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  • Dan Bishop

Starting Over

After almost 13 years of living in northern Vermont, and very little desire to return to Connecticut, I have decided to follow a lovely lady to Boston. After making so much amazing music with my dear friends in Vermont, I find myself in a new city, surrounded by new noises, smells, and scenery. I know eastern Massachusetts isn't exactly a place people think to move to in order to get their music career off the ground. I didn't come here for musical reasons at all, actually. While my friends from high school all begin to make lives for themselves and settle down in NYC, old ski buddies make names for themselves out west, and my more "success-minded" musician friends high-tail it out of Vermont for L.A., NYC or Nashville, I decided that being happy was more important than whatever dream I had been half-assedly chasing for the past 17 years. In fact, I've unsubscribed from the idea that chasing a dream is even a healthy idea to begin with. And I can only speak for myself, of course, but whatever I was doing was not working. Here I was, playing out more nights than not, drinking for free, making all the kinds of music you study and practice so hard to be able to perform, but I had buried whatever creative passion I had had to begin with. And I did so in the name of support for the people who I considered to be the "real artists". I still enjoy playing bass and I plan to continue to do it for money and love, but I can't lie to myself and say that that's all I wish to do, musically.

After discovering the power that putting thoughts, fears, desires, regrets into songs has, I lost the energy to try and tackle those issues with words alone. Maybe it's just my executive functioning limitations, but all that stuff is damn complicated. I think difficult things deserved to be expressed with the same complexity and intensity that they enter our lives with. With songwriting, you have a place to dump the feelings that aren't really fair to dump on others, or hold on to, yourself. And the thing with me is, I don't really like sad music. To me, sadness is a loss of hope, while happiness is an absence of fear. To my ears, if a song has a hopeful intention, it doesn't matter how dark the words may be. By adding music to the equation, it becomes something outside of the context with which it was concieved.

And let's be honest, the life of an "artist" is not a pretty one. It may be gaunt and stark, wrought with complexity and ambition, but I personally don't find those things appealing or attractive. We are already slaves to desire, why add more desire to the pot by chasing dreams as opposed to opting for calculated, sustainable growth with the intention of becoming that much better to other people as we do it? I've found that opening myself up to love and safety, and honestly, comfort, not only allows me to create things with more intention, but allows me to create things that aren't just for me to benefit from.

So as I settle in to these new digs and try to find new ways to relate to other people through my music, I will put my thoughts here, in this place, just in case you happen to be interested.

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