Greetings, New Subscribers….

…and welcome to your first edition of The Weekly Digest.

The Troubadour Logo - it's a long story...

The Troubadour Logo – it’s a long story…

(Oops.  I got so wrapped up writing this this morning that I forgot to tag the relevant posts for this week’s digest – I thought I’d done that already. It should have included the first two posts below (Jeff T and Melrose Abbey)  Doh!)

I’m sure there’s a better name for this recurring missive, but despite my vaunted creative genius that’s the best I’ve been able to come up with so far.

I am pleased to see that there have been a notable number of new subscribers to this list in the past week – which is even more notable because I don’t know who any of you are.

Most of the subscribers to this list are friends and family – people with whom I have had some form of personal contact since I started the list several years ago. But lately, I’m seeing new subs from people I don’t know, whose e-mail addresses I don’t recognize,

I recall reading somewhere that your ‘fan base’ isn’t really growing until it begins to spread beyond the people that you know personally – so it is gratifying to see that my reach has begun to grow organically beyond a certain inner circle.

I am involved in several realms of creative endeavors.  My most recent business card (I make up new ones all the time) identifies me as:

Paul Schatzkin
writer·photographer·musician·artist

…and each of those categories represents some measure of both accomplishment and aspiration.

Writer: I’ve written two books, though one remains unfinished (and I may have more to say about that later this year).  I have maintained a blog of sorts since at least 2004, and this site now compiles a lot of the material that I have

Photographer: In the past two years, I have devoted myself most intently on photography, and much of what you’ll see in your Weekly Digest are outputs from that work.  My concentration on photography began in earnest in the spring of 2013, when I had a unique opportunity to shoot inside a normally off-limits-to-photography location in Scotland.  That excursion has since morphed into “Portals of Stone,” and I’ll post something from that continuing project whenever new work emerges from the digital darkroom.

Musician: To put “musician” on a business card is probably the most aspirational thing I do.  Yes, I’ve been playing guitar since Lyndon Johnson was president.  I am the living embodiment of what Emily Kaitz called a “Middle Aged Rock-n-Roller” –  I play a vintage guitar (a Gibson J-50) that I bought brand-new (would you believe 1966?).  Though my greatest single accomplishment in life was music-business related (until proven otherwise, I really was the first person in Nashville to sell music on the Internet), and I can play fairly competently and with some finesse, I have never found songwriting in my genes, and have never pursued the art professionally.   But I have some ideas brewing along those lines, and hope to manifest something in the year ahead.

What I have done recently in the realm of music is collaborate with my friends Thomm Jutz and Peter Cronin in the creation and release of The 1861 Project.  But as I have said from the stage when we have performed the material on several occasions, “I’m the Executive Producer – which is a fancy way of saying I didn’t really have anything to do with the actual music, but they still let me play in the sandbox…”

Artist:  Who? Me? I don’t know if anybody gets to call himself an “artist.” I’ve always thought that was a descriptor best left for others to apply.  I also think it’s one of the most over-used words in the language today.  To me, an “artist” is somebody who can alter your perception.  Most of the people our culture now calls “artists” are actually people who fit an existing commercial paradigm (think “recording artist.”)  Nevertheless, I’m coming around now to the idea that if I’m going to pursue a creative existence, then I need to own it, and one way of doing that is asserting the word “artist” after my name. Time will tell how that flies…

So, that’s a thumbnail sketch of me.  Now… what about you, new subscriber?

Who are you?  How did you find this website?  Why did you subscribe to this list? I mean: what with all the noise that fills your daily inbox, what signal do you hope to derive from this weekly missive?

I think I have a unique perspective (don’t we all?).  I care deeply about a lot of things.  Occasionally I comment on them, sometimes at length and sometimes quickly – though, unfortunately, Facebook seems to absorb most of the quick stuff.  I have yet to find a way of posting to WordPress that is as quick and painless as posting to Facebook. Which, come to think of it, probably accounts for why Facebook has devolved into what I call the “Random Trivia Generator.” But I digress…

I sincerely want to know who my new subscribers are.  If you have the time, won’t you drop a note into my inbox and tell me who you are, how you found the site, and why you’ve entrusted me with your e-mail address?  Send a message to paul-at-cohesionarts-dot-com.

As the subscriber list grows, I am more motivated to put thoughts-to-keyboard along with the photos that are auto-posted through Instagram.

So if you like any of what you’re seeing or reading here, please, pass the link on to your friends.

Thanks,

Paul Schatzkin
January 21, 2015



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Paul Schatzkin