"I don't think it is right for a musician to stand up one night and completely blast open someone's heart with the music they give and then go out and sleep on the street while that effected person goes home in their BMW."
statment, being a person that has seen this type of situation from both perspectives.
I just thought it was a Karmic disaster to charge our poor friends for what the gods gave us. I thought we sould develope a fan base and then go play at the crobar and charge. We got back a little magic a few years latter in '03 when Caleb worked a deal where we got paid but there was no cover charge. Ideal. The bar makes a lot more selling beer that way and the listeners are more relaxed. This may be the root of p22 troubles over the years...
I think I've purposely disabled the $$$ Music connection over the years. Remeber Phish wrote some awesome songs when they were poor(relatively speaking), when they were millionaires they broke up so Trey could head up to brokeback mountain with dave mathews.
In 1994 the band I was in www.geocities.com/rjs121576/crosseyed.html had a meeting with a big time producer who wanted to "handle": us and make a shitload of money. We descided not to go through with it becasue we belived that art is sacrificed for money. I've been stuck with this philosophy since to the dismay of James Jack and Celleher, but I think some of the other 22ers know what it is about, and I know Kordish, Mike and Caleb "Feel" that this is true. "Feel" means "realy realy realy know its true".
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Don't you dare put words in my mouth Joe. Success is a fickle thing. Money has to be made in this society or you die. That is a fact. Someone has to pay for food, someone has to pay for everything. Music is free. And anyone who thinks it isn't is a moron. Sometimes we pay for music. It is still free. It is free because we are expressing ourselves in any way and other people are digging it. Other people are happy to give money.
When I was a young lad of seven and I was in New York City with my parents, I ran into someone playing the saxophone on the street for the first time. It was beautiful. The tones resonated throught the street and lifted everything up a little bit...just enough so everything on the block had a just a little more magic in it. I didn't have any money, but I wanted to give him money sooo bad. I wanted to because I was being selfish. Ididn't feel bad for the guy, he deffinately looked cold, but that wasn't why I wanted to give him money. I wanted to give him money because I wanted to pay for it. I wanted to be one of the people that threw money in the case to say, "Hey man, I dig what you are saying! This music is changing history right now and I am here, I am hearing it!"
In every culture in the world people honor one another in some form whether it be chickens, goats, jewels, beads, fur, coins, rubels, music, art, the voice, a hug...these are all gifts and we are sharing them.
I would rather give a musician money than most people in the world. It is everybody's decision, thier POWER to decide what they want to do with thier money.
Remember Joe, somebody pays for it. Nothing is free. I would say that at least 25% of all the money I have ever made has gone to putting on some kind of "free" festival or party. And I am always so happy to give. What I am realizing now is, so are other people.
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Seems we have two opposing opinions circulating (kind of) on this topic.
First of all to say a little about opposing opinions. Allowing opposing opinions to be OK in one's life often requires a special sort of politeness. If you resolve to civil discourse as a means to resolve opposing views you can avoid what normally reduces to a "street brawl". That's what war is in a sense. A break down of civil discourse. Ultimately it is ignorance and stupidity that causes civil discourse to break down. Where one does not have the means to achieve their aim without engaging in some sort of tyranny. So in reality war, in my opinion, is simply a result of stupidity and ignorance. Really just the inability to maintain a reasonable level of mastery over our animal like impulses. Someone once said that if dogs had the ability to maintain a standing position on their hind legs as well as the ability to speak human language you would see that they would be very similar to most human beings in demeanor. Living to eat, sleep, and maintain possesions. In my opinion we would find the dog higher than many human beings just because of a dog's ability to be truely loyal to something. The dog also may be higher if you take into consideration a dog generally doesn't have the capacity to override these impulses. Human beings, according to spiritual texts at least, and in my opinion, have been given a specific gift to develop mastery over the beastial nature.
