On Friday 3 August psych artist Jane Weaver opened The Hexagon Experiment – our six-part series of ‘Friday night experiments’ bringing together pioneering women at the forefront of music, art and science.
For the first event ‘Sounds of the Cosmos’ Jane performed songs from her critically acclaimed albums ‘Modern Kosmology’ and ‘The Silver Globe’ at Cluny 2 in Newcastle. Before the performance, Jane was joined in conversation by space scientists Sophie Allan (National Space Academy), Megan Argo (University of Central Lancashire) and Sally Cooper (Jodrell Bank Observatory).
Here Jane shares her top tips for aspiring musicians…
1. This is a bit boring, but try to understand the nature of the industry before you get very involved with it. It’s pretty uncreative talking about structure, business and what jobs everyone does. You want to just be an artist and not really deal with that – but even if it’s your first gig you might get ripped off because you failed to realise what the deal is, or what the promoter does etc. It’s worth knowing at least the basics.
2. Spending endless hours preoccupying yourself with the black hole of Spotify stats, Facebook followers, Twitter likes and the perception of your own popularity on social media is surely a distraction from what you should actually be doing as a creative person. Writing good songs or producing interesting music is surely more important towards saving the world from the dark overlords too.
3. If you’re struggling to find something to write about, stop for a minute. Too much information is sometimes a bad thing. Just because you’ve watched lots of arthouse films recently and listened to some rare improv jazz that nobody knows about, doesn’t mean to say your next album blockbuster is naturally on the way. Doing mundane tasks that are very boring can sometimes lead to inspiring ideas. There’s a lot to be said for daydreaming and doing nothing. Draw power and energy from nature instead of your gadgets. Go for a walk and look at trees.
4. Years ago people never really discussed mental health issues that are attributed to working in the entertainment industry, but looking after your mental health is so important, whatever your age and level of success. If you’ve been touring for a while, hammering it, and then wonder why when you get home you feel numb and weird or feel like crying when you’re in Asda, then it’s maybe because you’ve been fuelling yourself with rider booze, ciggies and crisps every single day for a month. Your friends may think you have a dream job, so you don’t feel like telling them that you actually feel bad. Open up the dialogue with someone, and tell them how you feel. The perception versus reality are sometimes very different.
5. And finally, be brave. Don’t be downhearted and feel bad about yourself because not as many people turned up at your gig as expected or you got a lousy review. Don’t throw the towel in. The nature of it is very up and down anyway. Use the down times as a positive and think about the initial inspiration for wanting to be a musician in the first place. Let that be your energy to spur you on.
Missed out on tickets for Sounds of the Cosmos?
Tickets are still available for the other events. Register here now