betsi krisniskiis creating music
About betsi krisniski
I'm really, really glad you're here. I'm gonna say that a lot. whether you're here because you heard my name or my music or you met me and wanted to find out if I really did make music (hey, here i am, I do!) or some other awesome turn of events that I can't possibly articulate at the moment. Regardless - you made it. My heart is happy.
When I started actively making music (like 2010-ish), I gave out my music for free. A hurricane of reasons (other artists shunning me, a need for supplemental income, other peer pressure-y factors) caused me to stop that. I became so focused on trying to make money via a hobby that I forgot about why I wanted to make music in the first place. My ultimate goal is connection. I am an introvert (INFP for you MBTI-ers) and thrive on my solo recharge time - but for some reason, playing music and writing my life in lyrics gives me an outlet I would not trade for the world.
I write because it documents a feeling, or a phrase, or a sound. It's like my audio diary. I remember where I was when I wrote most songs, or at least who they were about at the the time (some change their meanings over the seasons). I, like most people, have the amazing talent of being socially inept. However, I find when I'm most honest with my music, I make the best connection with other people - almost wallflower to wallflower. I also come out with things that don't make sense when I write them, but later on totally somehow magically come together. Songwriter's ESP? I'll be driving along, singing a song, and realize the true meaning behind some arbitrary line I wrote. It's an indescribable feeling. It's magic! And if you have the keys to the castle, ya need to just go in and enjoy it. Don't deny yourself.
One of the biggest questions I get when I meet someone and my music comes up is, "oh, what style do you play?" I hate this question. Well, hate is strong...it makes me squeamish. I don't fence my style in, but I'll tell you what influences me. Beatles. Cake. Trent Reznor. Amanda Palmer. Conor Oberst. Taylor Swift. Ani DiFranco. Anais Mitchell. Put all that in a tilt-a-whirl, plant it in the root cellar, and you get musical scientist homegrown organic eco-acoustic singer-songstress. I can't filter down what I sound like as a simple phrase, other than I sound like Betsi.
If you know me personally, you know that I'm a giver. I'm pleasantly burdened with the over-abundantly-giving gene. Is there a name for it? Whatever it is - I have it. I give until I am empty (working on that, cos that shit ain't healthy). I struggle with the concept of asking for money. I have always wanted to give to other people - not have THEM give to ME. But what if you look at it a different way, with my art and music - let's unpack that. I'm giving openness. And honesty. I am sharing myself. I am slowly unstitching parts of me to allow my art to be free, and raw, and to breathe. I am opening up and showing truth and maybe something somewhere will resonate with you and help you feel less alone. Maybe it will spark something in you to create your own art. Then it's not a one-way street anymore - it's a partnership. We're a team. So if I can give, and you can give, then it's a circle of energy. It's support. And if I can thank you by acknowledging your importance in the world, by being here and letting me express myself, and you can be here and thank me for bringing something into your life by spotting me some cash for super glue, I won't say no. With something as necessary as by-the-way costs (guitar strings, coffee so I can stay up until 2 AM and record new stuff) up to the big mama-jamas (record production, recording equipment) then I say HELL YES let's do this, be my partner.
So I'm creating again. Recording. The last major thing I did: I released an album in 2012, "Anchor". I am an avid DIY-er, and I recorded the whole thing on my Roland digital multitracker recorder in my parent's basement. Cos why not. But then I had to get it printed, and the big thing was Kickstarter. So I made a Kickstarter campaign. And while it was successful, and it paid for the album - it was very much a one-trick pony. "Hi, thanks for your money, i'm making the album now, bye!"
I don't want this.
The world can suck if you look at it a certain way - it's dismal and dark and people are mean. You get cynical. Throw yourself into any comment thread on a news article on Facebook, and you will see the smattering of keyboard warriors, thick in their own hatred. But it's all perspective. I use my smartphone as an example of this, all the time. You can see a smartphone as a time-sucking, brain-gravy-making tool. Devouring hours of your singular life by scrolling timelines and tweets and comparing your selfies to Instagram models with a gazillion followers and then yes, your smartphone is EVIL. But hey - I use mine to record music ideas. Emailing back venues confirming shows to play. Sharing videos of late-night open mic adventures. That shit makes me happy. Perspective.
