Why Do I Do It?

 

Hi. My name is Davidson and I’m a music addict. This is maybe dramatizing things — and I certainly don’t mean to make light of people who are involved in 12 Step programs. Been there.

What I mean is that I make music because I love it so freakin’ much! I love to sing. I love playing guitar. I love creating meaningful lyrics and cool melodies.

Why do I do it? I’m on a mission from my soul.

 

[separator]

It’s a part of my DNA.

Due to the nature of the world we live in, it’s not always “practical.” I mean in terms of cash. Yes, there are people who are doing really well in the music biz.

But the fact is, most people in the world are busy — and couldn’t care less about my new song or album.

I’ve spent times in my life where I’ve worked really hard trying to change that. My main incentive was that I wanted to play more music. Might as well try to get the earth to spin the other way. Talk about carrying the weight of the world!

Now, I can’t say I don’t care — but I definitely care much less than I used to. I do it for myself. I want my music to be as honest as possible. Hopefully that will resonate with people and that will be my service to them.

This is not to say that I’m not like anyone else and people’s appreciation of my work is not important. It’s awesome! But I look at it more like “gravy” or “icing.” I do my best not to expect it.

When I was a teenager and I consciously or subconciously decided to be a musician for my career, I didn’t do it to be famous. Even though I suffered from incredibly low self esteem at the time.

We’ve all been branded by some trauma or another during our formative years. Some worse, some less so. Mine was probably leaning toward the “worse” side of the spectrum.

That’s a big part of the reason why I ended up homeless, on the streets and on my own in a new city (Toronto) at the tender age of 17. ‘Nother story, ‘nother time.

That’s probably also what led me to have my mid life crisis in my late twenties. I started asking all the important questions that most avoid. “What am I really doing with my life? What is love? What is happiness? What’s the point of it all? Who/what do I really want to be/do? etc.” I couldn’t avoid them if I wanted to survive.

I really and truly don’t care about being famous or “special.” I just wanna be myself, work hard, and be able to pay the bills with a sense of ease and lightness. Who doesn’t?

Perhaps there are people out there who are motivated by fame and being special more than by the process of creating and playing music. I don’t know.

I only know that for me, I don’t seem to have a choice. I simply love making music. And I love learning about music. I love growing my skills.

 

[separator]

Down To The Crossroads

I’ve been down to the crossroads several times in my life thus far. Where I’ve been on my knees or even in fetal position — asking if I’m on the right path. Because it’s so damn hard!

Sometimes I wish I didn’t love making music so much so I could just concern myself with “getting by” and then “getting away” when I’ve had enough of “getting by.”

The grass is always greener.

Whenever I’ve tried walking away from music, something deep inside me knows better. And I know that if I want to respect myself, to be myself, I can’t.

Regardless of whether or not the world ever pays attention to my work. Or on what scale.

I’m mostly at peace within myself now. I now know that come hell or high water, I will do my best to continue to build upon my body of work.

It’s taken me 15 years to get to the point where I could get the financing and resources together in order to record 5 of my songs in a way that I’m very proud of.

I’m not going to stop now. I’ve been writing songs since I was a teenager — and I’m writing new songs now. To me, they’re the best songs I’ve ever written.

And I’m getting better all the time. Better guitar player. Better singer. Better arranger. Better with my lyrics.

 

[separator]

In The Past

In the now distant past, I felt very fortunate to have landed a job as the guitar teacher at a few music stores. This led to my “falling into” having my own teaching business with guitar and piano.

I thought “I’ve got the perfect day job!”

However, the reality of trying to live on “poverty wages” in the city of Toronto began to wear me down over the years.

Don’t get me wrong. I do not believe the world owes me a living.

And even if I have to flip burgers at MacDonald’s (God forbid!) in order to eat and have a roof over my head I will continue to build my body of work.

Before I graduated summa cum laude from Humber College Jazz in Toronto I worked many hours doing hard labour. Digging basements, moving furniture, cleaning crew, prep cook, short order cook.

Whatever. That’s the past.

 

[separator]

I Have Good Karma!

Fortunately, I’m still teaching and enjoying interacting and supporting my current students with their musical goals and growth.

I’ve also managed to develop a couple of other side income streams (such as some session work and helping my wife Mary with her businesses).

So for now, I am definitely a lucky person. I’ve been able to significantly close the gap between who the world wants me to be and who I truly am.

I’ve been able to somehow hold onto and nurture my artistic vision through thick and thin. I’m very grateful for that.

Maybe I’m just stubborn and hard headed.

Author Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art says this is a good thing. Alright — I’ll take it! 🙂

In the old days record companies and publishers had Artist Development. I guess I’ve been working my own Artist Development program all along.

Most people aim to take the freeway in order to develop their goals in life. I took to the side roads and stopped at all the villages along the way. No worries. It’s all good — I now know I can take the freeway if I choose.

