Moving Away from Music and into The Age of High Art
I've thought a lot about this since the early days of Sunsets and Hearts on whether I should charge for my music. I've always given away my music for free without charging anyone.
For the longest time I always thought this was the best course to take...until now.
Lately with streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify anyone in the world can access my music at any time and listen for free...
It's awesome I love it. Shit I do it too.
The price of a digital download is not significant anymore .99 cents songs aren't the answer and never were. Everyone I know including me want to be able to listen to any song at any time regardless if its free or not.
Thats not relevant anymore because music is essentially free. It comes from no where but it still has a cost.
As a musician it comes to you when you play a couple of chords with people in a room or maybe when you go through a heavy breakup or a loss of a family member.
It's something thats not explainable in words how you create a song like Aloysia Aeterna / David Lynch. That is something that comes from something deep inside of you. Its something that is thinly shaved off from your soul and recorded through a DAW. Its personal. Its Rare.
It is this thinking that I've been caught up in lately. It is not just my Art it is parts of my soul it is parts of my personality. It is the city I live in, Austin. One of the most creative cities on this planet. Where everyone you meet are fellow artists. It is my contemporaries that influence me. It is my Art School background. It is what I am about. It is who I am.
This is true for every artist out there. When you talk to them they are a completely different person on the surface. It is through their Art that you see who they really are. What is really behind their eyes.
It is for these reasons that I have began to not offer free downloads anymore of my Art.
I have began charging what each song should cost. GhostIN / LazerIN is the most excruciating song I ever recorded. It took over a month to record my heart & soul on that track. $499 to me is a fair price for owning that song in its highest form of audio quality. Sure you can stream it on Spotify or Tidal and get the absolute worst representation of that song. Owning something and renting (streaming) something from a service are two different things. But owning this song costs you $499.
Variant EP is a work of art it should be in a museum. It's high art in its simplist form. Some of the musicianship on this album is unparalleled to my other work. Owning this album will cost you $999.
Right now your thinking, No one will buy this at that price. Not for something digital.
To them I say my culture and current value of my Art, along with the environment around me dictates this price, Regardless it being digital or not. It is nothing more than the type of medium I choose to release it as.
When I release Unknown Futures LP later this year only 10 Vinyl LPs will be pressed and only 10 people will own it. After that they will cease to exist never to be created again.
I am well aware that this landscape is unnatural territory for me and putting this price on my Art will get criticism. But it is this criticism that will move my art forward and help me grow. I will not let billion dollar corporations decide the value of my Art.
I've never wanted to become an Artist just to make money. That is not my intention. That is not what this is about.
But if I'm being honest about who I am and the parts of my soul I put in my music then...
the value of my Art is the cost.