Sunday, March 19, 2017

Better art

There is something soul-affirming when you are surrounded by a group of kindred spirits. I'm talking about people pursuing an art or craft for the pure purpose of perfecting your that you can do something you love even better.

Our instructors for the weekend were Sally Barris and Tom Kimmel. They both have songs recorded by artists you've heard on the radio, and some of their songs were used in movies.

They gave freely of they knowledge, skills, and experience in a difficult field.  Making money writing songs has always been difficult, but the way the world now consumes music is changing. People are moving away from commercial radio and listening more to streaming services where they can make everything on their playlist a song they love.

That sounds good, but streaming services pay a fraction of what radios pay in royalties. That means less money for the creators of music. But as I've often said, "If you're getting into songwriting for the money, you're getting into the wrong business." 

Most of the people attending the workshops this weekend didn't come to learn how to earn money writing songs, but to learn how to create better art.

Stone and Iron Sculpture in the front of the chapel at Camp McDowell


  1. Looking at your previous posts I could tell you were hoping for a good weekend of learning and sharing talents. Sounds like it was good! I've listened to your music on your CD and know you and Jilda are quite talented so I can't imagine you need much more learning! But it's great to have others share what they know and to pick up more tips. I love the pic of the pavilion too! I need one of those here at the Pines!

  2. Rick,

    Glad you had a great weekend! An acquaintance of mine,Gary Furr, posted on his site that he was going to attend this same workshop. He is with the Shades Mountain Airs, a bluegrass group, and has written lots of good songs. We've heard them a couple of times at Moonlight on the Mountain.

    1. Yes Gary was there. He had to leave a little early because of a commitment but he was there. The coffee I made on the first day didn't come up to muster with Gary, but I fixed the second pot :) He is delightful.

  3. THe entertainment industry in general seems strange. It takes talent, luck, grittiness, and sometimes a gimmick. There is at ton of talent that never makes a dime, some crap talent that becomes rich and famous. I think you are right, you become an artist for the money.

  4. It sounds wonderful - and a weekend spent with kindred souls has to be a winner even before the bonus of learning.

  5. The sculpture is amazing. Is it Francis of Asissi?

  6. I see you were missing from your group photo on Jilda's blog so you must be the photographer as well as signer song writer.

    I recognized the statue as St Francis of Assisi.e's the patron saint of our parish.
    I'm glad you had a great time and met new people in the workshop. The good memories of a good time last longer than money.
    Happy Spring.

  7. Anonymous8:40 AM

    That statue of St. Francis is wild!!

  8. Glad you & Jilda had a great weekend doing what you love!

  9. So happy you and Jilda enjoyed a soul-FULL time, Rick. I like what you said about 'better art' (v. fortune).

  10. I imagine that sculpture refers to St. Francis' sermon to the birds?

  11. Good stuff. I knew one guy who was in it for the money, wrote a good song. One religious song hit, but that was the end because it didn't pay. I remember talking to an author once who said, "I would write, if no one but me read it."
    I have grand sons who write songs and sings them, nothing discourages them from writing because like you have said, it is the love and desire, not the money (for the real writer).

  12. Love the sculpture!! I love St. Francis!!


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