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Jeffrey Briggs: News

World Music - January 31, 2012

Classical, flamenco, and Latin guitar music has nowhere near the popularity of pop, rock, country, and hip-hip.

Like every other musician, I’ve always wanted my music to be heard by the largest possible audience, but I’ve never had any illusions about its mass appeal.

Last November I signed up with Airplay Direct, the largest distributor of digital music to radio stations in the world, with over 18,000 musicians vying for airplay on more than 7000 stations.

My inner child dreamed of fame and fortune, while the oft-ignored adult in me kept cautioning against vain hopes and grandiosity.

For a week, nothing happened.

Then at 6:45 am Friday, December 16th, 2011 my curiosity led me to the Airplay Direct charts, which rank musicians according to the number of songs downloaded to radio stations in a given time.

To my amazement my Christmas Guitar album was #1 of all the top 50 albums for the day. Kenny Rogers was 9th, and Dolly Parton 11th.

I couldn’t believe it.

Not fully understanding the site, I had mistakenly placed three albums consisting of 45 songs under Christmas Guitar, unable to give them each their appropriate page.

I soon began to realize clumping all my music under one album was a stroke of luck, because I was competing against single albums.

Stations were attracted by the Christmas pieces, and then stayed to sample the rest of my music. Several of them downloaded all 45 pieces.

And what stations.

OK Radio, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

Radio Vest, Ulfborg, Denmark.

Radio Everson Paladini, São José, Brazil.

Radio Voce Spazio, Allessandria, Italy.

Radio 6/ Cafe Sonore, Hilversum, Netherlands.

And North American stations in places like Taft, California, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, Bend, Oregon, Santa Fe, Texas, and Vernon, Canada.

Not exactly New York, London, Paris, Rome, and Tokyo.

But unquestionably global.

Through the miracle of the Internet my music is now being aired in Italy, Portugal, England, Scotland, Germany, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands, Brazil, Kyrgyzstan, and Canada, as well as the US - something I dreamed of, but never thought possible.

What a thrill to imagine music created as a family Christmas present in the closet of a rented room in La Puente, CA being played and hopefully enjoyed by unknown people in distant places.

A musician is an ambassador of creativity, beauty, art, love, peace, harmony, emotional freedom, and joy.

These values strike a universal chord in humanity.

I’m proud to spread the seeds of my heart so they grow in diverse other souls through the medium of instrumental sound.

Creativity is the most reliable path to true personal freedom, and therefore the perfect antidote to corporate control.

It’s fun, it quells the savage beast, it boosts self-esteem, it’s free, it’s available to everyone. Try it. It works.

Here’s some music that dreamed its way into the world:

airplaydirect.com/music/JeffreyBriggs
 
These sites may also be of interest to those now growling, barking, salivating, and baying to the moon for flamenco, Latin, and classical guitar:
 
http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JeffreyBriggs  
http://www.ourstage.com/profile/jeffreybriggs
http://www.myspace.com/httpwwwmyspacecomjeffreybriggs
Jeffrey Briggs

Guitarist & Composer
(310) 839-3580
jeffrey900@rocketmail.com

Christmas Guitar - December 16, 2011

Christmas Guitar by Jeffrey Briggs was #2 of the top fifty albums downloaded to radio worldwide on Airplay Direct on December 14th, 2011.
Check it out at:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jbriggs4

Some thoughts on the creative potential in each of us. - May 15, 2011

The Tropical Paradise of Art
© Jeffrey Briggs 4-2-11

The road is beautiful. A black ribbon of ever decreasing size against the green rural distance of a summer day.

An intensely saturated sky of cerulian blue and bright white fluffy clouds that cast moving shadows on the landscape.

This vision comes to me of its own accord. Is it a novel, a major motion picture, a springboard to fame and fortune?

No. Words freely dreamed. An arbitrary, whimsical vision existing only in the exquisite pleasures of imagination. Written without a plan or structure. And most impotantly without a goal, or intent, aimlessly. The Zen of creativity. A power we all have, and one that can set us a free as we can be.

