Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rhys Chatham's Astrological Advice for Musicians: May

Aries - The Ram - March 20 to April 20

This is the beginning of a new two-year cycle for you.  If you started any new projects last month around the time of your birthday, you will have lots of energy to really get them off the ground.   If you haven't initiated anything new, now would be a good time to begin gathering your ideas; towards the end of the month you will experience an extra push that, with a bit of effort, will really jump-start that new song or composition.  

Although you might have a tendency to be a bit more argumentative than usual this month, you'll find that you really enjoy being with people. So be sure to go out and socialize--not only for networking, but also for the new input and ideas that taking the time to hang out with people brings.  

Those of you born after April 8 should be careful not to overdo it at parties or club dates, as present influences favor excess.  Happily, when applied properly, this energy can also allow you to become completely at one with your music, which should normally result in particularly dazzling performances.  All in all, an excellent time for performing and touring.


Taurus - The Bull - April 21 to May 21

Feeing a bit discouraged or low on self-confidence?  Don't worry, it's only a passing phase.  You're at the end of a cycle that started two years ago, so now would be a good time to review what you have accomplished and bring any unfinished projects to a conclusion.  

You may feel inspired this month to take a new direction in your work or to make an adjustment on an existing project.  The opening weeks of May favor gathering your thoughts on this new direction, or simply reflecting on what you've done with your music up to this point.  By the end of the month, you should experience greater clarity on this subject. 

While your energy might not be at its highest this month, practicing or maintaining the discipline of keeping your daily appointment with the muse (whether she shows up or not!) will normally be possible with only minimal prodding.  Generally speaking, the energies this month favor any kind of research or inner searching.

Gemini - The Twins - May 22 to June 22

With your birthday coming up soon, this would be a good time to put the finishing touches on that song or project you've been working on, if you haven't done so already.  In any case, you'll be brimming with all kinds of new ideas for projects. But don't take on more than you can handle, even though you'll probably want to, due to all the energy and good vibes you've been feeling.

This month will be an excellent time for networking and socializing, because you'll be feeling good about yourself. So go ahead and throw that party or organize that dinner you've been meaning to invite your friends to.  Go out as much as possible, hang out with friends, and meet new people. Just be careful to avoid being overly indulgent, because you'll certainly be tempted to!

If you have been feeling that you've been stuck in a rut lately, then you'll probably find it difficult at the beginning of the month time to break out of it.  Don't give up!  Be patient, take a step back, and analyze the situation.  Continue to search for new solutions; with a little application, you're sure to find one by the end of May.

Cancer - The Crab - June 23 to July 22

You'll have a lot of energy this month--possibly too much--so make sure you have outlets to release it. This would be a good time to go on a road tour, which would not only be fun, but allow you to meet new people, make many contacts, and generally be more outgoing than you usually are.  There might be a tendency towards self-gratification of various sorts, so be careful not to overdo it at the bar--especially before the gig--and avoid packing chocolate bars while traveling: you want to look good up there on stage!

This month favors new activities and projects of all sorts; your life will have a more exciting quality than usual.  Normally, now is not the time to sit around all day composing, unless you are really on an exciting new track or direction.  In any case, you'll really want to get out there and do and see as many new things as possible.  

An energy is present this month that will test the validity of something you started approximately six months ago, possibly looking for any flaws in your preparation.  If you can consciously examine what you've been doing up to now, you should be equal to any challenges that may arise.  Ego conflicts may come up from time to time, especially for those of you born before June 25. For all Cancers, it will pay to be on guard against irritable impatience with others when things do not go exactly as you planned. But aside from this, your relationships with others should go fairly smoothly this month.

Leo - The Lion - July 23rd to August 22 

You will have lots of energy that you can direct towards your work this May, be it composing new songs or compositions, or collaborating with others.  Relationships with band members or other colleagues will generally be smooth, because you'll be generating warm Leonean vibes for the most part.

At the start of the month, you might experience a test or challenge to your projects.  Meet these challenges head on, as you'll have the energy and clarity of mind to do so. Given sufficient application on your part, confronting these obstacles will result in fresh impetus towards the end of the month, or perhaps even a new direction.