I have opened myself up the past 6 months to start connecting with all people, and on my route, I easily found good people. There are still good people, and I want to know them. I want to make art with them, and for them. I want to reinstate the kindness I used to be able to see so freely. I want to connect with good people and be a partnership. I want to be a team. I want to make art and know that people believe in me to make art. And I know they do, and I know you're reading this right now and you might be one of them. And I love you.
And this is how I have found my way to Patreon.
I see Patreon as an ongoing potluck. I have set my preferences that you pledge your amount, and you will get charged ONLY when I release an official "paid post", which will mean I have something of value to share with you that I've created. Otherwise, this will serve as my blog of sorts. As much as Facebook is a crutch for advertising...it's a sucky one. And extremely biased and unbalanced. Kickstarter is related to a single project, but Patreon can be a never-ending update, combo of blog stuff and then leading up to and funding a final project (currently my next album). You get? Feel free to ask me ANY and all questions as well.
The culmination of all of this is the following: art is communal. Music is communal. Let it see you. Take it, listen to it, share it, burn it, send it, torrent it, get mad at it, delete it, regret it, find it again, throw it on a mix tape. I don't want to be a corporation. I want to be a person you can talk to, and email, and tweet at, and relate to. If you find something relatable, I am so unbelievably happy and satisfied - SOOOO satisfied. Pay what you want, pay what you can - I'm not trying to be a superstar, I just want to be happy, and being able to create without worrying about the occasional trivial expense is really my ultimate goal to happiness. Life is too short to not pursue your own dreams. And sometimes it's as simple as knowing someone believed in me enough to throw me $5.
I do really hope you find something worth keeping with you.
And I'm REALLY. Glad. you're here.
Have you ever spotted someone a dollar somewhere; they were short for the toll, or their groceries, or a fee? I have. Sometimes a dollar is all you need. It can make all the difference to someone who needs it. And I thank you. This tier gets access to all patron-only posts and downloads.
You're spotting me a cup of coffee once a month (or however often you choose to fund) and holy moly, do I love my coffee. It's like our own little friendship exchange. I will drink my coffee and think of you. You will probably get a photo of said cup in your feeds. This is one of those little things that add up - both to the consumer and to the business. I love trying new places and I will do my best to mix it up to give local businesses a shoutout. And I thank you. This tier gets access to all patron-only posts & downloads, and coffee photos as possible.
So I totally picked up the fake nail thing from Ani DiFranco. Not gonna front. I don't go all out with the electrical tape (I tried it, wasn't for me), at first i was doing it cos hey Ani is. Then I began to love it on my own. I can play with a pick, but it is a lot less comfortable. putting on fake nails is almost like Batman suiting up before he goes to fight crime...except I don't fight crime. Negativity maybe, but not super villains. I put my nails on and I am just ready to GO. You are enabling me to just GO. So I thank you. This tier gets access to all patron-only posts & downloads, and coffee photos as possible.
Nailenes and glue? check.
Strings? I don't change them as often as I should. But when I do - it adds up fast.
Glitter? I use a lot.
This tier makes me unstoppable. I thank you. This tier gets access to all patron-only posts & downloads, and coffee photos as possible.
This is major. You are covering coffee, nailenes, super glue, guitar strings, GLITTER - oh my. Sharpies, too. You basically are my sugar daddy. I can make so much out of that equipment, I'm like the MacGyver of songwriting. So I thank you. Thank you doesn't even really cover it. This is a big one. This tier gets access to all patron-only posts & downloads, coffee photos as possible and I will send you presents in the mail - including a hardcopy version of any album I complete and release as a paid project. So gimme your mailing address.