Clara Berry

is creating Music, Art, Writing

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About Clara Berry

Hi folks,

My name is Clara Berry. I am a musician, artist, sometimes writer and general creator. Prior to starting this project, I worked as a gigging musician, songwriter and music teacher for many years. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun, but ultimately I had to abandon it as a full-time pursuit. Life as a musician is uncertain and chaotic, and that hinders my creative process. The myth that artists must be tortured in order to create is just that, a myth. That may work for some folks, but for me it is the quiet evenings spent at home that render the greatest creative gains.

In taking a break from pursuing my passion as work, I was finally able to see that I had become  shackled to others' ideas of what I should do and be. This is common for musicians, and it is especially common for female musicians. Well meaning friends, family, fans and fellow-musicians had thoughts (a lot of thoughts) about what I should do with my work. This is partly cultural, and I've absolutely done it to others too. We have this idea that taking interest in someone's work involves telling them how they can improve it. Sometimes it is actually helpful and constructive criticism, but most often it is not. In these moments we forget that whatever someone is producing is a reflection of their world, experience and perception. By telling someone that we know how to improve their piece or how they present it, we are in some sense implying that something about our own world-view is more correct. This is unintentionally controlling, insulting, and 100% human.

In realizing how much sway this kind of feedback had had on me (in both an artistic and business sense), I realized how much I'd been encouraged to give away. As a female musician this is very much the expectation. That we will give and give and give. That we will give our recordings, our time, and performances all in the name of exposure. We are told this narrative that our art is our gift and that we must share it freely. And if you are a woman you will smile the whole time. This, it turns out, that is a surefire path to burnout.
 
What I lost, and what I think those of us who truly love music and art lose when we give into this culture, is a true sense of value for art. Disdain for money is a funny cultural thing that in all honesty I don't completely understand. Money, in a very real sense, represents our time. When I pay for something, I am communicating that whatever I am buying is worth that time. I think this brings a measure of dignity and respect to the artist-listener relationship.

I no longer depend on music for my income, and I can once again see its inherent value. What initially drew me to music was the way I could listen to a song a hundred times in a hundred different states of mind and it could be something new at each listen. To me, music is not something listened to once and filed away. To me, it is meant to be examined and appreciated from a variety of angles. 

The joy in crashing and burning this way has been realizing that there is an entirely other way to go about this. There are boundaries that have always been mine to set, though I may not have realized this before. This page is a part of that journey. Going forward, most of the music I produce will be available only for monthly paying Patreon subscribers. I so appreciate the many people who have supported my art insofar and made the music possible in so many different ways.
My hope is that this engenders a sense of community around art-making.

Thank you,
Clara





Goals
15 of 25 patrons
If I reach 25 patrons I'll do a live online performance.
1 of 1
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 20 exclusive posts
13
Audio releases
5
Writings
2
Videos
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 20 exclusive posts
13
Audio releases
5
Writings
2
Videos

Recent posts by Clara Berry

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