Pondering, and maybe some photos

Your day job

Jessica Jones | 7:52 am | May 16, 2010

A lot of musicians ‘in this economy’ have some kind of day job that allows them to continue to pursue their art at a high level. Some have ¬†created lives that allow them to just practice and compose, but I have a sneaking suspicion that’s a more rarified situation than we may realize. Even full time musicians likely spend good chunks of their day calling, emailing, and sending out information to people, which is not quite the same as playing music.

So I’m wondering, musicians, how has your day job, or work outside of music, influenced your music? Let me know.

I seem to have fallen into teaching music, which has put me around kids for a large part of my life. I watch their spontaneity and inability to be false, and am inspired. It helps me understand what I’m trying to get to with my improvising and my life. I see them in groups, and the natural joyous chaos that ensues, and have to hone my skills of knowing just when the creativity is ending and the Lord of the Flies is beginning, and be able to snap them back to grid. The innocent questions make me question and reaffirm my understanding of the basics of music daily. Their perspective as both young people and a different generation allows me to leave my own point of view and try to understand something from another outlook. “Something’s wrong with my clarinet, I push the buttons but it doesn’t work” sent me on a long pondering about the video game/computer interface model that kids grow up with, as well as a check in with myself about what effort feels like, and reminder that creating and receiving vibration is a new experience for those who haven’t experienced it much. It snaps ME back to grid, in a Zen Mind-Beginner’s Mind way.

Looking forward to hearing some of the ways your other work affects your music. Check in, people!


Comment by ed reed | May 17, 2010 | 7:42 pm

In my day job I lecture about health. Recently I realized that much of what I love to sing about is grief. I then realized that the sad songs have helped me let go of the grief and help me to know and love the moment.

When are you coming to Calif?


Comment by Mark Gilbert | May 18, 2010 | 2:33 am

I’ve generally found my money work (since I mainly play music for enjoyment and not money) calls on different skills and imparts different experiences than my music, even though that work is in ‘The Arts’ (on the administration side). However, I don’t know that that’s been a bad thing, because as a result I’ve come to see I have a side of me that needs to indulge in thinking and problem solving, and another that needs to be creative and emotional, so each seems to make some contribution to a balanced life.

Comment by Jessica Jones | May 18, 2010 | 9:16 am

Hey Mark-
Thanks for commenting. That’s interesting, and I know what you mean about having different parts of yourself that need fulfillment. Of course, music has its problem solving and administration has its creativity, but they are each functioning for something else. Balance is a cool and underrated goal.

Comment by Jessica Jones | May 18, 2010 | 9:18 am

Hi Ed!!!
That’s really interesting, about music being able to clear you like that. That’s something for me to ponder on, thanks for sharing that. ‘In the moment’ is always the challenge…or the reward…or something.
California in August! We should play.

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