Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bring on the Angst , it's Good for the Creative Mind

Well, the week ended pretty much OK. With a case of writers' block eventually fading into the ether, and the prospect of a couple of interesting projects in the pipeline**, life was looking only dull rather than bleak. It was time to head off to an industry party.

As one who rarely attends such events, I find them refreshing in their total honesty towards a field whose greatest endeavour is to put a brave face on a plight, which for most, is one endless round of ups and downs, swings and roundabouts, obstructions and frustrations. The sound engineer who comments that those computer nerds are ruining business for everyone by providing cheap and accessible technology, although the average punter has no idea how to use it and over compresses everything to an ear bleeding zero. The television studio producer who laments the fact that he will no longer have a studio to work in, on the account that the real estate on which it stands is to be sold to the highest bidder, and the programmes and the building in which they were made will be outsourced, himself not included. The budding director maxing out the credit card to provide interim funding until such times as the "big finance" guys will fling themselves at his latest project of utter brilliance, and rescue the tortured soul of a true artist. The musician who can't sell any CD's because his music can be found on the internet for free, and most of the venues around town have stopped hiring musicians, having replaced them with the appropriate hippest and hottest knob twiddlers of the minute.

You would think that it would be easy to become depressed under such conditions.

But this is not the case. With a smile and a shrug of the shoulders to indicate that this is always the way it has been, all involved merrily laugh off such minor setbacks as trivial afterthought, and carry on forward. It has been this way for millennia and will probably be so for millennia to come. From the time of the first rock art ( that's the caves, not the music scene ) when Adam first slung mud at something and made it stick, the humble artist is the one who inspires both looks of admiration and total pity, all rolled up in a feeling usually reserved for the feeble minded.
But it's OK ! We're tough, we're resilient, and it is because of it that the latest compositions of the angst ridden soul are born. Without angst and without a reason to bemoan, we would have no art to create. So please keep putting out cheaper and cheaper computers, please keep selling the real estate in which we work, please keep providing endless finance to those who can't afford it, and please keep stealing the music for which we are trying to make a living.

For without all of that, we would be well off, middle class, boring, fashion conscious, media guzzling, consumeristic, uncaring dullards with nothing to moan about at industry parties. And with no angst, there would be no art to create. Now that really would be bleak......

** niteshifts’ new single “Linda Lou” with the band KAW Creation, now available on iTunes , Amazon , eMusic and Limewire and coming soon to Rhapsody .