|A snowy day at my home in New Mexico|
Friday, December 23, 2011
Season’s Greetings. I hope this holiday time of year finds you well, healthy and enjoying life. This is my first holiday marathon since my partner passed away in March from pancreatic cancer. I’m taking things in a metered approach making sure my expectations are realistic all the while trying to navigate new traditions. As the executor of his estate I’ve been consumed with cleaning out a house, listing and selling it, paying bills, hiring contractors etc. I’m still playing music and have gigs and booking more for the 2012 season.
Also on my overly crowded burners are several recording/album projects and several other creative endeavors. When you sign up to be a musician the flow of music, of creativity never stops brewing inside you. Having put my career on hold so to speak to care give, find a new home, manage care, sell a home means that financially I took a hit. Gigs are now an essential aspect of keeping a roof over my head. At times it can feel desperate and almost panicked so I am always looking for new performance opportunities. The expense of recording and releasing an album is significant if you want the attention and exposure that makes it profitable. As a professional I don’t have the luxury of “doing it for the love of it” alone. Of course I love what I do, but it is naïve to think love pays the bills.
I had some awesome performing experiences in 2011 and hope they have resonance. I was honored to be nominated for two NAMMY Awards, New Mexico Music Industry Awards where I also won in the World Music Category. Headlined at a few festivals. Yet, it feels like I’m starting over at times. That is because you can’t really be out of commission for too long in the music biz—an industry that relies on constant exposure. Think about it. Coke and Pepsi don’t need to advertise do they? They advertise because they can’t afford for you to not be thinking about them every time you get thirsty. This is all a way of saying you must be able to keep making a living doing what you love in order to love doing what you do. If it becomes desperate you kill the muse.
So if you, dear fan, are part of a World Music or Native American Flute festival or community put in a good word for me. Sometimes it is as simple as that. My profile at Reverbnation is a good way to share what I do with someone. Or my website randygranger.net. The new music that is percolating in me is documenting the difficult journey that cancer put Wayne and me through. Fortunately as an artist I was able to slightly detach and more or less take artistic mental notes knowing the pain, suffering, fear, unconditional love would all find its way into my music. My hope is that the music will somehow comfort and help others.
It is strange that here in southern New Mexico we’ve had more cold temps and snow than people I know in Chicago. We had over four inches in one day. For us that is amazing. It was beautiful and I kept the fireplace roaring and my flutes on hand. Several Saturdays I’ve tried busking at our Farmer’s Market but the wood flutes wet out so quickly in the frigid air. In December I did play for the Mesilla Valley Hospice’s “Light of Our Lives” candlelight memorial like I’ve done for the past ten years. Only this time Wayne’s name was read as well. I set up a candle with his photo on it and played extra nicely. I hope. I also played again for the Downtown Arts Ramble in an outdoor courtyard. That was night of our tree lighting and luminaria Winterfest. We were dampened some by a freezing rain. Who knew? Brrrr.
I went with some friends up to Truth or Consequences, NM which used to be called Hot Springs. We split a cool and funky hotel room and a private soaking tub right on the Rio Grande River. Was wonderful and cheaper with friends for sure. We went into a local bar to hear this amazing old-school guitar player and singer. She was reminiscent of a female Roy Orbison with about a 6-note range. We had a blast with her and she appreciated our crazy, uninhibited enthusiasm. The loft where we stayed shared a Zen Garden courtyard with other rooms. In the morning there was frost on the cars. Even so I and my friend Donny took the time to improvise on my Moyo and Native American Flute. My other friend David taped it with my camera for us. Enjoy.
Well friends. Merry Christmas and Happy Allidays! Thank you for your support as always. I love hearing from you.