Silent Screaming

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Dear Reader,

This is probably yesterdays news, since most venues in Melbourne are concerned about customers buying drinks, private functions and pokie machines generating losses (as opposed to wins), but there are less and less opportunities for unsigned musicians. Yes, the folks that write and play their own material.

Of course there are still muso-friendly venues in St. Kilda left, like the Esplanade Hotel & Vineyard. As far as the volume limitations are concerned though, well thats an entirely different area.

It is understandable that in our attention-deficit ridden generation few people have time or interest in going to see local musicians. However, there is a demand out there and other up-and-coming songwriters have settled for playing at open mics for years, relying on friends and strangers to be in the audience.

So here’s a crazy notion: what if churches, Freemason halls and synagogues offered some space for evening performances or jamming, as long as it doesn’t clash with the prayers and services. Of course, who is going to support that though? If the price is right? God only knows what might happen.

Another matter of concern are these competitions between performers where the goal is some sort of a prize. And of course all these ‘talent search agents’ crawl out from their business oriented rocks to offer the naive balladeer a chance to ‘make it’ in the industry.

This is a difficult topic to cover, but there are just so many of these ’empty dream’ promises that just leave the applicants bitter and disappointed. The industry is full of closed doors and invisible walls that an individual must climb in order to be even noticed from afar.

Is it any wonder that some of these ‘folkie dreamers’ turn to booze, drugs and telemarketing? Some lose the passion for performing while others go overseas and try their luck in the USA or Asia.

No easy answers, no real solutions.

A minor variation in a key of revolution?

By: Vladislav Badov

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