04 November 2010

It's Enough To Do The Work

Charles Bukowski didn't start writing poetry until he was 34. William Shatner took on the role of Kirk when he was 35, scoring his first hit show. I've been keeping these things in my mind since I turned 30 in August.

In the last year, I've been fortunate enough to be affiliated with some truly amazing musicians, dancers, directors, and artists who are slowly building what I believe to be the new Chicago Arts scene. See, I love the cultural exports this city is known for. But how many of the groups we see as cultural institutions today started as little more than a collective of like-minded artists in lofts or rehearsal spaces 20-30 years ago. (Steppenwolf began as a bunch of Northwestern acting students who couldn't break into the Chi-drama landscape of the time, so they started their own company.) We're known internationally as a spectacular Improvisation/Experimental music scene; but in the 80s-90s, the musicians who make up that scene were playing night shows on WZRD (like I did a month ago), or sparsely-attended loft shows, not yet in the rotating venues that host nowadays. My point is; I know many talented artists are struggling right now, but struggling in the best sense of the word. We're not making much money with the work, but the work still takes precedence over comfort or stability. To be pushing to understand what a full life is, and relentlessly striving for actualization of that life is the greatest feeling in the world, I've found. I look around & realize that the people I'm working with (or in proximity to) are doing the work that builds acclaim, that builds awareness; WE are the people doing the envelope-pushing work that will later become mainstream. I can't adequately put into words the feeling I get watching our little circles of influence expand outward into the city....

ANYWAY: This month we're putting the finishing touches on the Fabrics' packaging for our December release. I just yesterday finished mastering the 2nd RATSNAKETURBORAT Ep, and this time it will come with cover art by local artist Joe Padilla (NOT to be confused with the "dirty bomber" & former gang member from Chicago, Jose Padilla). We're excited about this one, because it's a mother. I'm also hoping to convince a certain well-known pianist/improvisational dancer to let us release his debut album.... but until or unless he agrees, I'm keeping his identity secret. As always, you can find our goods on ruleno6.bandcamp.com, our preview what we're doing on facebook.com/ruleno6.

It's enough to do the work, even when they don't get it.

No comments:

Post a Comment