November 10th, 2016
The time is ripe for another blog post from Julian Hartwell Music.
This has been a week to remember, to say the least. Our country continues to reel from Tuesday’s election results and everything that those results represent.
However, I’m not here to talk about that. You can get plenty of that elsewhere!
You see, I look at my role as an Artist as a very sacred role. I love sharing my gift, creating and crafting my discipline, and communicating through the universal language that is Music.
However, there are times when it goes BEYOND THE MUSIC.
This is one of those time…when I feel compelled to let you, my fan/visitor/listener, in on the less obvious part of what I do.
Something beyond the day-to-day news, shows, latest releases and the rest.
So let’s dive in 😉
The author Andrew Simonet points out in his short but powerful book Making Your Life As An Artist that more often than not the greatest and most ‘successful’ artists in the long run are not merely ‘Career Driven’ but fundamentally ‘Mission Driven.’
They look at the career milestones they achieve as avenues and channels through which to tirelessly pursue their Vision, AKA their Mission: A distilled Core Belief or set of beliefs, a Principle, a Message.
All Great Art has this. The Mission transcends technique, status, material, mode; even historical epoch or limiting circumstances. It is the Engine that drives everything else, the Heart and Soul of the Artistic Path, and the Commitment that prods the aspiring creator to again and again get back into the studio, the canvas, the pen, the script, the stage.
This long-winded preamble is not to say that I am one of these ‘Great Artists.’ I’m definitely a work in progress and surely have a ways to go before I can say I’ve crystallized my vision to any real, tangible extent in the real world just yet.
But it’s a process and there’s time for that.
I do feel I have honed to some degree my ‘Mission’ and it is that which I am willing to share with you today. Thus,
My Mission is to H.U.R.I – To Heal, Uplift, Remind and Inspire.
Through any and every aspect of the work I do – performance, composition, arrangement, band-leading, production, collaboration, accompaniment, education – I aim to:
1.) HEAL: There should be no doubt by this point that our World is in serious need of some Healing right now. Physical, Mental, Spiritual on an Individual level; Social, Cultural, Ecological, Planetary healing on the Collective level. Two sides of the same coin. The dis-ease at root of most of our current problems stems in so many ways from the separation between these two viewpoints or co-existing realities. And it seems on all fronts that before we can truly move forward in our evolution as a species we must find ways to Heal, in ourselves and in community, the combined and lasting traumas of so much greed, violence, abuse, racism, hate, malevolence, egotism, and division that plague the collective psyche.
In these times especially, any form of Healing is a sacred and immensely valuable tool to transform our social wounds into the elixirs of forgiveness, compassion, empathy, love. Masters of both Science and Spirit tell us that Vibration is at the heart of all matter – the Cosmic Sound, the Word, the all-pervading “Harmony of the Spheres,” the Energy that creates and destroys worlds. With Sound and Vibration as my medium I know I can harness and send Healing power to my audience, and thus to net-effect the wider culture or people at large. In speaking the Universal Language I believe Musicians have a special role in Healing ourselves and others, communicating on subtler dimensions where words will always fail.
“By linking art and healing, we gather up fragments of our psyche and form a new whole. Art becomes a healing force to the degree that the artist can embrace and integrate the pathological shadow aspects of our collective being and still clearly point to the source of transcendent wellness and radiance that is our constant potential.” – Alex Grey
2.) UPLIFT: As I was walking outside today on the daily grind, I was struck by a thought to send my fellow passers-by – “Stay Lifted, Ya’ll!” There is definitely a palpable sense of trepidation, anxiety, worry, and fear in the air right now. And rightfully so. But at some point it takes me back to the “U” of my mission statement – I just want to uplift the people and communities around me. The problems facing us can sometimes feel overbearing to the point that only those qualities take over; the joy we once knew or smile we once wore is lost. That is a sad place to be for humanity, no matter what we’re going through. In today’s day and age we have to daily, consciously, choose and maintain a tranquil, positive equilibrium to our emotions, thoughts, and actions to not sink any further down. I know it’s tough sometimes. But as the “U” of Uplift suggests, we all need YOU, AKA Each Other, to Lift Ourselves Up and carry the burden together, and Share in the simple Joy that is being alive, the small things to be appreciated, the countless and often obscured acts of kindness that happen everyday while we’re too busy looking down at the mud beneath our feet. If I leave a listener just ever so slightly in a better mood than when they arrived, I will have succeeded in this aspect of my Mission. When we are (up)Lifted we can see the world from a higher perspective – we can be grateful for both the blessings and the trials of our lives, we can notice the beauty of a flower somehow growing out of the same mud. Besides, the view is ALWAYS better the higher UP we go! I’ll take the window seat ; ) Which brings me to #3…
3.) REMIND: Ahh yes, this is probably the most contentious point of them all, but I’ll be as succinct as I can. The “Remind” I’m going for can take on many levels, but in a nutshell, it’s to Remind You of Who You Really Are! I can’t profess to have all the answers, but from what I can tell, You are a Mighty and Divine being! A Spiritual Being having a Human Experience, not the other way around. Or “both and.” You Are…A Great Mystery…the Question and the Answer.