I'm not saying don't defend yourself. When you slip on something one of your first impulses you have is to put your hand out to break the fall. However, even in martial arts one of the first things you learn is how to fall better. You learn to resist the impulse of putting out your hand because this act, a decent amount of the time, can lead to a broken wrist. You have to learn to re-train that initial impulse which often times leads to that broken bone, broken heart, broken friendship. Same with learning to first enter into civil discourse and not reverting to just putting that animal reaction out there bearing its teeth, ruffling its feathers, or "yawning" in the case of the Hippo.
So Money in Music (some of my opinions)
I think Money is a one of the great testers we have in this life. Money is very powerful in this material world we find ourselves in. Too much of it, for many, often times leads to arrogance, greed, deception...and other lowly qualities. It can be a tough one to master.
I learned a tough one with money last year. Out of the blue someone gave me $50,000 unconditionally i.e. "its yours kid, have fun". Little did I know I was being spiritually tested. Suddenly my wife and I began having these urges (strong ones none the less) in ways we never had. Luckily my heart caught on fairly quickly but not before we had taken some wasteful steps. It seemed so easy with that potent debit card to just get this thing and that thing, go on a little vacation. All of the sudden I slip a disc in my back and can't work for six months. Now, if you live in a three bedroom house in a nice part of the bay area your monthly living expenses can easily get into the 6 - 10K range. Suddenly all this money we had come into began draining out like water drains from a bath tub...sinking, and fast. One part of me began freaking out but with everything we lost I, in a way, would feel lighter and more wholesome. My wife and I acknowledged this and the spiritual lesson became quite clear to us. We had been given the chance to experience first hand how attachments to money function. We worked and continue to work dilligently to break these ties to this material thing for the sake of our very souls. Speaking for myself, as far as I know, and we'll see the next time we come into a large amount of "disposable" income, I've managed to get a grip on most of it.
This raises an interesting question, "is money inherently evil?". The short answer to this is the human being's lower, beastial nature is the thing that is inherently evil, not the money. Money in many situations is an avenue of mercy. Orfanages can be built, musicians who spread peace can focus on this gift full time and not have to wash dishes, Kordish can hook up his cell phone. Giving a ton of money to a person who hasn't broken their attachment to sensation, security, power and asking them not to be corrupt with it in any way, shape, or form is the same as giving a monkey a gun and telling the monkey not to shoot anything. So if money isn't inherently evil and the person's lower desires are, what of the question, "should money be avoided all together?". No, in short. Here is why:
I used to hold the view, especially pertaining to music that, "money should be avoided all together". The idea was that money corrupts things and to avoid your music being corrupted, avoid money. The great and unfortunate misunderstanding here is that the money is the thing that does the corrupting when in actuality it is the human being. I also would like to mention that unlike the monkey shooting something when given a gun, the human being has the capacity to know and do better if they apply themselves, and it is an active thing, not passive. Even an animal has to be active in some way to get its food, but an animal if you notice also only takes what it needs (another important idea when talking about money).
So, in my opinion, money is not the thing to fear. The thing you should fear instead are those lowly desires. I think that avoiding money to bypass the dilemma is a mistake. Reason being: from my experience I have learned often times those desires can be like "fire in the flint", hidden and dormant. Why wake them up? Even when dormant or veiled they can still hold back one's full potential as a human being. One has the potential for incredible things if they can learn to master the temptations of darkness. It is one of the primary ideas behind Sufism to be a spiritual person in the market place. Sure all is fine and dandy up in the cave meditating but the real mastery I believe is to be able to be "in the world but not of the world". All is fine and dandy up in the cave meditating but what good are you to humankind? Especially these days when acts of kindness are diminishing moment to moment. Not that there isn't a time to retreat to reflect and get yourself healed and clear. But return and share the goodness, help things out, spread some joy. Seems if the corrupters of the earth could learn to be content with what they have they might stop their quest for more this and that. How would they hear the message of peace if we were all holed up in cave's? They would eventually destroy the cave if given time (as you can see).
