Music is...

Music doesn't live on the radio or inside an air-conditioned record label castle.

It lives in rainy streets and dank dives, bouncing down hallways and corridors, resonating off stone and ancient wood beams.

Music doesn't live on a digital CD player with the treble cranked, all ones and zeros punching at your eardrums.

It lives in mountains and squeals of compassion and desperation and urgency: an army of drummers preparing soldiers for war, hearts pounding faster to off-pitch wailing bagpipes.

Music does not live in banquet halls, though it may whisper meaning over you or talk about the weather. It may bang at your door or tap at the calloused case around your heart (we all have it, I'm not pointing fingers).

Music is a cathedral choir with someone running in late with a quick dip to the holy water. It's a lullaby sung by a cross-eyed adoring mother. It's the tear-inducing harmonies that you never heard so painfully well until your world was flipped-turned up-side-down. Music lives with true intention.

Music lives in the declaration, "This is what I want to say. I don't need your permission."

Music is not the industry: the people you begged to notice you. Music is not emails or lugging gear or data entry.

Music is thoughtfully-crafted setlists and medleys and playing the song tonight that you feel the most excited about. Music lives in the mistakes and experiments. Music does not always land on its feet but it adorns time in a way that nothing else can: passionately.

Music is not talking on the phone about how to make a living there because a living can't be made here. Music is talking to someone about letting the notes of a chord dance around the root, but never revealing it. It's about hitting ones or twos or threes and then simmering down to a conversation about perspective and the tonal gifts of an instrument.

Music is not, "How do I survive in the industry?" but, "How do I thrive as an artist?" Music is not staring at red lights, it's staring at green lights. It's forward movement of expression and experimentation and connection. Or at least that's what I want it to be.


- Edited by Silas Durocher.