(A few thinky thoughts before the coloring update.)
On January 1st, musician Brian Eno released his ambient music album Reflection and his companion generative music app with the same name. As I type this, I’m streaming the album track on Amazon Music, listening to the 54 minute long evolving piece of music and reflecting on whether I’m going to purchase the app – knowing full well that I’ve probably already decided to do so, lol.
The app is $40, which is a practically unheard of price for an iPad app. But it promises endlessly unfolding, never exactly the same evolving peaceful music – a perfect background sound for drawing. Music like this tends to be very soothing and have just enough little odds and ends popping up that it taps your awareness just often enough to keep the mind from wandering recklessly. That is a really good thing for an artist to listen too while working because it fills a space that might otherwise get filled with the mind pre-writing an imaginary one star review and the resulting work of trying not to let confidence dips influence line work.
I am captivated by my own reflections as I contemplate this app purchase. I keep coming back to the $40 price point, and some of the reactions that I’ve seen to that in music making forums this morning. I’m not sure I understand all of the lines of thought, but combined they seem to be settling on the idea that it’s shocking for an artist to really delve deeply into their area of musical interest, and then to sell the result at a price that’s fair to the artist – and is actually quite reasonable for what the product delivers to the purchaser.
So the thing that actually has persuaded me to spend a full $40 (an amount that represents a meaningful percentage of my family’s food budget, or our power bill, or my own time and effort spent making art) is that when I see someone who follows his life’s creative direction rather than following everyone else’s creative direction – I don’t mind paying a fair price that actually covers the cost of part of his next grocery run.
I don’t know if I will get my full $40 of use out of the app. I might. Then again, I also like making ambient generative music with my ever-growing assortment of iPad apps – and being a sensitive snowflake artist I really like to custom tailor my ambient sounds to my mood of the moment. That’s not always going to be the same as Eno’s reflective moods at the start of 2017. But in a world of plagiarism, artistic theft, social discomforts, personal life challenges and all of the other things that we come across every day – it takes courage for real artists to be real artists. And people that courageous deserve to be able to buy their groceries, put gas in their car or keep their house at a comfortable temperature.
It is almost certain that this app purchase will not result in an even trade between me and Brian Eno. Maybe he’ll come out one cup of tea ahead, or maybe I’ll come out 87 seconds of music ahead. I don’t know. It really doesn’t matter, even if societal pressures tend to encourage us to equate the idea of “fair” or “right” with “even”. I’m going to feel very good about purchasing Eno’s $40 Reflection iPad app. Here’s to artists being artists!
Today’s coloring progress slideshow:
Today’s book: Breathe For Crayons And Wide Tipped Markers (Angie’s Gentle Mood Menders – Volume 1)
Colored with: Copic Sketch Markers