Welcome To The Creative Act

A pro-musician making sense of the creative process within the context of his life experience.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Vacation from the music business

I went on vacation for a few days last week. I just had to step away from the music business for a little while. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my version of the music business but it is a business after all. I refer to it as "my version" because there are as many ways to run a music business as there are musicians. My version seems to work for me but it does get to be a little too much every so often.

My music business consists of performance, composition, recording sales, booking, education, marketing, communications, research and development, instrument maintenance and repair, accounting, and lastly...personal physical, emotional and spiritual health maintenance and development. Whew! Now you know why I need to step away once in a while!

I am an indie (short for independent unsigned musical recording artist) which basically means that I do everything myself. I know some indies that farm out some of the work to managers and agents. It works for some of them but most of them are not nearly as busy as I am and they certainly don't have the profit margin that I have. I have become used to being somewhat of a control freak but I do know how to run my business. I probably wouldn't be successful running another artist's business but I am successful running mine!

My business revolves around the tourist economy in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I have been established in Santa Fe for over ten years. I don't have to depend on touring so I don't really tour too much. I used to tour but found that the time away from family, the cost of transportation and lodging as well as the negative effects on my health just didn't add up to a positive cash or energy flow. This is the main reason why I decided to focus on the tourist market here in Santa Fe. There are challenges to this type of musical performance but at least I get to go home to my wife after the gig! Did I mention that she went with me on vacation? Priceless! RR

Monday, April 14, 2008

HOPE (Visions of Whitefeather)

I really like this video. It blends animation, live action and indigenous musical forms to tell a story of prophecy and hope. The path that humanity has taken has led us and the earth to great troubles. There is hope...the hope that all people can see that we are all related to one another and that we all need each other. Love for the Creator's creation and therefore for one another is The Way. It's not too late! RR

Friday, April 11, 2008

How it feels to have a stroke

This video is thought provoking. The presenter is a brain researcher and she describes the sensations that accompanied her stroke episode. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another. It made me wonder what I am actually doing when I perform music. RR

Monday, April 7, 2008

My heritage

Some fans have asked me for more information concerning my heritage. I am Tewa and Mestizo (mixed blood) on my Father's side and Spanish Colonial on my Mother's side. My genealogical research has documented our oral tradition that my Dad's patrilineal line originated in San Ildefonso Pueblo (Tewa) and migrated from northern New Mexico to southern Colorado sometime during the 1870's. My Mother's people also migrated about that time. Many people from northern New Mexico migrated to the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado during that period because of land base issues and epidemic disease. The families went on to mix with other Mestizos and Spanish Colonial descendants. I was born in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado and spent my formative years in the village of San Luis, Colorado which is north of Taos, New Mexico.

In the year 1598, my Spanish ancestors came to the land of what is now known as northern New Mexico. My Tewa ancestors had already been there for millennia. I am a Mestizo, meaning a person of mixed ancestry. Raised to be proud of both sides of my heritage, I chose to embrace the beauty and sensitivity that comes from accepting The Creator's gift of a unique life experience. To deny my heritage would be to deny my Creator's gift. However, just as my ancestors were challenged by their coexistence, my generation has survived by adapting to life in a changing world. In the process, many connections to the past have been lost. Much has been forgotten.

It is a fact of my life that I am neither "puro Indio" nor "puro Espanol". I am a Mestizo whose destiny is tied to the 400 year old drama played out on the stage that is the land of my people. I am honored and humbled that my Creator would inspire me to express my heritage in a way that allows me to make contact with my ancestors, both Indian and Spanish. I pray that I can give honor to all the generations of my Grandfathers and Grandmothers. They helped to form me into the person that I am today, and for that I am extremely grateful. RR