The Road Less Traveled 

One of the most difficult things to do in music is to find your original voice. Originality doesn't just mean making up random noises that have no purpose. Originality is being so deep into the music that you find your own voice within to share with the world.

This can be a difficult path to take. It is not always the road to popularity or affluence. It's not the path that music business executives would ever want you to take but, without original artists, there would be no music business for executives to capitalize upon. Originality is not always the path that leads to instant recognition for your hard work or efforts.

Many people see originality as a threat to their inability to be original. They may see you as trying to upstage their abilities as musicians. This can caused a lot of friction in one's life with the people you work with in musical situations. Other musicians in the area that you live may not want to play music with you because of your originality. Club owners and proprietors of venues may not want to hire you to play in their business places because they are looking for an act that sounds just like another band or plays in the matter that is expected within a set genre.

To me originality is the key to being a true artist. I can listen to just a few phrases from a recording and know it's Miles Davis playing the trumpet without ever having heard the recording before. Miles' originality comes through the speakers like a lightning bolt hitting me with 1000 volts of electricity. The melodies from the members of the band the Beatles are impossible to forget because of their simplicity in direct originality. Guitarists such as Jimmy Page and Jimi Hendrix forged into being their original guitar tones that we hear as being clichés today. In music, originality is the ultimate tradition.

All these people have touched my life very deeply and I see it as being a mission of mine to find my own originality, like they did themselves, as the ultimate tribute to them. I have taken the road less traveled.


James Murrell