Music, in performance, is a type of sculpture. The air in the performance is sculpted into something. -Frank Zappa
The Sunrise Review is not your typical musical undertaking, and as such, some of the traditional methods to cultural relevancy and recognition just don’t fit. An ideal performance of the music involves a handful of individuals, professionals, who are trained in instruments from around the world, and able to perform what is admittedly rather technical music. I don’t know who these people are and whoever they are, they don’t know my music. That leaves me and my guitar, not exactly the typical Saturday night fare of nightclubs and concert venues. It’s an activity and experience more suited to fine restaurants, art galleries and tea houses (I don’t care for coffee, it is probably one of my least favorite substances). This confounds the financial aspects of the venerable cultural expectation of live music, touring. It’s expensive and no small undertaking to travel between cities, transporting equipment, finding a place to sleep, and food to eat. More often than not another business makes more money than you and you’re stuck far from home with no where to sleep. It’s pretty common for the businesses hosting to really be operating in a manner which takes advantage of musicians. Quite frankly it can suck, and I have avoided it on purpose because it will suck the energy out of you right quick.
This attitude is not particularly beneficial, however. Especially given my desire to expand my audience base. There is no easier way to effect the emotional attachment of an individual to music than by presenting it to them in person. I aim to capitalize on this while focusing on the target markets I have identified for my project.
One way I am looking to create performance opportunities is through House Concerts. This ensures that my audience is actually interested in me and my work because there is no other reason for them to be present. They’re also a great way to engage the communities around the locations for my American Heritage project, which can be a pretty remote and rural. Are you interested in hosting a musician for an evening, or know someone who is? Get in touch!
Another idea I am developing is concerts in nature. It’s the best setting for this project and focuses on another of my desired markets, outdoor adventurers. This requires a bit more work than scheduling a traditional performance, but the payoff is pretty great. So far I have had good response for the idea and folks that have experienced it have really enjoyed it.
I’m also on the lookout for venues which aren’t too out of my way to begin developing anchors for setting up future tours. I’m starting at a location which has been around since the Civil War, the Mecklenburg Inn in Shepherdstown, WV.