A little experiment: Sharing the love at Patreon

So, here’s an interesting thing – I have a favour to ask. Would you be willing to be part of an experiment with me?

Back in September, I shared how I was moving most, if not all, my spontaneous creative work to Patreon. It’s why I’ve been so quiet here since.

A small number of people followed me over there, and I’ve been posting fairly regularly – new songs, impromptu jams, an unfinished novel, prompted poetry – you know, that sort of thing…

I’d like to get more people there but I came across something really, really ANNOYING about Patreon’s functionality.

Put simply, it’s REALLY difficult to find artists on Patreon, unless they’re already successful.

The flip-side of this is that it’s nearly impossible for an artist to find patrons on Patreon! Basically, you have to build audience elsewhere, and get them to Patreon to pay you.

[Patreon then reaps the reward of your hard work through their fee]

Sigh… Such is the way of things in the arts on the internet.

Still, it got me thinking – and the idea for my little experiment began to form.

Here it is in a nutshell:

For every 5 patrons I have at Patreon, I will ask the community to tell me 3 undiscovered artists who I can, in turn, sponsor on Patreon.

Basically, each one of my patrons will actually be sponsoring 1.6 artists just by sponsoring me at Patreon

[8 artists sponsored by 5 Patrons]

Though, of course, in reality it’s me sponsoring the extra 3.

[and yes, passing on 60% of my sponsorship]

My self-interest is simply to be able to afford to keep making music, writing books, and offering them to the world – but to be able to do that while also helping others do the same is just amazing.

So, here’s my question: Are you willing to be part of my experiment?

If so, all you need to do is sponsor me at Patreon – here are the per-month levels:

  • $1 – No reward – just for those who want to help me do what I do
  • $1 – Music Fan – you receive a physical and digital copy of any new CD I release
  • $2 – Avid Reader – you will receive a hard- or e-copy of any new novel I release
  • $10 – SUPERFAN! – you will receive physical and digital copies of any new CD or Novel I release, and private invitation to special events online and face-to-face

And, of course, you can choose to pay more than those subscription levels, but the amounts above are the minimum to get going.

So what say you? Are you willing to help me help you help my sisters and brothers in art?

Sponsor me at Patreon

On loops and direction

The beauty of accepting that my music has limited commercial viability

[I am  blessed to have a small group of followers who enjoy and support what I do, and they have my love]

is that it removes nearly all my self-imposed constraints.

My online-only release last year, Writer’s Flow – Music For Writing, is a great example, recorded and released in short order, and trying to be nothing more than it is: music for writing.

Start to finish, it was an enjoyable piece of art and craft – a large part of which was that it wasn’t song-based. I’ve always made instrumental sketches, and have many demos of non-vocal tracks, but because of that notion of commercial viability, I’d always limited myself to the expectation that I was a

[lyrics included]

songwriter, who would perform, record and release records of songs. With lyrics.

As I let this go, I can feel a

[largely]

instrumental record emerging. A couple with words, but mostly instrumental.

In practice, things like this are emerging:

Literally, the first thing I played after pulling an old flanger out of the cupboard and adding it to my practice board. And, while it’s a rough take on my Ditto Looper, it’s not a million miles from what will end up on the record.

For any of us, giving up a long-cherished hope/aspiration, is a tough road, yet the acceptance can lead to just doing what you enjoy doing – music is such a gift, and these instrumental ideas/motifs are always just beneath my surface – diving into the pool is proving sweet relief.

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

 

Math Grab released for iPhone

mg1024Very pleased to let you know that my 4th iPhone application, Math Grab, was released earlier today!

Just when you thought mathematics couldn’t get any more fun… we put it on an Air Hockey table. With a countdown.

Math Grab is an educational game, where “doing the sums” happens within the game, so doesn’t become a chore, repetitive or boring – if you want your kids (or even you yourself) to get better at mental arithmetic, Math Grab is a highly-addictive way to do it!

More educational games are on the way, but for now, have fun making 2 + 2 = 4!

appstore149x44

Some things for you to ignore

Because right now, in all honesty, I’m tired of self-promotion and trying to persuade you to read/listen/enjoy anything I’ve put into the world.

So go ahead, please ignore…

Novels
Records
Poetry
Live Music
iOS Apps

Is there anybody out there?

The reality for most independent musicians is that each record is a commercial still-birth by any reasonable measure; people just don’t prioritize the purchase of music

[I don’t know that they ever did at the local level]

and perversely that seems even more the case with people we love and who love us – while I often give people free copies of stuff, very few of the people I know have ever purchased one of my books or records

[those that have are a blessing for sure – and have my love]

I gave away any and all expectations as to commercial success when I released Grope, and have maintained that stance with Writer’s Flow and Turquoise Cyan Sapphire. I feel better for having done so, and find I’m better able to enjoy the music I’ve released without the internal dialogue of commercial judgement.

Does that mean I’m immune to self-doubt? No way. The sense that

no-one’s listening

is ever-present, as it has been since I first started telling stories. And that voice can be very, VERY loud sometimes.

Right now though, I’m in a good space – lots of projects on the move – more beginning to emerge from the deep well of my subconscious. And I am lucky to have a day job that keeps food on the table.

I am a commitment to produce and promote great music.

Yet I have friends who are putting their heart and soul into producing GREAT music

[and, yes, #IBuyMusic]

who are suffering greatly from the manifest apathy of their audience, both known and unknown. I wish there were some way for me to change this, but aside from sharing their music and urging others’ to buy, I don’t know what else I can do to move the reality we all face.

I’m not someone who does well with intractable problems – and I wrestle with this one every day – any and all ideas welcome 🙂

Love-peace-trust

Vince Sig 131x89

 

Noisy boy ignored

The silent boy
found his choice
found his voice
found his noise

The silent boy
now noisy boy
made his choice
made his noise

The noisy boy
met with noise
“QUIET!” they yelled
silence your noise

The noisy boy
made his choice
opened his voice
made more noise

The noisy boy
found his voice
met with silence
stone-cold silence

So ignored
the noisy boy
made his choice
whispered his noise

The noisy boy
found his noise
met with silence
lonely silence

The noisy boy
made his choice
let their silence
take his voice

The noisy boy
now silent boy
was never heard
again

OK, let’s try it

Thank you internet distraction!

I was watching a clip of Otis Redding at Monterey, which made me think of  Steve Cropper, which got me watching some interview videos.

This one stood out:

Aside from his seeming to be a really, really nice guy, I was struck by the history as he represents it, and it reminded me of something to which I’ve long paid attention:

We look back on the greats, and we think there was something divine in their path, some meant to be, some destiny. Yet, when they speak, you hear that they were just like you and I, they met failure, success and luck, and somehow through the decisions they made in each moment, and their willingness to just go with the flow, the seemingly-destined path emerged with each step.

At about 11 minutes, Cropper talks about how he first met Otis Redding. Ask yourself, honestly, would you have given the band’s driver the time of day when he asked if he could sing for you?

Then, towards the end, he describes a kid who approached the band and asked to play sax, even though he’d only been playing for 3 or 4 weeks. Again, ask yourself, would you have said yes or no? That kid’s mother owned a recording studio that would go on to become Stax records.

In each case, Cropper’s answer was: “OK, let’s try it.”

How often could you choose that answer instead of “No” or “it won’t work” or “I’m scared of that”?

I guess that’s my challenge to you

[and myself, of course]

to each moment with a lived attitude of  “OK, let’s try it” .

Love-peace-trust

Vince Sig 131x89