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3…2…1…blast off!

You have just witnessed the official launch of Greater Hamilton Musician magazine. Consider the working sub-title to be: The Secret Life of the Hamilton Music Scene.
How can musicians in the Hamilton-Burlington area get more connected? How can they help each other, and how can they help the “cause” of music-making in this area? Those are the two big questions we’re setting out to answer in this fairly modest little magazine.
This is a musician’s magazine. I count myself among you. Ours is a noble and unique vocation, and dare I say, a whole lot of fun!

Our personal and collective skills are valuable and not to be taken for granted. Our work – performed for numerous and vastly different audiences – is a significant cultural commodity in our region. But things aren’t perfect, yet. Our needs are not entirely met by national musical publications, arts magazines from the GTA, nor are they perfectly served by local newspapers in their coverage, where they spread their attention over the entire range of the fine arts, and encumbered by editorial boards, policies, and such. Oh yes, and there’s lot of extra stuff to wade through that you never need or want.

There are plenty of obstacles, challenges, distractions, and discouragements thrown in the way of anyone becoming a musician already, and so it’s a major triumph when someone comes out at the other end and can say with confidence and excitement, “I’m a musician.”  There is nothing that brings joy and satisfaction like being able to perform music. It’s a privilege. So let’s make that just a wee bit easier, shall we?

What’s your gig? I don’t really care for distinctions. Try putting “musician” after each of these terms: part-time, full-time, professional, semi-professional, high-school, freelance, amateur, hobby, and teacher. Fact is, they all have a nice ring to them. We all have lots in common, so let’s call this magazine “ours.” Together let’s uncover the treasures that make up our local music scene.

Our huge diversity of musical styles, audiences, functions, and personalities is not a liability. It is a source of strength. We have a great potential for rich sharing of experience, ideas, and resources. Thoughtful discussion, open-mindedness and helpful feedback will make it work.

So where do we start the conversation? Topics will include, in no particular order:
·        making money (always a challenge for musicians, especially with technology redefining the way we share music)
·        meeting other musicians to collaborate with
·        artist profiles and interviews
·        where to find new and used gear
·        getting gigs, places to play
·        venue features
·        performance news
·        education news
·        building an audience
·        role models and mentors
·        case studies in the music profession
·        practice wisdom for all
·        marketing, promotion tips
·        cultural trends
·        boosting the cause of local, live music

As you strive to take your music to the next level, I hope you’ll include GHM and take us along for the journey. Your comments, connections, topic ideas and critique are encouraged, as are your contributions of information, reviews or articles. GHM is intended to be your place to share, discuss, and learn about some key topics. I hope you’ll find something that speaks to your opportunities, your challenges, and your desires.

Thanks for joining us on our journey. It should be a blast! – Glen Brown, OCT