For more than 5 decades I have made the daily practice of art my highest priority.

Art is our most human commentary on our own humanity.

The literature of isolation, of being marooned in a wonderful body.

Thoughts of amazing insight and brilliance, routinely.

Awareness of our common condition and our common fate.

The urge to communicate while yet alive.

A message from the fatal interior to a fatal reader.

A fundamentalist view of existence, its raw pulsating omnipresence.

To see oneself and others at the same glance.

Freshness of perception and creativity are innate.

One can and must learn it, in order to maximize the pleasure and joy of our individual trajectory, as well as its tragedy.

The sense of impermanence is always with me, as is spontaneous elation.

It seems that evolution has already considered our plight and has given us what we need to clarify and justify it to ourselves.

Ignorance is relative. So is knowledge.

But I have no truck with philosophical uncertainty. It is purely intellectual and abstract.

I deal with the concretely personal, the physical, the creative, the spiritual.

I advocate a doctrine of creativity.

Its essence is joyous play, during which moments we appreciate ourselves and life for good reason.

Art is positive, affirmative, emotionally commanding because inrensely and freely felt.

There is no current American vocabulary for this approach to life.

Its all there in the playpen, the sandbox, at the beach.

Art has the great virtue of having no doctrine, no rules, and no map, as well as no explicit reward. It is as true an experience of freedom as we can get.

We are explorers both within and without, endlessly integrating the flexibility of whimsy and conceit with the rigor of critical analysis of what we have done.

But there is nothing negative about the process. It is reliably and endlessly positive.

To create is to realize your own vast potential in inspired flashes of imagination.

We were all equally creative as children.

Let’s turn back our personal clocks and start over, this time with a different perspective.

Something has been lost in what we call adulthood.

Let’s find the child within, and respect him for a change.

All the blocks to creativity are cultural, learned, and reverseable.

It is easy to talk of freedom, but it is difficult to live freely in a world as authoritarian, negative, regimented, uncreative, and psychologically damaging as our current human one.

Creativity is the solution to our riddles. Talk therapy helps us to focus, but only creative acts liberate us from our devils.

Psychic, spiritual healing is engendered by the intense emotional catharsis of spewing back feelings spontaneously by the manipulation of a creative medium perceiveable to the senses.

All the arts are one when it comes to the basic process of creation.

The only art that interests me comes from internal necessity.
Only when freely wrenched from within and lifted spewing, steaming, and pouring from the cauldron of passions in which we live and dream will it be of us for us, whether creator or perceiver.

The artistic being cannot be reduced to a theory or formula, nor can a creative product that has gleamed and glistended its way into existence by its own whimsically erratic intuition.

Head and heart together, intimately, irrevocably united.

A feeling brain, an intelligent sensibility.

Art is love that is felt as passion.

Art is a gift to set us a free as we can be, so we can sing fully and echo the eloquent calls of our fatal being throughout all time and the universe with certain knowledge of our imminent demise.

Art is human-sized glory, food for those hungry for existential help.

Human beings are first and foremost intelligent. Education only exists when this limitless power for clarity and sanity is fully respected.

Teachers don’t have to be perfectly educated, but they must be intelligent. They must have self-esteem, empathy, and a real compassion for other people. They must be comfortable in dialogue that is free from all restrictions, that may lead anywhere.

They must be innately curious. The desire to know should be followed by the intense pleasure of knowledge.

Each of our minds is the measure of all the others, and in spite of wide variation of capacity, we are all capable of seeing and feeling the resonance of truth, whenever the evidence supports it.

Nothing prevents us from being creative, including the strains and stresses of working for a living. During the drive, on a break, at lunch, in the bathroom, driving home, relaxing, lying in bed before sleep all find us 100% available for creative thoughts and expressions.

Reading about the creative processes of artists reveals that inspiration comes at any time and circumstance. What makes artists different is the attention and value they place on their own most fully realized perceptions.

An artist is constantly surveilling the psych interior, and finds the universe within as limitless as that without.

