Why give the music away?

Hello, all you wonderful people!

This is Taryn. Thank you for listening to my music and being so supportive and encouraging. “Songs of the Bride” is now up on tarynleiaprescott.bandcamp.com where you can buy it for whatever price you want, or take it as a gift, absolutely free! So, the question you might be asking is, “Why are you giving the music away?”

A Completely Fake Reason: This was my master plan from the very beginning.

It took a while for me to come around to the idea, excellent idea though it turns out to be. It appears I’m not as cheerful a giver as I would like to become. However, now that I am giving, I am finding it a very cheerful business. La, la, la!

A Completely True Reason: It frees you to be yourself and me to be myself.

You can give whatever makes sense for you. Perhaps you enjoy my music, and are willing to support what I do by paying a standard price. Perhaps you are instantly transported to the seventh heaven by my music, and want to give me more than standard price. Perhaps you are me five years ago, a teenager in India whose attitude towards music was “um, itunes prices are not my cup of chai” and you want to download without payment. All of you, be my guest, feel free!

I can do what makes sense to me. To tell you the truth, having my music up on itunes has been giving me palpitations. There were bouts of self-analysis: “Am I, should I be like all (or any) of the other artists on itunes, because I’m now in the same system as them?” There was a vague sense of hypocrisy: I wouldn’t have been able to pay standard itunes prices myself, until very recently. There was pointless tension: “Is anyone actually buying it?”

None of these mental peregrinations were actually conducive to productive action. Now that the music is available for a glorious minimum of zero pounds/rupees/dollars/*currency of Timbuktu*, everyone is free to do what they like with it, and I’m free to continue making honest, courageous music without feeling the need to live up to a standard some pop star has set, and without claiming to be a pop star myself.

Two Partially True Reasons: I want to be generous. I want to be humble.

In my best moments, these things are true of me. Sometimes it’s as clear as day to me that it really, undeniably is vastly more blessed to give than to receive. Other (less noble) times I want to make mountains of money off my music, just so I could think to myself, “that’s the worth of my music, and by extension, me as a musician”.

It all boils down to a question of worth, doesn’t it. That’s where humility comes in. I’m not Brooke Fraser, or Jon Foreman, or *insert artist that you admire and want to be like*, and I never will be them, and that’s okay. I may not make mountains of money or be world-famous, but then, that’s true of 99% of us, isn’t it. If you normal, hard-working, lovely people would have me, may I take lifetime membership in your club?

Five Reasons That I Am Chewing Meditatively On:

The best things in life are free.
Hmm. Sunsets come to mind, followed closely by Salvation, and then it occurs to me that the statement could be amended “the best things in life are gifts”.

I want other budding artists to be encouraged.
Take that leap, make that scratchy recording, set a new song free. Who knows how many lives it will change.

I love making music, I’d pay you to let me do it!
No, not really. Okay, maybe. It is one of the few things that can absorb me so totally I’ll even forget to eat.

I have a Heavenly Father.
He’s promised to take care of me, and most of the time I believe him. I have moments of panic, but he knows how to calm me down.

I want you to listen to the music, and share it, and find joy in it.
Buy it if you want, or take it as a gift, listen to it, wrestle with it, dance to it, give it away!

What are your thoughts?