 

[separator]

In A Nutshell

I’m simply going to do my best to continue creating more songs. There are still many obstacles ahead such as financing projects and making the time for them to get off the ground, but my spirit feels good.

A little scared, but good 🙂 I know my true happiness is on the inside independent of circumstances. Doesn’t mean I don’t want to be, do or have things.

Just helps me maintain sanity in an insane world.

I am becoming ever more my true self in a world where we are taught not to be.

If you enjoyed this article or think it would benefit someone, please comment below or share it. Thanks 🙂

Practicing Persistence

This story is all about practicing persistence. But Life is sometimes funny, no? It cannot be grasped by the mind. Just when you think you’ve got it, it wiggles and squishes and morphs away into a new shape.

Practicing persistence can actually bring up opportunities to practice other qualities such as patience, compassion and humour for oneself. Non-attachment to the outcome is also key.

All blended with passionately doing one’s best to create the best outcome possible, of course. Whew!

Last week I was hired to do some electric guitar parts by a producer from Los Angeles. He had a technical request for me. A recording technique that would involve equipment I don’t have in my studio.

Being a guy who enjoys “over delivering” in these types of situations, I went out and rented the device. At the rental shop with djent (really hardcore progressive metal) music blaring in the background, the clerks couldn’t seem to get any of the devices they had on hand working.

They finally opened up a brand new one out of the box, connected it to their computer and it seemed to be compatible. I took it home (including driving this was 2 1/2 hours later) and discovered I still had to go through a few steps to get it “installed” with my computer.

Finally it turned out that one of the hardware components on the unit wasn’t working. This was after quite a bit of troubleshooting on my part. Oh, and did I mention there was a deadline with this job?

I emailed the producer and explained the scenario. He got back to me with some troubleshooting suggestions of his own. I’d already attempted them so it didn’t change anything.

He then said he still really wanted my playing on the recording. So I was just going to do it with the equipment and device I normally use. But he wanted it by the end of the next day.

By then it was the end of my day — I’d have to get back to things “tomorrow.” I had some students coming in to work with and had no more time for recording.

It may not sound like much here — but it was kind of a frustrating day. Hours of work and nothing to show for it! This all took place on a Thursday.

And I was feeling a bit anxious knowing I still had to deliver a professional level performance in just a few hours of time the following day.

I had a Zumba class to help my wife with Friday morning, and it was also our only opportunity to get some laundry done at the local laundromat. That Friday evening was our regularly scheduled date night.

I wanted my cake and to eat it too! I wanted to deliver the goods, exercise and have fun, get my laundry done AND hang out with my wife!

Well, as rough as the previous day had been? Friday was it’s equal in terms of being smooth! 🙂 I learned the song, laid down all the parts (rhythm guitar and lead solos) and gave the producer more than what he needed — all within 90 minutes!!

My wife also happens to be a Reiki master and was actually giving a Reiki treatment to one of her clients at that point — they were next door to my studio — so I was kind of restrained in terms of being overly loud. But it all worked out!

In conclusion: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. The very next day or some day soon, Life will quite possibly give you an invisible helping hand!

Some of you may also be able to add TGIF to my conclusion! 😉

Thanks for reading this far,

Davidson

CBC Radio And My Music

Success!
Success!

If you’ve been following my story for a little while, you may remember that one of the main catalysts that propelled me onto my current path (with a brand new CD) was CBC Radio. (For any international readers, CBC is the Canadian version of the BBC in the UK).

At that time, (I thought) I was content to simply write and record my songs with the intention of eventually licensing them to film and television.
My wife Mary had been playing some of my songs in her Zumba class — and the response was terrific.

After several enthusiastic people from her class suggested CBC to me, I finally got the message. That’s how the cards laid out to inspire me to reach out to CBC.

Back in the late fall of 2014, I got in touch with the head of the CBC Music Resources Office, Mark Rheaume. Mark got back to me. He is such a genuine and cool guy. He always got back to me straight away — and with helpful and clear information. A very supportive and great contact for me in the music industry.

He’d listened to a couple of my tracks and he told me that they would definitely fit with many of the shows carried by the CBC. However, he also suggested I have an album — or at least an EP — this way, my story would be a little more compelling for the people who had the shows.

So I thought, “Why not? Ok— I guess I’m making a CD.”

This of course led to an impromptu fundraiser  and my EP of 5 songs is now complete. It’s available in my store as a physical CD with cool artwork or on i-tunes.
[separator]

Update: CBC Radio and My Music

Mark got back to me recently regarding the status of my music. It’s now officially uploaded into the CBC music library. Woo-hoo! Step one accomplished.

Mark also gave me the contact info for all the relevant CBC radio shows in the country who can possibly use my style of music. He suggested I contact the shows in Toronto and encourage them to play my music. The shows also need to play Canadian artists —  that can definitely help my cause.

I will keep you posted as I move forward with that!

