Sometimes life can feel like you have pieces of different jigsaws that you are trying to fit together, and they just won’t! This is kind of where I am at in my life and my songwriting journey and I am wondering, metaphorically how to square the circle!
I have been blessed with other people’s kindness on this journey, some fantastic grant funding, the esteem of various people I loosely know and trust in the industry, and have worked with talented musicians and received some great reviews and radio play. This is all truly wonderful and I am grateful for each part of this jigsaw puzzle.
But there is another jigsaw puzzle which looms over this tentative one, and it tells a different story. This jigsaw puzzle has a picture that has no clear no way ahead. The musicians have gone on there own journeys for their own personal reasons leaving me with no band, no way to collaborate, no way to gig and alongside this I am trying to find other income strands in a world where being impecunious now becomes perilous. Gigging and musical development are already more difficult for me as I face barriers of age, geography, disability and poverty. My perseverance has paid off well so far and I am determined to find a way through.
However right now, it feels that creating successful work of all kinds and music development strands is rather like trying to weave a basket from strands of mercury! Everything dissembles and dissolves! So, it is time to Vision -even if it turns out differently, for creating a Vision and then making steps along this path creates some kind of forward momentum.
So, this is my vision:
Unless you are a successful creative, then it is important to put honest work and effort into a portfolio career which supports your creative dream. To this end, I teach music ( but this has suffered since covid and people’s incomes are struggling), so I am also putting together a glamping plan which may or may not come to fruition. This depends on how good the bank think my forthcoming business plan is! I am also looking for work as a teaching assistant or learning support assistant. All of these are calculated endeavours which will allow me to still follow my creative dream of becoming an established singer songwriter. Each one of these are currently insubstantial strands of disappearing mercury, so it is important to keep creating momentum and positive horizons for each one!
And then the singer songwriting……Sometimes it seems I am just a little bit bonkers to do this. But, this is my talent. This is what makes my heart sing. This is where my spirit flies and I feel I give to others and grow myself. It is also an area where I have received the most wonderful feedback, despite my set of obstacles. It is an unusual talent and a hard one to fashion into a thing that reflects back worth and progress. If I give this up, I clip my creative wings and life will amount to a very small patch of earth and the small children I teach.
So, my vision is to create a stable practical base to work from, to make sure my portfolio of work is more tenable and tethered. I need to tether my camel. Then alongside this I put forward this vision.
I, somehow will find a guitarist, a fiddle player and a cello or viola de gamba player who are happy to work long distance, for as yet, no money: who are talented and like my quirky genre defying musical adventures. This is proving a challenge. I rename my band, Abi and the Karuna Kollective as this allows for the free flow of people who come and go in my circle of music making- a perhaps more realistic vision than a band of defined people. This is a better perspective to have when I have no money to pay people and collaborators live far apart.
Separate to this, I research how to gig with session musicians, find a music agent who looks past my obstacles and sees potential and apply for the new gigging strand put forward by Help Musicians Uk. If I became a successful grantee I would then be able to do my first gigging tour as a support act.
I work on two songs inspired by my recent Kulning adventures which won’t need instruments but would work beautifully with just sound design, and perhaps my own voice polyphonically. This allows for a new creative journey whilst I try to re – establish work with instrumentalists.
Long term, I have other visions. I have enough genre breaking songs and ideas to go with them to create an album which I could call “Beyond”, because each song would push the envelope in some form or another, either in terms of it’s idea, use of instrumentals or potential performance suggestons. I would also like to create a large ep or other album exploring all the different aspects of love – I also already have enough songs for this. Perhaps I would call it “The Heart’s Journey” for each song explores love from a different angle or perspective.
So, if any instrumentalists read this . Check my work out, I now have enough work showcased to create a decent calling card to show producers, music agents and instrumentalists. Here is a link to my Youtube channel. Please check out Tipping Point and Shape of Water first as these are the newest releases.
I will quietly put time into all these different endeavours in the hope that my jigsaw will finally come together and positive ways forward can be found.