Each of us is the hero of our own unique tale, lived each moment, and experienced subjectively.

In artistic activity the feelings are given form through the free exercise of a creative medium. The process of art is playful, fitful, spasmodic, desultory, enthusiastic, frustrated, inspired, relieved.

We are unburdened after we have created a new expressive form, as well as being psychically strengthened by taking pleasure in the fruits of our own innate genius for its own sake.

Creativity teaches a respect for truth because its practice encourages the frank evaluation of our thoughts and feelings.

There is no ulterior motive in genuine creativity. It is its own reward. The central concern is to accurately express your feelings and concepts by calculatingly or impulsively manipulating a creative medium.

Essentially the ongoing dialogue between artist and art is a lifelong diary, a personal voage of discovery, a potentially therapeutic and therefore energizing and validating stance toward daily life.

To be an artist is simply the best way to live.

Imagine you’re ship-wrecked on a utopian island in which all your needs are met except the ability to leave. You’re sentenced to a year to doing whatever you want with no possible effect on others.

What would you do?

This is the true perspective from which to see the overriding impotance of the practice of creativity. It is directly, personally relevant to your own capacity for happiness.

What can you be? No one but yourself can tell you.

If I could mould our educational institutions I would place the goal of individual fulfillment in its deepest meaning as the overriding value from which all else must depend.

Art is democratic, meritocratic, authentic, fresh, passionate, and expressively powerful.

Back to the island.

Let’s suppose an art studio is magically placed at your disposal, and you have nothing but endless time on your hands with no pressing demands at all.

Anyone coming from our world would initially tend to resist the childish innocence which will always set us free personally. They would skulk and fret and bemoan and complain and depress themselves becaue that is what they have been taught to do.

Let’s imagine there are no external cimmucations, no interantional media, no radio, TV, internet.

But let’s say you’ve been given every possible means of expression known to man - painting, collage, drawing, sculture, dance, photography, video, music, et fuckincetera.

At some point let’s assume our captive in Paradise begins to get down to a level of humility and honesty with himself, and finally begins to manipulate all the means at his disposal for self expression.

Imagine the great moment of transformation when the incipient tyro artist impresses himself for the first time with his own innate talent.

What has been viewed initially viewed as a prison has now become a potential paradise. The sheer innate power of earthy naturally beautiful existence, both within and without, now floods the man with enthusiasm for himself and the pleasure of living is felt as an active emotional thrill.

Our hero now realizes his good fortune. The world he has involuntarily left has never helped him find himself. He has never been given the opportunity and encouragement to get in touch with the limitless creative power lying within each human breast.

Now he realizes that happiness is his to grasp if he cares enough.

And he discovers he does.

At the end of a year he has produced videos, photographs, animations, paintings, drawings, digital images, recipes, means to sexual satisfaction, jokes, ideas, stories, essays, and a long diary.

What is to prevent you from being this person?

I don’t have the time.

Horse panties! Make the time.

Nothing is more important than your own personal life, your thoughts, feelings, aspirations, dreams. Why not prioritize yourself?

Each of us is an undiscovered country with vast regions of unexplored and as yet unrealized glory.

Imagine yourself as beautiful, and you are.

It’s not to cosmeticize, or deny reality. It’s to get in direct contact with the best elements inside you that are within your full capacity to grasp.

Art education should be no more than the island with its gorgiously eloquent means of production, beckoning the student with magnificent hints of the indescribable pleasure of being personally empowered enough to begin to take charge of your own mood.

The moment just before the first line is drawn is pregnant with all the fears and insecurities we have been taught.

Am I talented? Is this good? Will others approve, or will they humilate me?

Then comes the doubt. I don’t know what to do. What should I do? There’s no one to tell me.

Suddenly the hand is moving, trailing a wobbly line behind, and the negative magnetism is suddenly reversed, and the full wham of thrilling harmless self-affirming creative power lights up the child within to his own potential genius.

Welcome Fine Peeps! - June 16, 2009

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This site exists to connect the world to the creative works of guitarist Jeffrey Briggs.

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