Another cool thing is that if I ever broaden my base of operations beyond Toronto and play other towns and cities, I will have the contact info for the producers of the radio shows in those towns!
[separator]

Other Related Articles

How Songs Happen

Back To Homepage

A Standing Ovation

Davidson Yeager
Standing Ovation
Davidson Yeager
Dave With Fan and Friend Ron Lacourse

I received a standing ovation at the end of my mini concert a couple of days ago. Is it because I “blew the roof off the joint?”

I played well. I’m really very satisfied with my performance. My sound was good (I even had a couple of musicians in attendance looking at my super basic gear afterwards and asking me how I got such a great sound), I knew the songs really well, I had a well designed set and people were there to listen and watch. When I looked out at the audience, they were absorbed in what I was doing.

But I don’t think that’s why I got a standing ovation. If you read my previous post about how I kept getting really emotional and tears of gratitude while rehearsing, you’ll get a kick out of this.

I actually had it happen to me in the performance! Oh man. The thing I really didn’t want to happen (other than technical issues, of course) happened.

And you know what? People loved it. It was spontaneous. It was real. It was authentic.

You can’t plan things like that.
 

What Is Being An Artist, Anyway?

I guess it’s all part of being an artist. Because in our day to day life where we wear our “social and protective rubber…ummm masks”, we start to believe that everyone is just as cool as can be.

Know what I mean?

As an artist I’m grateful to have the task of revealing myself — in order for others to feel safe to reveal themselves. Not to be confused with those blubbery whining stereotypes that are always vulnerable — but to be real and authentic.

This includes vulnerability. But it also includes strength, courage and confidence. And of course Love. And the more authentic we can be, the more these authentic feelings from the core of our beingness express.

When I say love, I don’t only mean romantic, friendship and family — I also mean that passion for being alive and connected to everything else in the Universe(s) that is alive also.

If you were at the event, thank you again for your support!

And thank you for the standing ovation 🙂

 

Pictures From The Concert

 

Davidson Yeager
Dave fist pumping while receiving standing ovation.

 

Davidson Yeager

Davidson Yeager
Dave At Piano “Innocence.”

 

Davidson Yeager
Dave Expresses On The Guitar

 

 

 

I Wept Tears Of Gratitude Today

Innocence Comeback by Davidson Yeager
The World Needs You And Your Unique Gifts

I shed tears of gratitude today. Before you say “big deal” or “you wimp” let me tell you that I haven’t shed tears in a long time.

I do confess to having the sniffles when watching poignantly touching scenes from a film with my wife — but when it comes to real life? Once in a blue moon.

Why The Tears of Gratitude?

I’ve been working hard at my art form since I was a teen. I don’t want to go into the details, but I had to run away from home as a teen in order to follow my dream of doing music.

I didn’t have any support in my childhood home when it came to making a career in music.

I’ve been homeless. I’ve slept in stairwells and lobbies of buildings. Eaten and slept in homeless shelters. Fortunately this didn’t last long, and I was able to get work and land on my feet within a few months.

We always have support, of course. If we’re willing to receive it and look for it. Many people have supported me since then in ways both big and small.

Why Did I Weep Tears of Gratitude Part 2

I’m in the midst of crowd funding to raise enough money to finish my album and promote it.

The first step has been a community fundraiser. You may already know about this. My wife Mary is conducting a Zumba class. This will be followed my a live and intimate performance by me.

As I’ve been rehearsing over the past few weeks for this mini concert, I’ve found myself choking back tears on more than one occasion.

I don’t really want to break down and cry while on stage, so I finally asked Mary what she thinks about it. She said it the tears need to come out. Just let the tears out.

I told her that sounds wise. I then told her it’s the love and gratitude I feel toward her for helping me put this event on — and also for all the people that have stepped up to support with their wallets and time.

I’ve worked extremely hard at my craft — and my art form — for many years now, and not received much in the way of support or recognition. I’m not complaining. How else should it have been? And I know because of these early hardships I have a resilience that perhaps many do not have. Doesn’t mean it was easy though. And I questioned my decision to stay true to my calling many times. I’ve faced down the demons of self doubt many many times.

It’s also not about being “God’s gift” or famous — it’s more than this. This is my calling. These are my talents. I have felt that I have something to say and offer our culture for many years — and finally it’s starting to be recognized. It’s a feeling of purpose and belonging. Without being a false version of myself. It’s ok to let my light shine!

That’s what caused the tears of gratitude to flow.

After saying this to Mary, I had my head in her arms and I was weeping. She certainly doesn’t see me like this everyday, but I’m really glad she did.

It felt really good to allow myself to show her my vulnerability in that moment.

Does this mean I’m gonna be weeping any time soon though? Hopefully not. Although I am allowing the feelings of gratitude to deepen and expand as much as possible.

If you’ve read this far, thank you. I have wept tears of gratitude today because of you 🙂