These are busy times, but good times. A group of Creative Entrepreneurship students are selling their art on eBay (that's the musicians) or their music on Bandcamp (that's the artists), all in aid of the charity Crisis. Because it's unfamiliar territory, everything's #outsiderart and I will put the links up to their stuff, once it's all there.
At the other university, the songwriters are writing in response to Paul Sng's film Dispossession, which is a heartrending and truthful exploration of social cleansing and what it means to real people in real homes in real communities. The contrast is stark between the meaningless jargon of the officials both in business and in local and national government, and the warm-hearted ways that the people speak in Nottingham, Glasgow and London about their love for their neighbourhoods.
The students are writing thoughtful songs and have clearly been very affected by the documentary.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to see as much live music as possible, as well as playing as much as possible. This is because I think you have to be able to be in an audience watching and listening, as well as being on stage; not just to learn from other people, but because it stops you from thinking that your world is the only world. When Helen and the Horns split up, I couldn't cope with the vacuum; somehow I had got used to performing to at least 200 people applauding what we did night after night. You have to understand where you fit in the greater scheme of things: we're not NHS doctors, we're entertainers. Necessary, yes, and possibly vital to some people, but we're not in possession of the secrets of the Universe. I love the idea of a river of creativity which you jump into and join in the flow, alongside other people doing similar and different things. It flows throughout history and has lots of small fish as well as lots of big'uns; there is room for us all and it's better to be in it than on the banks wishing you could join in. That's what I think, anyway.