Woops, little side track, getting late. Back to the matter: If you look at Money in Music and use examples like Phish I think you can see an example where a group of people failed at mastering the lowly qualities money and success tend to bring out. Had they been successful...who knows what sort of band we would have. It brings up another interesting examination into what the real reasons people do things for are:
Some people do things to avoid being punished. If they succeed in not getting punished generally they stop developing or stop altogether at that point, goal achieved.
Some people do things so they can be comfortable, have nice things, enjoy the fruits of this material world. Generally, and I think this is the case with many musicians, once they achieve this goal they stop developing or stop altogether.
The ones we are concerned with for the sake of peace, love, and mercy are the ones who do something for the sake of the thing (this generally involves a deep love). All the benefits they gain from doing the thing are secondary to their love for doing that thing. So they never cease developing their art no matter the security, comforts, wealth, etc.
In this example it is interesting to note that the first two intentions are oriented to the lower aspects, security, material comforts, etc. The latter is oriented to love, a higher quality in the human being.
I could go on and on about this one because money covers such a large domain in human matters.
Final Remarks: I think if you want to get the most out of your music you need to seek to get the most out of your human soul. This involves mastering the lowly beastial nature that impedes the desension of the soul's inherently immaculate qualities into the material world. The nature of heart as related to soul is that the world of the heart is like the roots of a tree (hidden, yet the life sustaining foundation) and the soul's light is like the rain that decends from the heavens and is absorbed through those roots ultimately giving this tree what it needs to grow and bare fruits. The bark of the tree is like the qualities of politeness, goodness, and discernment that protect from the day to day weathering. It is only when all of these work in conjuntion that the tree is able to weather great storms and provide shade for those who sit beneath it.
When you reject the natural occurance of anything you are imposing your ego and limited belief systems onto a wisdom human beings can seldomly understand. So in my opinion it is best to accept what comes naturally and learn to master the difficult situations (rather than reject them) that arise from doing this i.e. you come down with a life threatening illness and instead of falling into victimization or rejection in any form, you strive to learn, to understand, to see the deeper meaning behind the situation. If you do this you will understand this saying: ...you think you are a small star, while you contain the entire universe..."
In the end when speaking on this topic of Money in Music I think it is OK to receive something for the work you do. If you find that the money takes away from the music and you can't solve the problem it might be better in this case to save the music but be aware, this problem will likely arise again in another area of your life bearing the same theme.
Joe, yes I did catch that Feynman post. Thank you for putting it up, its a beautiful post.
What I was intending to pull out in the initial Measurements vs. Meanings post is one of the same ideas the Feynman article poses. Summed up: Not stopping with the outer forms and taking into account the deeper meanings behind the forms.
In the Feynman post he seems to relate the importance of taking both into account, the outer and the inner. He points out here and there how some cannot grasp and rather reject the outer form saying the inner is better. In my opinion, Feynman in this article, shows the masterful balance of possesing both sides of the story. A middle road per se. I think he is right.
The inital post was meant to draw attention to those who do not look beyond the outer and rather reject the inner meaning.
I think in the case of rejecting either the inner or the outer, one is setting themselves up for problems and missed opportunities. Symptomatically I think those that reject the outer tend to have sort of a lost quality and the inability to function rationally in the world. Those who reject the inner I think tend to be very robotic, feelingless, stiff, etc.
I, like Feynman in his article, believe that both are necessary. The fact that other than this tends to produce difficult symptoms in the personality serves as a proof.
I know in many spiritual traditions it is recommended to hold that middle road approach. The imbalance of not maintaining this often times leads to fanatisism or on the other hand the loss of what might benefit a practicioner.
In music it is the same. If you don't practice the theory you generally get lost and have a hard time functioning musically. If you only practice and don't look beyond the scales to take in the meaning, the music often times sounds empty and pointless.
My post wasn't meant to knock science. I think your post better displays the highest knowledge on this issue.