I recently just got off the road, after a 26 Hour drive recording in a remote studio and getting some photography lessons, and decided I wanted to change my house around. Every year or so, I take a couple weeks off from whatever it is I’m doing, and do something to make my place look nicer.
This is one of those things that makes for a better all-around life for me, it also made me realize that I’m a total snob, when it comes to bedding, painting, utensils, and just about everything else, having been raised around people whose tastes always exceeded their budgets.
I’ve noticed a lot of other musicians’ houses, rooms, apartments, and flats, and how they decorated them, and set up their kitchens, and bathrooms.
Small thing really, but huge for an artist. I know several musicians, who are advanced chefs, and a couple who know more about home interiors and housekeeping than Martha Stewart. It’s always impressed me, and I didn’t really get into the whole domestic thing until two years ago, when I decided to take a break from dating, and traveling, and actually make the place that I lived in look beautiful.
I bought a table that was raw wood and finished it myself, installed a wood floor, carefully picked the kind of towels and bath mats I thought would look nice, throughout have to nice menagerie I had before, and scrubbed the place from top to bottom with a toothbrush. (Just kidding. I’m very clean though).
What does all this have to do with the Tao of gigging?
Where you lay your head, where you eat and sleep and shower, are the places where you are recharging your creative battery. A clean environment, leads to clear thoughts, and clear thoughts, lead to better music and art. A beautiful environment, these beautiful thoughts, and so on. You get my picture. I have a younger brother, who is a black belt in karate, and probably the most disciplined and forgiving person I know. He basically willed himself into his life, and since he was very young, I have never seen his room, his bed, or his house, dirty, ever.
I took after him, and started making my bed first thing in the morning military style.
And just yesterday, after searching for about five weeks, I found the perfect, 1500 thread count, Egyptian cotton, flat white bed set for my queen bed, (I got it for only $50!) since I’m a total tweaker about having a perfect white cloud to fall asleep on, and I just got a new couch for my room.
In a separate room in my house, I have a little MIDI keyboard set up, with an older PC, upon which I compose music that I sell directly to television, film, and commercial companies.
The room, is very sparse, all-white, smells beautiful, and sometimes a lady that I know, comes in drops off a flower in a blue glass vase next my keyboard, and lights a stick of incense.
This is just how I roll today. Because I can.
So putting it all together, today, I got out of my Egyptian cotton bed, put on my economical but perfect all cotton robe, went to my shower, used the lemongrass soap from body time, (only $2.50), wandered into my kitchen, where I made a really strong cup of Bustelo (Look it up), and then proceeded directly to my keyboard room, where I wrote a song called “lemongrass”, dedicated to my soap, and I’m sending it off to a commercial production company in Hong Kong later tonight for their approval.
What I’m trying to say here, no is that I’m not a gazillionaire, but I live like one.
I slow down and take the time to look at my surroundings now. I enjoy the little things like the coffee, my perfectly clean house, my nice bed, and no matter where you live, no matter what budget you live on, no matter how little or how much time you spend there, you can upgrade. You can have a nice place, there’s no law that said you had to live in a rundown looking place, and the same creativity that makes you an artist, is creativity you can use to renovate the spot.
I use my creativity to find stuff that I think looks beautiful, (you’d be amazed at what people are giving away on craigslist these days) going to swap meets when I can, and putting my artistic touch on the place that I live. Because really, even more so than any club, or stage, living, and living well, is my regular gig. Everyone deserves it.
Piero Amadeo Infante for the Tao of Gigging™, 2015
(Apologies for the poor editing in some of my previous posts. I am writing with a pretty severe level of dyslexia, and I am getting someone to vet all my posts form now on. Thanks! )