By Allison Duggan, Label Manager
Working in the music industry is tough. Long hours, pitching to different vendors, clients, and artists, making sure everything is organized before a big event and/or project. Plus the commute back home, where sometimes you need to finish up where you started once you woke up.
Working at a start-up record label is a lot of work on its own, but having a business on the side adds up. I am a freelance composer, meaning whenever I have a project at hand to write for a short film, a commercial, or for a pitch to a prospective web series, I need to make time to create content for a project, practice, and continuously write ideas.
At one point, this turned into a stress for me, since I made it not only a priority, but also a disciplined plan-of-action after everyday of work. I made my life difficult when fitting in my muse, as I call it. Music is my everything, and I wanted to make as much time out of it as possible.
- But what about those days where the train is delayed, and my 2 hour commute becomes 3 hours?
- What about my friend’s birthday?
- What about laundry and cleaning that I put off for weeks?
It became a stress, not an escape.
Music, no matter if it is a career or hobby, should be a form of escape for the brain. One cannot make their passion a stress. No matter the deadlines, the time of day, stresses with personal strifes and work.
I escape into my music for the need to let out my feelings for the day. I also escape to music, because it is the one language that speaks to me louder than English as well as body language I now come home usually at 8pm, go to the keyboard, and play around with chords and notes that depict my feelings. I then warm up on piano, since I am not a pianist, and then go back to a project and work on what is needed to be spruce up, or composed. The only difference in my approach: if I have a day where I have other agendas after work, I still make time to write, but spread it out more throughout the week, so it is not a stress for when I come home, and do chores before work or while I compose. Sometimes the best ideas come from sweeping the floor!
I also make time to just write. I write down musical ideas, or motifs, and see where they take me. I play my bassoon when I feel lyrical, I play my saxophone when I need something Jazzy or in the color blue, I sing when I want a song to be heard with more than just notes on manuscript.
It is a great exercise to escape into the music, and necessary to build more content. A painter cannot create without a stroke on a canvas. A dancer cannot choreograph, nor learn new dance repertoire without moving parts of their body. Music needs to breath, and flow as much as any other art, even on a deadline.
How do you escape from daily life? Would love to hear about your stories!
If you would like to check out my website, Please click below, and listen to one of my favorite improved tracks (rough track):