Life And The Music Business

For the past few years I’ve been creating library music. It’s a new adventure for me and I thoroughly enjoy it but my reasoning is different then you might think. I am ever grateful to God, the Universe, Buddha, whatever, for any success I might have had or will have. I’ve been very blessed in my life to have worked with some of the biggest and best artists of their time. I’ve played all kinds of music with some of the finest players in all kinds of situations. I’m not trying to blow my horn but because I have had those experiences I like nothing better than sitting in a room with a computer and some software and creating any kind of music I feel like. No egos, no stress and no time pressures. The freedom and control is intoxicating! Will anyone think it’s great music? I don’t know and I don’t care. What I do care is how I feel at the end of the day. Some music library will most likely take it and if they place it all the better, at this point it’s the only outlet I have. Am I “devaluing” music? I don’t think so, it’s just business. Business is war, war is hell, adapt or die. In the meantime I will hopefully become a better writer, get better gigs and maybe build an annuity of performance royalties. It then becomes incumbent on me to keep track of the back end and do whatever I can to protect myself.

Even at my busiest doing session work, touring or as a signed writer and producer I never wanted to be at the mercy of the music business. I didn’t (and don’t) mind being a slave to music but I was not about to be a slave to the music business! Consequently I was always looking for opportunities to make money outside the business. The music industry can be as unpredictable and you have to grab any opportunities which you encounter. The success of those opportunities helped to give me the security to be able to pursue music on my own terms . I think all of us get into music because we love making music and are looking for some sort of audience. If we can make a living at it great but life and the “business” of music can get in the way of our best laid plans.

Finally, I think those of us who have been in the business for a long time recognize that there is a certain amount of luck in all of this. Being in the right place at the right time the stars align and we catch a wave. Sometimes you catch more than one wave but the fact is that someday that ocean might not be there and we are left with the question, “What is life really all about?”. Life is fleeting and fragile so, for me, the answer to that question is “Be A Light”. Now that’s something really worth pursuing!

Art Munson

 Category: Art's Musings

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