On several occasions beginning in 2007, Brandis advertised for a promotion and social media person who did not materialize. Omaha has never been a hot spot for musician support, considering the fact that most original music musicians play for free the majority of the time. The onset of digital upload/ download technology in the mid 1990’s exacerbated the problem of limited income for musicians. Music lovers have come to expect free music. Rather than jump on that band wagon, Brandis has continued to expand her niche, founding Z Art Tones Dot Com the summer of 2013.
With a dual theme of “audio art” and visual art, Brandis thought she could be happy giving up her life- long love of writing and recording songs if absolutely necessary. She would focus on helping promote budding visual artists instead. Though Brandis hoped to release another single the summer of 2014, she grew sick of tired content and finally lost all motivation to record and for the first time since she was nine. This must be the end, thought Brandis.
“The saying that where one door closes another one opens is often true for me. I can be down and out discouraged one day only to be filled with new inspiration the next,” says Brandis. “I am fortunate that I am rarely down for long.”
Recently, while pondering how she could improve her balcony garden, Brandis’ online search for ideas led to the creative work of a young visual artist who is exceptional at promoting her own talent. Brandis immediately identified with the dedication of this visual artist. “That’s what you have to do as an original musician in these times—promote yourself, because no one else is going to take a chance on you. There is too much risk of no financial gain.” Impressed by this young talent with extreme accountability for her own success, Brandis hired her to create the logo for Z Art Tones Dot Com.
“Teaming up with another creative person has opened my mind to new possibilities. It is a relief being able to share some of the creative load I have been carrying around for years. Eventually, the countless hours I have spent creating music will pay off. There is no reason they shouldn’t. That’s how my faith works.”
With this successful connection on the visual art side, Brandis started looking for ways to revive her motivation to record songs—possibly for singers looking for songs and possibly for another Brandis album. At this point, she didn’t know which way the scale would lean. Brandis rejoined Songwriters Guild of America which is in the process of expanding. She also began researching the current state of music.
Everyone who makes any kind of money in the music business knows that the money trail starts with a song. Without the songs, there would be no money for recording engineers, publishers, record label people, broadcasters, etc. Yet the people who embody the actual music are often paid the least if at all. This is a very simplistic description, however it is largely true.
There are several great online support networks for songwriters and original bands right now. Many songwriters and musicians are creative on several fronts—musically and otherwise. On one of these websites, Brandis found a listing for a drummer who will add his talent to your song track. Bingo. Brandis was hooked on that idea for those days when the thought of programming every little high hat chomp and cymbal crash bores or overwhelms her. Help is at hand. And why not support a fellow musician if you can afford to?
Everyone loves music and everyone loves musicians, but few want to pay the piper-- probably because the music is being made so easily accessible for free, and due to other factors, few have any available funds. If new music were no longer available for free, music lovers might be more willing to subscribe.
Is one person capable of turning the tide?
Watch for the first of ten new songs for the fourth full-length Pam Brandis album to be released in November at Z Art Tones Dot Com.