Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the tag “soul”

If blues, jazz, and soul music had a baby…..

HipHop and Soul fall in love :)…Featured guests on my album!

Three of my fellow artists/collaborators/friends have contributed their talents to my upcoming album….5 days left till it is released!  I thought I’d share these featured tracks with you today!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  Thanks so much to my dear friends:  Here are links to their pages in case you want to hear more from them:

Dash the Baptist: https://soundcloud.com/d-dash-flow

Ben Z: http://benz.bandcamp.com/album/my-new-mix-tape

TheNamesMillen: https://soundcloud.com/thenamesmillen

How Much Should We Charge for our Art? …and 10 quotes about Art

Helloooo!  I thought I’d start this post off with that lil’ gem:).  As I continue to sort out the process of putting together my album, the meaning and value of art has continuously been creeping into my mind.  As such, I decided to look up what others have said about art in the past.  Here are 10 of the ones that I came across that I liked the best:

True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.
Albert Einstein

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Pablo Picasso

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Thomas Merton

Every artist was first an amateur. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
George Bernard Shaw

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
Henry Ward Beecher

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.
Pablo Picasso

An artist never really finishes his work, he merely abandons it.
Paul Valery

The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.
Walt Whitman

Any work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line.
Joseph Conrad
Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it.

Duke Ellington

Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.
Gloria Steinem

Controversy is part of the nature of art and creativity.
Yoko Ono
I don’t need the money, dear. I work for art.
Maria Callas

That last quote by Maria Callas brought to mind a question.  Should we charge for art?  Does asking someone to give you some arbitrary amount of money for your heart and soul’s expression make sense?  Is there another transaction that can be made between creator and consumer that would be more meaningful?  These are the questions on my mind as I continue down this road of creating a “thing” that I’d like others to see, touch, hear, connect to.  To me, my creations are the story that results from my soul’s interpretation of the points where it connects with the world and the people in it.  What price do you charge for something like that? $9.99?

The Choice…

Photo on 1-12-13 at 12.49 AM

There are many choices music-makers must make.  Which guitar to buy, which software, which gigs to take and which ones to drop, and so on and so forth.  There is another choice music-makers must make that you may or may not be familiar with.  It is this:  do I make music for me OR for them?  In other words, where should my loyalties lie — to my own heart or to the tastes of others.  It may seem an easy pick for some, but given a closer look…it may not be as black and white as you think.  Let me explain.

If someone chooses the former – their own heart – and they make music without ANY regard for the listener, what could be the result?  Well, for certain, they would be making music that they truly love and that comes from a pure place.  They would be happy, right?  But…what if the music that they truly love is great to them and a core group of fans, but does not crossover to the masses?  As it is for most people who are creators (generally), that person’s joy would be tempered by the fact that they weren’t able to share their creations with as many people as possible.  Music is a message, something one wants to say, if no one hears the message…well.  In addition to not having a means with which to disseminate your soul’s message to the world, you may also not have the means to pay your bills (or have much clout as far as status goes).  An unfortunate downside of capitalism is, if you don’t have an audience, you don’t have money.  Wouldn’t it be great if we all got paid just because we created something?  But c’est la vie, that is not the world we live in.

Which brings me to the other side of the – coin; choosing to make music for others.  For the very reasons listed above, many many many have chosen to compromise or – forsake altogether – their true, deep, heart songs for a much more accessible version.  The story lines get vague, universal, and – at times – shallow… enough for everyone to be able to stand in the water.  This translates to more listeners and more financial and status-related rewards.  May even get you the I-Ching of music awards – a Grammy.  However, with what you gain in funds and social rank, you may lose in conscience.  You know you are making music that has been toned down or has been gently painted over by someone else.  You wish you were free to just “do your thing” and not care what any other person has to say about it.  But, if you did that, that would bring you right back to where we first started.  Vicious cycle.  Complex choice.

Told ya – not so easy.  I bet you can think of people you know who have made either choice and I bet that if you sat down with them and had a conversation, this stuff would eventually show up. Now some may say there are plenty of people who did not have to make the choice between the two.  That they were able to make PURE music AND have widespread acceptance and success.  One may bring up Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Bjork.  True, these clearly made music that was true to themselves and they had HUGE audiences and financial gain.  Well….kinda.  They did have producers who added a little of this and took a little of that out, right?  Is that not a compromise of sorts (though minimal).  Furthermore, these cases are rare and specific to timing and favorable conditions.

So….hmmm.  What do we do?  What choice do we make if in either choice we are bound to betray ourselves?  Can we look down on people like _______ (fill in the blank) or others who’ve gone to great lengths to make music that appeals to the masses but may not be 100% true to who they really are?  It is a tough choice, even more so for those who come from “da streets” and are just trying to survive and get out or from a broken home and are just trying to find people that love you.  You may be wondering what I chose.  Well….I have made absolutely 0 dollars off of any song I ever made.  Let’s leave it at that;).  How about you?  Agree/Disagree?  What choice did you make?

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