The Gift of Open Mic

Living in a community that has a strong and close-knit music tribe is a rare commodity for said fortunate  community. Central Oregon USA has this awe-inspiring gift (asset) built from some of this planet’s most talented musicians and venues that support live music. An evening of live music during a weekly Open Mic Jam is only one testament to the stellar chops that a live music fan will find on Oregon’s High Desert.

Hosted by musician Derek Michael Marc each week local musicians routinely arrive with instruments in tow, add their names to the sign-up sheet Derek provides (as well as all the sound gear) and the therapy by music begins promptly at 6pm. For 3 full hours the musios trade places on stage and perform typically 3 songs each. From solo to duet to 5 or 6 piece jams the audiences are always in line to be entertained and their music intelligence enriched.

Photos only suggest the magic that Open Mic can bring to a community… it depends on the tribe.

 

Indies…Who Are They?

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[A BMG Editorial]

I support and work with Independent artist’s. Of all mediums, be it musicians, fine artist’s, pottery maker’s, filmmaker’s, or writers, I support those who make their art and their passion come alive in what they create.

So who are the Independent artists? Who are these people behind their creations?

(Note- For the sake of continuity I’ll write who they are in the context of music, the musician. Yet to be clear what independent artists all have in common is enough to make my point across the medium board.)

First, for a meeting of the minds let’s agree that Independent Artists in this article means music that is written, performed, and produced independently of major commercial record labels, or any of their subsidiaries. Often an Indie musician creates in an autonomous approach from concept to inception, then to the execution of the music they create. Typically it is done without big studio financing, highly funded promotion campaigns, nor any label/studio support. The Independent artist does it all.

When I listen to indie musicians there comes a deep appreciation for all the hats an independent musician wears throughout the evolution of their music.

Which brings me back to my question. Who are they?

Although I cannot, nor would I presume to try to answer this question in personal terms about any artist, I do know that the following list of hats an indie artist wears is true for each artist.

Starting out as a Musician an artist soon takes on these other roles as well:

Writer
Composer
Producer
Recording artist
Tour manager
Marketing manager
Human resource manager
Public relations manager
Music Director
Music Arranger
PIC (person in charge)
Bookkeeper
Graphic artist
Technician
Roadie
Troubleshooter
Shaman

……and teacher,

and mentor.

Creating the music is surely the most important job of an Indie Artist; for without their music this would be a mighty empty world. However, without indie artists embracing and tipping their respective hats to the other job duties needed to accomplish what is required their music would never reach us.

 

Most independent musicians often juggle “day jobs” to help pay the bills; Indie artists are not in it for financial gain, there rarely is any. There’s no “Fortune” to be made; in fact it typically costs far more financially to create their music then they’ll ever likely see in return.

 It’s also not about “Fame”.

Having had the pleasure and honor to live and work in the world of independent music since the age of 14. I’ve seen the changes and today watch with renewed interest as the changes continue to unfold before our eyes and ears.
Today it’s not enough to simply turn up for rehearsals,learn the music, attend recording sessions and gigs. To find any level of success (regardless of the individual answer to what success is) means being invested artistically and in the operation of the business..

Hence the many faces of the independent artists that have evolved,today, independently they create music under all those different hats.

…… we thank you! Independent Music Maker’s

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2016