Concurrent activity is one of my favourite types of activity, no matter what it is! It could be learning songs whilst exercising, working whist travelling or even cooking and hanging the washing out! There are very few better feelings to me than being truly productive in a condensed space of time.
There is another type of concurrent activity that I think is very important for musicians (or anyone self employed really) on a bigger scale. This a lesson I’ve learnt in a couple of different scenarios:
1. The Darkness
When we parted ways in May 2015, I was hyper-aware that the people who usually call me for work (Musical Directors, Musicians, Session Fixers) would by-and-large, think I was still out on the road with the boys, and not even bother to ask me to work for them (which I’ve also been guilty of-assuming people are busy when they’re not). So with this in mind, I decided to do something absolutely terrifying and embrace the time I had… I created my own stage show!
Feathers and Cogs
This was the most creative, stressful, rewarding, terrifying, cathartic, hard work I’ve ever done in my life! And all of it was worth it! It was 8 months of solid work, finishing in a theatrical stage show (centring around rhythm and drumming of course!) with huge musical scores (all written, arranged and recorded by myself), crazy theatrics (all dreamed up by me, followed by ‘so how do I do that then?’), and film (yep me again) – you gotta have a story after all!
The final show was a success, I’ve never been prouder, gained so much confidence, and from that, the phone started ringing again.
2. Getting Married
I was married on January 2nd 2016 to the love of my life, and have never been happier – now I wasn’t aware, but it seems concurrently (like what I did there?), as I said, ‘I do’, a beacon went out to denote I instantly wanted to stop touring, settle down, and have babies?! THIS IS NOT TRUE
Now this one threw me for 6 a bit… still does to be honest… I thought I was over the stereotype judging thing! The amount of times I now get asked if I’m off the road now, settling down, having a baby etc etc etc. To be honest it’s quite frustrating – and I’m someone who hates assumption.
As soon as I realised this was going to be ‘a thing’ I started making plans, again to get some control in what was happening in my career. I decided to build a studio, and start offering remote online drum recordings! Not only is it great for showing people I’m still out and about playing, but it also gives me another string to my bow, and another way to earn a living doing what I love… and I must say, it’s been amazing fun!
And keeping in the spirit of concurrent activity – If I have some spare time in the studio, then I spend that making drum loops! – I’m basically powered by fear of boredom, and red bull! Ha!
I guess it’s another way of saying make lemonade out of lemons, but in the past where an empty month in my diary was the most depressing and scary thing in the world, it has now become a massive window of opportunity! It’s amazing that by just a shift in your perception about things, you can create something new, exciting and creative for yourself.
What concurrent activities do you do, or have you done? Share in the comments below