitar aficionados: It’s a rare moment with me playing in traditional classical style.)

I’ll be doing this (posting) more often…. with more substance, I promise.

Matt

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