So much of our current problems I see stemming from ignorance, plain and simple. Ignorance of our true nature, of the Self within, of the reality and dignity of every single unique and individualized strain of Universal Consciousness/Spirit/God/Energy I call “Me” and you call “You.” From the Illusion of Separation that creates an “Us” and a “Them.” A “me/mine” and an “Other.” And ignorance, like the mud from #2, clouds, distorts, dirties, detracts and distracts from the “Big Picture.” It always has.
But there’s a remedy! And every legitimate religious or mystical path on the planet has sought That Remedy in some sort or another, even while continuously getting clouded up again and again by those same old human weaknesses, sins, etc a lot of the time. That remedy is Wisdom – Knowledge of our True Nature and the Nature of the Cosmos in which we live. Some call it Truth, The Logos. Many call it God, but often get a little too obsessed and fighting over the details. The Remind I’m going for with my Music and my Art is something like the great exhortation to “Know Thyself!” at the heart of the Path(s) that we have taken since time immemorial to figure out just exactly what that is. I think we still have a long way to go, but we also have an amazing array of wisdom traditions and teachers at our disposal from which to choose depending on the particular point of our search and the needs of our Soul. The Reminder is that for every perspective in this Universe, there is still a higher perspective, and another still, and another. And that the expressions and circumstances of your life have a meaning, a reason for being, and that we ARE all here for a Reason, after all. I hope to somehow serve that great Reminder through the narratives and story I craft into Music, my particular expression of that Self at this point in time and space.
“Our whole business in this life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen.”
– Saint Augustine
4.) INSPIRE: And lastly, the final cornerstone that ties all points together and brings it all home. My Art and my Life can never exist in a vacuum, and it’s never really “Art” anyway until it can go Out into the World and interact with a real audience/observer/viewer and the current paradigm. This is where most of the fun is and also most of the challenge. My role is not only to express the visions, voices, and vibrations swimming around my own head, but to Inspire and Motivate others to use and share their own unique talents and gifts, artistic and otherwise. It’s the beautiful shared exchange of Art making that I don’t do this just for “me” – I do this to help kindle the fire of Inspiration in some way or another for your own creative life, to Remind you once again that You too are a Creator at your core and your Life is a work of Art in itself that I’M INSPIRED BY, for goodness sakes! We are all Artists. And in a world of budget cuts to art and music programs I need to make sure I’m somehow sharing to the younger generation especially a love and a spark for imagination and the creative arts that will help guide them along their own artistic journeys. I know the World is stronger for it.
And after all, there’s two I’s in Inspire…you and me! ; )
“The word ‘Inspire’ refers to the breath, which has always been associated with Life and Spirit. To breathe means that our bodies are alive. To in-spire is to be in-spirit. Spirit brings vision to the artist via the imagination, the multidimensional media center of our minds. The masterful artist transcends the limited sense of self and becomes an active channel of universal creative spirit.” –Alex Grey
“Aspire to Inspire before you Expire.” – Unknown
“H.U.R.I!” – Julian Hartwell
Thanks for making it this far! You rock AND you have a really great attention span! I hope this helps.
I know it helped me…I feel like I just underwent legit Artist/Mission Statement therapy and it feels great.
Cheers. And don’t forget to keep honing YOUR Mission, too.
#thoughtsonthursday #likealotofthoughts #missionstatement #artvision #findyourmission #tellyourvision