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Re: making money off your music

well it seems that my situation is nearly the opposite...

i have started playing in rock bands at the end of 1990s at clubs in and 
around istanbul. since we did not have a record out, we made very little 
money ( maybe 100 usd for the whole band a night ). there were not many 
studios and engineers you could work with to get the sound you want, also 
the recording gear was way too expensive. then in 2000 the first sound 
engineering school has opened up. a lof musicians from my generation 
gradutated from there. now i am about to finish the phd hopefully.

during the 2000s, i had to work very very hard to get my name and records 
out there. since there is nearly no record labels to release 
work and there is nearly no financial support from the government and 
institutions, it has been a tough ride. like other musicians from my 
generation in turkey we have learned to survive under these conditions. 
means that we have trained ourselves to become a sound engineer, producer, 
remixer, arranger, performing artist, contemporary music composer etc and 
everything in between in one personality!

these days i produce major rock bands, r and b - pop acts, but also work 
my own material, write music for visuals, receive commissions for 
contemporary music etc. my income is good compared with the life standard 

so i think if you get excited about working with a rock band in the studio 
one day, and try to finish your electroacoustic opera the next, you will 
more than fine in today's music world. i think the trick is to be able to 
different things without losing your energy and concentration.

anyways that is my short story...



New duo album with Per Boysen out now.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rick Walker" <looppool@cruzio.com>
To: "LOOPERS DELIGHT (posting)" <Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com>
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 5:55 AM
Subject: making money off your music

>  Okay,  that does it.
> That's the single most depressing website I've ever visited.
> This then leads to the argument,   yeah, but what about
> playing live gigs with their inherent revenue stream?
> This then, is my own personal story.   It may sound like a lament
> or a plea for pity but it truly isn't.  I'm happier than I've ever 
> been........
> .....just much poorer as a professional musician.
> I put it out there as an adjunct to this particular article:
> In 1969  the Cataylst in Santa Cruz was paying a 4 piece band $300
> to play there.   $75/person
> In the 1980's the money was flowing.   You could frequently
> find gigs that paid anywhere from $100 - $300 in this area
> or in Monterey/Carmel  or San Jose (where the pricier hotels
> and resort centers are).      There was a lot of studio work too
> which augmented income quite a bit.     There was a phase in the
> late 80's and early 90's where I wouldn't walk out of house to
> play a gig that paid less than $200 but I was also quite a bit in demand.
> At the end of the 90's and before the dot com bubble burst,  there
> were many gigs that paid extremely well (but the studio work
> had completely vanished)
> Then the bubble burst and that was that.  I went from having between 12 
> and
> 20 very high paying corporate gigs to finally having only 1 a year and 
> then
> none.
> I had raised my rates from $30 a lesson (40 minutes) to $40 a lesson (40 
> minutes
> or $50 a lesson (60 minutes) sometime in the early 90's.
> I haven't raised my rates since then (though my skill level and 
> base is
> vastly higher than 20 years ago.
> Then the recession hit and it's really been rough ever since.     I 
> stubbornly
> refused to lower my rates but my teaching schedule dropped rapidly.
> Commensurately around 2003 or 2004  people stopped buying CDs (at least 
> my
> world).   I went from selling 20-upwards of 50 a gig to the point where 
> no longer bring CDs to gigs because it's a waste of time and energy.
> Additionally,  the number of gigs that pay in this area has just dried 
> I'd dearly love to do $50 gigs in this region.    There are still some 
> $100 - $200 gigs out there
> but way too many professional musicians vying for them to be viable as 
> income.
> And I've been blessed to be one of the most lucky and fortunate 
> professional musicians
> in this area.   One by one, most of the professional musicians I came up 
> with have left
> the field because there just was no way to make a decent living.
> So,  it looks like the paradigm has changed irrevocably and the life 
> I have known as a professional
> is coming to an end.
> It makes me infinitely sad that things have gotten so bad but it is just 
> life.
> I also realize that my own story may be anomalous.............after all, 
> I've successfully been able to have
> an unencumbered artists life that sat along side of my 
> professional/commercial work.
> Also, Santa Cruz is just a weird,anomalous place demographically.   The 
> average family makes
> $83,000 a year in Santa Cruz according to census figures just released. 
> The price of housing is very high compared to the price of low waged 
> (a professional musician being lumped in with
> most minimum wage jobs in terms of monthly income).
> It would be interesting to hear from professional musicians on this list 
> who live in other regions
> and countries.
> yours, in the spirit of music and community,
> Rick Walker