I imagine we've all reached a place beyond our imaginings now. A world of indefinite physical isolation while being virtually connected is not the future of flying cars and teleporters that I imagined. For a lot of us, our livelihoods and security are facing existential threats, while others are so busy there's no time to even process the cultural, societal and personal trauma we're experiencing.
As an "independent" artist, I have always been subject to the winds of the greater world affecting the people upon whom I am completely dependent - my audiences and album buyers who take the time, make the effort and spend their money on what I am creating and sharing. A decade ago, my salary consisted of performance income from concerts and workshops, sales of recordings and merchandise, and royalties. Since streaming services have now largely supplanted music sales on physical and digital media, not much remains of the other old pillars to cover the sudden loss of performing revenue.
Add to that, performing is an emotional and spiritual vocation, and now the feedback loop between artist and audience is broken almost completely. Almost. Now artists sequestered at home are having to make up the losses from tour and merch revenue through live-streaming video performances. While I've been vidcasting for over a decade, artists who are new to this space are struggling with the visual feedback of joyous audiences being replaced with Likes, Comments, and perhaps the chat room alongside their own face staring back at them from a computer or phone.
Of course, I am hugely grateful for you taking the time to read this, and for your support of my art. I do have secure accounts at Venmo (preferred - they don't charge me a fee) and Paypal and if you are so inclined, thank you!
But you need support too. You need art and music to help bring meaning to the beauty and pain, and all of the things that artists and creative people do to help us understand, cope and carry on. While sequestered you are likely consuming massive amounts of art daily - stories written, actors acting, captured and brought to life filmmakers and graphic designers, composers and musicians. You are likely missing hearing live music at your neighborhood pub or theatre, community and music festivals that you enjoy each year, or going to the cinema. The output and business of creativity is a huge chunk of your life and your community.
I have my role to play and I have a lot to give back. I've been blessed with gifts that have connected me with thousands of my fellow humans over the last quarter century. I'm going to do everything I can to be here for you. I'm going to do some short free performances regularly for those in hard financial straits, and I'll do a couple of longer shows each month where you can support me and my family while enjoying a concert and yes, interacting with personally via the Chat Room.
Best part of all of this is that none of us has to leave home to enjoy being together for awhile.