Today brings down the curtain on an interesting week! As you have all seen, it’s been quiet around here while I met a big deadline. Well, Sunday saw me back in the reliable Suzuki Jimny and off to Bloemfontein for two days of lectures at the Practical Audio Solutions College in Bloemfontein
This was in itself a challenge. How to take the content of 3 workshops that normally take place in 3 hour bursts and present a 2 day intensive session that covered more of the back end business, and less of the front end marketing? It was great though, and my thanks go out to Henry and Bartho of the PAS for hosting me and making me feel very welcome. The crew of ten who attended the sessions were also great… inspired, inspiring and clearly on their way to doing great things…
When I started out in the music business there was no-one running around telling us how everything worked or how it fit together. In fact that kind of information was jealously guarded and you were pretty much left to sink or swim. Net result is that many talented individuals sank and many a bad business practice has taken root in our industry. Nowadays there are many colleges, schools and individuals teaching the business of the music industry: The Academy of Sound engineering, COPA, Cape Audio College, PAS, Red Bull Studio’s, WITS… People like Jonathan Shaw, Nick Matzukis and many others reaching out to spread the word.
My hope is that this sudden injection of knowledge and expertise will help more artists survive to make a living. This in turn should make our music industry a bit more interesting. Not that it isn’t thriving, but I do find it very 1 dimensional: only the very commercially minded survive. Anything left or right of centre just dies a slow and painful death. My hope is that the increased amount of business knowledge entering the gene pool will result in more fringe artist being better able to survive by working smarter and that therefore we will begin to see more diverse music all round. How long will that take? Well, I have been on the road for 2 years doing this now, some of these others guys for longer… I reckon a few years more!
On completely the reverse side of the coin, I then spent Thursday morning at PRISA in Randburg talking to ten PR professionals about unleashing their creativity. Older, more streetwise, but no less committed and eager to learn new stuff. My message is and always well be that we need to continuously strive for growth and change. Perfection is a stagnant myth! Luckily in South Africa, we have no choice as our country and economy continues to morph under its own internal forces and pressure from the global economic environment. Being in constant flux is a South African mindset!
It was awesome to spend half a day in a room with ten women, ranging in age from about 27 to 55… all very focussed on getting better and learning new tricks. We had fun! I learned a few things and I hope they did too… they certainly seemed happy afterwards!
So, thank you everyone concerned for a stunning week. This is why I love what I do. From Monday I am back in the saddle with the novel: chapter 7 Monday has your name on it! Happy weekend everyone!