During my nine seasons at McMurdo Station and the South Pole, I spent a lot of time dreaming outside the boundaries of the “grid”. It’s kind of a freeing experience but when you return to the world, it’s not easy to move those ideas and dreams from fantasy to reality.
Dreams don’t work within time, space and money or any of the physical boundaries we face in our grind of day to day living. Dreams just happen when you afford yourself the space to just think. Dreaming as a child is natural and easy to do because most responsibilities are covered by your parents; but as an adult, dreaming often seems frivolous and dwindles away, getting lost and buried in the daily grind.
For me, chasing a dream is a necessary exercise to maintain youthfulness. Staying young comes in part by dreaming of the next big challenge and then running hard after it. Never giving up and not taking your eye off the ball. As an adult many of us have to relearn how to dream. Realizing dreams requires discipline and determination to break away from the shackles of “how things are” and muscle in new ideas of how things will be from now on. You must work your dreams into and around your life until they become your new reality. You must allow dreams to be dreams and never blemish or subject them to the burden and boundaries of reality. Reality will do that for you when you try to make dreams real. Dreams need to be free to just be dreams so dream big.
Dreams only come true when the dreamer makes them so. They are nothing more than ideas and good ideas are a dime a dozen. Everyone has had good ideas but the person who follows through and puts the effort forth to develop all the details that make an idea into a functioning prototype is the most unique part of the equation of making dreams come true.
Since I returned from Antarctica (almost 10 months ago as of 09/4/21), reality set in quickly. Time and space became governed by available money, personal energy and the 24 hour day but I've been working my dreams hard.
I dreamt of recording new material that I've been privately working on over the past several years so I turned my master bedroom into a mini recording studio. I've had many ideas about improvements for the vibraphone that came to me while practicing music or transporting the instrument from Dallas to McMurdo Station and then the South Pole and back again, so I turned my garage into an amateur job shop with enough basic (but expensive) tools to experiment making prototypes.
Many people have asked me for help with their damper system so my living room became my indoor laboratory for experimenting with silicone gel to make better damper pads. I brushed up on my autocad (mechanical drawing skills on computer) to design parts for the vibe and in order to pay for all this, I secured a paramedic day gig at a busy E.R.
When Covid hit, I started dreaming up ways to play for people in a unique way of traveling around the country with my vibraphone and doing pop-up concerts using beautiful places in America as a backdrop so I bought a small van that I can sleep in and pull a trailer with my vibe in it. These are all dreams that are in the making and becoming real but the biggest dream/idea of all is also the most complicated one because it involves other humans.
My biggest dream and most complicated idea was one I've been working on for a very long time. How can I help people who play original or semi-original music? How can I use money from laypeople who listen and love music for free but aren't afraid to support it. How can I offer a means for those good people to get involved and help pay and support the cost that musician/artist's incur as part of their lives to make music? If I can figure out a way to spread the cost of making music, similar to the way health care insurance spreads out the cost of expensive health care to include all the participants of music, I'll help improve the world for musicians.
The term "Good Vibes" has been used, overused, misused and abused since the Beach Boys popularized it in the 1960s. However, the term has never really done anything substantially tangible. So I've decided that maybe "Good Vibes" can be made into something intangible that can be sold to provide assistance to musicians.
When I brought this idea up with my website designer, she loved it and created the "Good Vibes" banners for sale at the PIPERvibe store. When you buy Good Vibes, you are making a donation to help a person who is being an artist and you are helping me sell the products I am creating. So when good vibes are bought, they are helping the person who bought them with their donation by giving them the good feeling of helping others and participating in the support of music. They are helping the musician receiving the donation support by offsetting their expenses and you are helping me sell my products that keep me in business to make more music and make more vibraphone innovations and accessories for artists.
I dreamed of a new way of doing business… No one pays for music anymore - it's all free to everyone except the artists who create it.
When I problem solve, I first try to ask the right questions. Once I find good questions, finding good answers is just around the corner. Trying to solve problems without asking the right questions is impossible.
The problem: I play music and develop expensive solutions (vibraphone upgrades and innovations) for people who have no money (vibraphone players). This is a very difficult problem to solve. So, how do I solve it? Who is going to pay for it? Currently, I do.
The idea is to spread out the total cost of making music among the many people who are involved in listening to it. 5 bucks here, 10 bucks there. Use that money to offset the cost of items the artist needs to create it. An item that cost the artist 500.00 can now be offset by the "Good Vibes" donations account and may now only cost the artist $100.00. This sells the products I make, and lowers the cost to the artist who needs it. Since the cost is spread out among all participants of music (the listener included), the cost to each participant is not painful but easy to come up with.
I’ve heard people say things like “The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is turn on my music. It gets me ready for the day”. Or , “I listen to music when I go to bed – it helps me unwind and get to sleep.” “I couldn’t live without my music”.
The musicians most people are listening to are probably doing fine and maybe making big money but the people on the bench like me and the people I’m helping are struggling. I guarantee you that many if not all of the very successful musicians we all know and love came up and learned along the way with people like the ones still struggling to stay in the creative business of making music. The superstars were not born that way. They didn’t get there alone. They learned and developed their art alongside others and by playing with people who did not have the good fortune of becoming superstars. They got there with the cosmic and physical support and energy of the little guys. The little guys need support too. Without the little guys, there would not be the big guys. If the local musician goes away, music will suffer on all levels.
Perhaps Good Vibes support is a small additional way to support the artists making music. When you help an artist, you are supporting the arts in the best and biggest way possible. You are directly contributing to the source. The PIPERvibe Good Vibes donations are to help offset the cost to artists who need it.
Next question to answer: How do I set it up so that the Good Vibes contributors feel like Good Vibes and not suspicious activity of a businessman? Perhaps the first hurdle is to just struggle through the first few projects and gain the trust that this is a legitimate attempt to make the world a better place for some individuals and the people involved are thankful and trustworthy. I guess we'll just have to get through some successes on our own first.
Please help with your Good Vibes here... https://www.pipervibe.com/donate