Of Money for Passion

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

I would like to record a CD.

The problem with recording the CD is that only some of the music that I play on my folk harp is open source. Also, it’s traditional Celtic and folk music, which I don’t really find inspiring as desirable to a large audience including my peers. Adults want to listen to soft Celtic harp music. Yes, yes – I am an adult, but not in the way that I am thinking about it. These people have children. They have held down jobs for a long time. Careers, even. They drive cars that they have actually paid off and live in houses that they own and celebrate Christmas around the tree with extended families and maybe little grandchildren. In my mind, that is my demographic, and while I love those people just as much as my peers when I meet them on the street, they’re just not. . . fun.

So, I would like to record a CD.

In my mind, I hear the music of my songs – my low alto voice crooning harshly and smoothly in and out of the jagged arpeggios. Perhaps an accompanying guitar for a few of the songs. Lyrics from my life of rain and bars and love.

I have these songs.

Scribbled on note paper, crumpled into folders, tucked in the back of my mind – waiting for the opportunity to become a reality.

There’s this new website. It’s kind of a trendy thing right now called Kickstarter. Some of my friends have had success with it, and so for shits and giggles, I went ahead and applied to see if they would be cool with my trying to raise money selfishly so that I could produce a CD. Of course, they did accept my proposal, and now I am left with this empty page just begging for me to fill out and begin asking my friends and family to fund my project.

This means I will have to practice.

This brings about some guilt. Harp playing and music in general is a passion of mine and to ask for money for it, seems a slightly wrong. I look to Charles DeLint in these matters, a fantastic author who also is quite knowledged as a performer and street musician. “So long as you apply yourself with honesty and create from the heart, the end result is truthful.” One of his characters, with which I self-identify greatly, says in his book; Memory and Dream, followed up by, “It might not be good, per se, but it still has worth. And I think that goes for any creative endeavor.” Always the realist.

In another of DeLint’s books, The Onion Girl, a busking character, not unlike myself says: “It keeps me honest. If people like what you’re doing, they stop and listen, maybe throw you a few coins. If they don’t, they just walk on by. Where else can you get such an honest reaction to your music?” That is exactly my philosophy about busking, and why it makes it so difficult for me when I take on wedding gigs and don’t necessarily get to play whatever bursts from my heart to my finger tips.

Asking for money when they haven’t heard the finished project is difficult for me. I am definitely going to sit down and think long and hard if this is something that I want to commit to. After all, if the donation procurement succeeds, I will have to provide a product.

I just don’t want to feel like a harpstitute, peddling my wares all over the internet.

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