The Madness of Meaning

So, I kind of had a bit of a mental breakdown last weekend, triggered by some tiny disagreement with Dave. I can safely say I was relieved that it happened. I’d been driving myself mad over so many things, and all the while I was failing to make myself understood by him, leading to us not being on the same page life-wise (or in my case, I wasn’t even holding the book the right way up..).

This week has been new. Even though all the things I was doing are still as hard and frustrating, I now have someone special on side to help. I’ve been sleeping at least 7 hours a night and managing to get up in time to prepare everything I needed for the day and catch my train each morning with a few minutes to spare (except Thursday morning when 6 carriages-worth of commuters were expected to squeeze on to a 2 carriage service, but that’s another story).

There was one very important point that Dave and I pored over that Sunday night. I was experiencing some irrational feeling of foreboding about going into work the next morning, as if something terrible and life-threatening was going to happen to me on my way there.

After much talking by candlelight in our cozy front room, we came to the conclusion that the source of my panic was the idea of only ever being in the situation I am right now. That is, working admin and admin-like jobs full-time for the rest of my days. I felt like I was stuck in some incessant loop and doomed to never fulfill any sort of higher purpose.

It’s not that I don’t think there’s anything dishonourable about your average 9 to 5, but the more I work my way through life, the more I come to realise that 9 to 5 isn’t really my bag after all. It took me until that very moment to realise it, but I’m actually a free spirit!

Since I was always a good girl at school and a (mostly) well-behaved employee in the workplace, I just assumed that I was happy with the structure and of ordinary life, but it seems there’s a lot more to it than that. Deep down I’m as fluid as an alpine stream and as vaporous as Icelandic geothermal steam. Yeah, you can quote me on that – it rhymes.

It was at this point we discussed the possibility of me quitting work some time in the future. Since he secured a new job in the city with amazing prospects and has started up with some freelancing again, it seems like a viable option. He always says to me he wishes I didn’t have to work, but we were so desperate to get rid of debts and keep up with bills that it was necessary. It’s not that I don’t like my current job. It’s probably the least ‘dead end’ thing I’ve ever worked, but it’s not my first love.

This job Dave is going into really is his dream career. So now he is determined to help me into mine.

This next section is for my benefit more than anyone else’s, so only read if you’re really interested in my plans for world domination.

These are the following I need to do to set myself up for doing the work I’ve always wanted. Here’s the plan:

1) Finish recording

I have a 12 track album in the works. Here are the titles of the songs in alphabetical order:

  • 12:26
  • Among the Ruins
  • Enough
  • Fine Line
  • I Might Have Heard Your Words (provided I can get permission from the original writer)
  • In My Hands
  • Messing With My Mind
  • Micropause
  • Primary Concern (Interlude)
  • Restore
  • Sleeping Beast
  • State of Alert

I have demos or short versions of all of these that I am working through, adding to, cleaning up in a continual and probably rather inefficient process.

Ones to watch are State of Alert and Micropause. They’re gonna be pretty sweet.

2) Start gigging

I need to scout out some open mic nights and hand out a few business cards. After that, move on to other venues (probably do some stuff for churches and Christian gatherings as well as the usual pub circuit). Busking perhaps? Or getting involved with one of Birmingham’s many musical ventures? For this I’ll need some local knowledge. Oh yeah, and get on local radio. That’d be nice.

3) Start selling

Once the album is done, I can make it available for download. Passive income and all that.

As well as this I want to donate some discs to some churches and ministries I’ve been involved with in the past. They can take a cut of the profits for the church or for a project. No doubt I’ll probably be able to sell some for a discount price at church gigs I do. It’s a harsh world in the non-church venues, so I’ll have to play it by ear when it comes to merchandising.

4) Form a street team

I know of plenty of people that would be willing to champion my music. Soon enough I’ll be able to gather them together to help me promote the album and generally form a happy smiley community of listeners.

5)  Talk to indie labels

I’m currently on the fence as to whether I want to be signed to a secular indie label, a ‘Christian’ one, or to even be signed to a label at all. I’d like to work with a team of people on my third album (which will be easier to develop since its based more on live instrumental performance than electronic manipulation of sounds). At this point I’ll be doing things ‘the right way round’ rather than muddling through in my own way. I’d really love to be able to find a group of people that believe in what I’m doing. A team that I will also want to pour myself back into. Anyone think they fit that description? Apply within.

6) Touring

Once I have a fanbase, a label (or ability to function without one), a band, some bookings, I can move onto what I’d really love to do. I want to perform in some moderately sized venues and have rock and roll costumes and maybe even some dance. Artworks, avant garde performances, sonic installations. I’d like to incorporate what I learned on my decidedly experimental music degree since I think that’s the edge I would need to stand out from your usual ‘indie mainstream’ type artists. I guess I don’t fit the mold in some ways. I’d rather capitalise on this than marginalise it.

I think that’s about as far as I want to plan right now. No eye has seen, no ear has heard etc.

I don’t want to sound at all proud. I don’t want to be proud. That would be the worst thing. All things happen in their time, and I don’t want to rush a single one of them.

All I know for now is that I want to finish this recording. After that, it’s pretty much up to Him.

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