REFLECTIONS ON 2012
January 12, 2013
Tis the season for reflection...
The holiday season has come and gone, leaving in its wake (as it often does) a newfound appreciation for the numerous blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Rarely do I use this word, "blessing;" in my opinion, its overuse has trivialized it, dare I say even made it somewhat trite; however, I'm looking back on the numerous profound changes that have occurred in my life this past year and the word "blessing" is all I can conjure.
Musically, 2012 was a record year. I performed more, earned more, released more music (2 albums!) and achieved more success and recognition both locally and nationally than in the past several years combined. I've been a working musician for 5 years, but only within the past few months have I begun to consider music as my profession rather than a glorified hobby. No, I'm not performing in front of tens of thousands of people on a weekly basis nor am I likely to have a song topping the charts; the musical career I speak of certainly isn't glamorous, but I get paid to write, perform, and teach music and I'm making a pretty comfortable living doing so. As far as I'm concerned I've "made it!"
On a more personal note, 2012 was far and away the best year of my life to date. Never have I experienced so much personal growth nor have I lived so much life within such a short period of time, which I feel after 26 years is saying something. Three simple words - LOVE. LOVE. SERVE. - expanded my religious palate and tolerance, a feat I'd honestly considered a lost cause after so many years of witnessing the rampant hypocrisy and intolerance rife within the "Bible Belt." Moreover, and here's where the word "blessing" is truly appropriate, so many wonderful relationships were forged and reevaluated in my life this past year; I became a husband and step-father, an uncle, and an in-law. Considering the aforementioned, I feel that at some indiscernible point I crossed over into what some might call manhood, which is just one more reason why 2012 will forever hold a special place in my heart.
May the new-year bring you and yours nothing but happiness and prosperity!
THE TREE, THE PLANTER OF SEEDS, AND THE GARDENER
November 23, 2012
Anybody can plant a seed, but not everybody can grow a tree.
Does placing a seed in the earth truly give one ownership of the resulting tree? Growing a tree takes years of cultivating, a process that requires patience, understanding, dedication, and a general knowledge of botany, for it stands to reason that a tree cannot thrive or even survive when planted in quicksand. Put it in a crucible and there are two prerequisites for creating and sustaining life: conception and nurturing. So, what about this question of "ownership?" Is the one who's planted the seed - i.e. the one who's provided that initial and essential element to conceive life - ultimately entitled to claim ownership over the tree? Or, is it the gardener who cultivates and nurtures it into the being it's to become?
It's true - the one who's planted the seed may have a certificate of ownership stating as much for the resulting tree, but it's ironic that such a formality should determine something so important as ownership over a life, especially when it's been printed on the slaughtered remains of another tree. However, if the one who's planted the seed takes stock in this certificate, it must be taken into consideration. The gardener, on the other hand, does not care for such trivialities. As a Shepard to his flock, the gardener quietly accepts his role as cultivator, confident that his unyielding resolve will reap the ultimate reward - the knowledge he's taken a mere seed and given it a life, regardless of whether or not he has the right to claim ownership over it.
So the question of ownership, then, is a point that's moot. The seed planter's preoccupation with settling this matter of ownership causes him to fail to realize he's not in competition with the gardener at all; cultivators simply aren't in the business of ownership. Ultimately, while the one who's planted the seed will only ever find comfort in labeling what's his - an un-winable and unfulfilling arguement at best - the gardener will one day find himself resting peacefully in the shade of the tree he's grown, because anybody can plant a seed; not everybody can grow a tree.
November 04, 2012
If I was to ever excuse myself for allowing two months to lapse without publishing a newsletter, it would be for this past September and October. I've had an overwhelming amount of traffic in numerous aspects of my music business, so I'm excited to play catch up:
The Blue Hearts Project was released on iTunes in early September - Molly Bales (my collaborator) and I have both received great feedback, so thank you to everyone who's reached out. If you've not had a chance to give this record a spin, I encourage you to hop onto iTunes and do so - It's one of my personal favorites!
NBC Licensing Deals don't happen every day, so you can imagine my surprise when I heard from my Australian based licensing company (Hook Line & Sync) that NBC's new sitcom The New Normal (from the creators of GLEE) bought the rights to use my song "A World Too Big" (Complete Lack of Oxygen version) for a promotional spot. The trailer with my song aired during a commercial break from primetime television's The Voice.
Stephen Drozd of THE FLAMING LIPSmade a guest appearance to his son's class at Heritage Hall and asked if I'd help him with his musical presentation and accompany him on a few songs. Although we only had time to perform one song for the children (I would have never thought the song, "Ol' McDonold" could rock so hard!) I can now say I've jammed with a "rockstar."
180 Meridian (Norman, OK) has become the second location to hire my services to perform on a weekly basis. I've been performing on Saturday evenings at 180 Meridian since mid September and it's already become one of my favorite establishments to work for; the staff is so friendly and accommodating and the Asian/American inspired fusion cuisine is delicious! So, if you find yourself in Norman on a Saturday night between 6:00pm and 9:00pm, come on out!
Downtown OKC has recruited me and 10 other Chevy Music Showcase artists to participate in recording an album for the 2012 holiday season. With Nominee Design's Matt Stansberry spearheading the branding/design/production for this project and the list of artists involved, Songs For The Season is sure to put its listeners into the holiday spirit. Look for Songs For The Season at downtown events between Thanksgiving and New Years!
As you can see, a lot has been happening in the world of Jamie Bramble music and still more is developing! In the combined 61 days of November and December, I'm already booked for 30 performances (for more info about dates, visit http://jamiebramble.com/dates.html) so 2012 is sure to end with a bang and in a very musical fashion! And while my updates may continue to come in erratic waves, I promise to do my best to keep the informative updates flowing.