Thursday, March 09, 2006

Chapter 4.4 - A change of perspective

(Pic: 2003 in Tralee, Co. Kerry / Republic of Ireland)

Early 2003 brought no changes or new opportunities and I became rather unhappy with my team leader job as it was very time consuming and only little rewarding as money never meant much to me, if anything at all.

Although I must admit that especially as a musician, unsigned and not supported by any means is always in dire need of cash. I wouldn’t be the first artist to die poor and lonely. Let’s just wait and see, will we?!

After ongoing issues at work especially towards the management who consistently told me that I would wear my heart on a sleeve and that’s no good for business, I had to decide what to do.

So, I quit – didn’t get anything from social welfare or FAS and there was no job in sight. But that’s me and I had talked to my girlfriend about it as I was sure to find something again.

A late review of the Midnight Dreamer came in, in early 2003, saying that the music is “excellent for people over 70!” and they gave me 2 stars out of 5 for persistency and for persistency only!

As if I care – because I had other things to do, I took no offence. Instead I checked out the neighbourhood for employment. Chances: Zero!

I don’t believe in coincidence at all and as I made my way over to the flats of Dolphin House in Dublin 8, I would never have guessed, that my voluntary work with the community, kids in particular would ensure me employment, a good while later.

I was working as a youth leader at the 2003 Dolphin House summer festival and in the meantime I held contact with job agencies – and I had a string of interviews but never got something out of it.

One day I went to FAS and saw a poster that offered a Digital Media course on the other side of the country: In Tralee, Kerry!

I talked to the FAS people about it and learned that there is a waiting list and even if I would get an interview there, there are no guarantees. And nobody will pay a train ticket or anything. I had been told on top of all that, that I only would stand a chance if I could proof to have at least some skills already and I had to put together a portfolio.

Well, I could easily proof that, because my first profession is being a sales assistant in the electronic department. On top of that I hold certificates in all sort of things including computer and, come on, Mr. Fas, can’t you see that I have produced eight CDs already??

I copied all CD – covers and explained in writing why they are they way they are. Most of the time I was defending myself for having crappy CD covers – the covers only really got decent when I did the TJ stuff, reason being having more money or saving money by putting less songs onto a CD and thereby saving money in the studio.

The teacher Jim, a freak and photographer, with long hair and a free spirit, was quite impressed with the portfolio. The lady from FAS next to him wasn’t – she doubted my skills as a team player and feared that I wouldn’t respect younger people.

I couldn’t tell her to shut it so I was very friendly and forthcoming and insured her that my intentions where all good and my persistency would speak for me.

Perhaps not in the sense of the last review - but maybe this time, I thought.

The interview didn’t go well at all. Jim, nevertheless, asked me if he could listen to the CD because it was produced using electronic means entirely. I agreed as there was nothing to loose. Just a week later I was accepted to the course – Thanks to the Eternity.

The least promoted CD made a huge impact somewhere totally unrelated to my art – isn’t that odd? It might be – or maybe it is all meant to be.

I spent a good while (in TJ terms) of six months in Tralee and had a very good time and a lot of fun. I wrote a lot of songs, of course, but only recorded one: “How Many Times?” who fits into the picture later, as it made its way into the TOP 5, place 3 actually, on VH-1s “Song Of The Year” Dance- , Electronic charts as announced in January 05.

My music never had the impact I wanted it to have but it never seized to amaze me at times.

Sometimes, out of the blue, things happen because of my music – so, little by little, I want people to understand, that every little brush of success means the world and should be celebrated and everything that is not happening for me does not take away my gift – it just doesn’t shine very often.

Our society is a horrible one when it comes to attitude towards artists. It is all about money, youth and beauty and I sometimes wonder when this trend will stop, if it ever stops.

Music has become a sell out product and I always tried to promote music in the way that I engaged with young people. As part of my work as a homework support worker I did a six weeks “Music making” course using plenty of Ejay software. The group of children between 6 and 12 years of age could make their own songs and learn how to work with a computer at the same time.

I am not fishing for compliments and I am not trying to be funny or anything but I really believe that people like me, who just won’t give up fighting for real art to be heard, are a necessary evil to those who pull the strings.

Music does and did a lot to me – I even had alien visitors, I believe, called through sounds - but this book is by no means my official and entire autobiography and it would just be too easy if people would think that I am just crazy. Even though I am not quite normal either!

On the contrary – to me, everything I do or try to do makes perfect sense. This book is designed to show that whatever you do, no matter how small, will come back and music enriched my life in so many ways that I sincerely wish anyone a gift like mine, a hobby, a nuisance – you name it. It is all meant to be, I believe !!

I had the chance to form and work with a boy- and a girl band, all aged around 12 – 13 years of age. I was surprised how much they liked it. Musically it was way easier than anything I had ever written for myself as rhythm is the only counting factor almost.

Nevertheless, I tried to write good songs for the projects and in Summer 2004 both bands went into competition and both won first prize in their categories.

That, for instance, was a proud moment for me as a song writer and when I launched my Sensitivity CD live in concert, the bands were there to perform as special guests.

I am convinced my work has had a positive impact on them and at the end of the day that’s all that matters – music changes everything!


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