time to change the way we view music and the arts

From feelings to foxes: A five year reflection

Photo credit: Kira Grunenberg

Photo credit: Kira Grunenberg

 

2010. That was a big year in my life. That year closed the chapter on my graduate studies and left me in the “real world” to figure out where I’d find myself within all this artsy, creative business and back then, there was a mix of excited motivation and extreme uncertainty swimming around in my head.

Those sentiments and internal feelings were part of what I expressed – openly and without any guarantee of reciprocated caring – to the vast, open and always on, soap box microphone that is the internet. Did I know if a single person out there would necessarily connect with, or even care about, my conflicted thoughts regarding the performing arts? Absolutely not. Yet I opened a new chapter anyway: writing about the people, places, events and opinions within this “constantly in-flux field” that inspired a desire and a need to say something in response. The chapter’s beginning was for me. Anything I posted was mostly for my own mental and emotional satisfaction.

Now though, things are so very different.

It’s been said that the web is the one thing that human created, which we no longer have complete control over, or understanding thereof, anymore. The internet is so large, far-reaching and complex that our loss of full command was the only logical outcome, if not counting a reality where the internet never takes off as a concept for the general populace…(crazy talk, am I right?) Well, similarly, this very basic pursuit I began as something I controlled in its early life, has evolved into something else entirely that makes the simple act of writing, no longer just about, or for, myself.

The sheer number of musicians, inventors, entrepreneurs, causes, books, songs, organizations and much more, that have become inked reflection on the pages of this website, have turned Throw the Dice and Play Nice into a community. As the founder of this single island in the web, I have gone from sovereign writer to more of a director –someone who connects everyone and everything like a bridge. Now when I write about something or someone, I can’t help but think back on everyone else who came before – whether the week prior or three years in the past – and consider whether there’s a new relationship to be made, even if that connection doesn’t involve me past an individual introduction.

Throw the Dice and Play Nice was originally connected to this thought of a violinist, a rock band and an arts manager sitting down in a bar. The resulting content on this site intended to embrace stories that would ideally make readers wonder what three such entities would have to say to each other. I wanted to see lots of potential for talk, I wanted to find commonalities and I wanted to surprise and stir people across each of those “camps” in seeing those commonalities illuminated. That was how I saw myself attempting to make a change and carve some kind of a place for myself in this industry.

 

“[Throw the Dice and Play Nice] has evolved into something else entirely that makes the simple act of writing, no longer just about, or for, myself.”

Five years in and I’m not sure I can quantify how much of a change I’ve made to this field as a whole, or in exactly what way such change may or may not have occurred. Nonetheless, having known where this site was on that first day I said, “Let’s chat, shall we?” and now, actually having been part of that scenario where a violinist, an (indie) rock band and a manager chat over a beer, you could say “Throw the Dice and Play Nice” has reached a place where some of that original imagination has been realized, alongside new roads I never imagined it would be on. The last five years have brought together a spirit championed my old self and the new ideas of many new friends who I never saw coming and as the list of those friends gets longer every week, it’s become obvious that change has happened. Maybe the totality of these changes weren’t made solely on my own but then again, the fundamental thing I hoped for in 2010 was just to find a community out there.

So, here’s to five years of what’s been and here’s to success in-progress. May this place continue to bring the unexpected together, with an accepting audience thereof, in tow.

Thank you for playing nicely for the last five. Let’s keep it up, shall we?

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