Mercury going retrograde after the 7th favors introspection of all kinds.  Review your goals 

and examine how well you are working to achieve them.  Perhaps it is time for a change of strategy?  Is it time to collaborate with others if you are not already doing so?  While collaborations of all kinds are favored during May, make a special effort towards the end of the month to really listen to others and try to see things from their point of view in order to reconcile conflicts.  If you're working alone, this would be a good time to see if there are any weak points in your thinking.

For those born between August 15 and 22, be careful about overextending yourself or going overboard--particularly with regard to buying equipment you don't need, because you'll probably be tempted to do so.  You may find that you alternate at times between being completely confused about your musical direction and literally bursting with fresh ideas and the feeling of being one with your music.  Don't worry about extremes like this for now, because it's normal, given present influences.  This is a time of discovery for you, so be sure to keep your appointment with the muse every day no matter what!  You'll be glad you did.

Virgo - The Virgin - August 23rd to September 22

Things should flow fairly smoothly in May.  At the beginning of the month, take a look at any projects you have that have been going well and whip them into shape, so that they are ready to withstand any initial challenges or tests later in the month.  The stress in your life will normally be relatively low at the moment, so you can firm up your affairs now with a minimum of stress.

Don't forget to examine any projects or matters that have not worked out so well, and decide whether you should cut your losses or not.  It may be a bit difficult to determine which are worth saving, but you can do it.  Those that feel better subjectively than the others will be the ones to go for.

Those of you born in the first twelve days of September might feel a bit fatigued this month. If this is the case, concentrate only on the projects that really need your attention--especially the ones that you may not want to do, but feel that you have to in order to fulfill your obligations to others.  

For those born between September 13 and 20, pay attention to any restless feelings you may be having and try to find out what it is that you want.  This is an influence where you can find that new sound you've been searching for all these months, or even years.  Of course you'll need to do a bit of digging, but you'll find what you are looking for if you keep at it!

Libra - The Scales - September 23 to October 22

In May, you'll really want to have as many interactions as possible with friends and colleagues, and your powers of communication will be at an all-time high.  This is an excellent time for touring or getting out of your studio to do a bit of serious networking and partying.

You'll also want to bring at least some of your projects to a culmination this month; this is certainly a time when some of your various activities will come to a climax.  It will soon become clear whether you have conducted these activities skillfully or not.  Once it does, you can adjust your course to bring them to a successful finish.

Your ego energies are easily aroused under present influences, so try to avoid unnecessary confrontation with others, as you'll probably be a bit irritable this month.  If this happens, notice your anger and irritation and ask yourself what these emotions tell you about your attitudes.  You may find that what makes you mad is quite unimportant to you, once you recognize it.

For those born between October 14 and 22, a strong Jupiter/Neptune conjunction gives you abundant intuitive insight into your musical endeavors.  Writing and all forms of creative inspiration are favored at this time, so while you'll definitely want to go out partying, don't forget to keep your daily appointment with the creative muse; there are fertile grounds to be harvested this month!

Scorpio - The Scorpion - October 23 to November 22

This is a period when things are likely to come together in one way or another, either in terms of your career or in the personal dynamics occurring within the context of your band.  If a career opportunity should come up this month, be sure to make an effort and milk it for all it's worth!  Doing so will bring quick results at this time.

Power struggles might occur this month. If there are any underlying tensions brimming below the surface with your manager, booking agent, or any of the other people with whom you work closely, try seeing things from their point of view and working towards a consensus, rather than being stubborn and deciding to do things your way no matter what. The latter attitude, at present, would cause resentment and perhaps even massive resistance. 

This is a time of culminations of all sorts, and failure is, of course, always a possibility as well.  Should this occur, don't get discouraged.  Be prepared to pick up the pieces and learn from any mistakes that were made.  Don't worry, you'll find a new direction; in fact, present energies favor this.  

For those of you born between November 14 and 21, an inner energy will be present that will open up a real opportunity to tap deeply into your musical resources, arriving at new ideas and previously unexplored directions.

Sagittarius - The Centaur - November 23 to December 22

Apply yourself to your current projects and continue to heroically plow ahead, despite any resistance you might meet.  If you're feeling restless and a bit undisciplined at the start of the month, buckle down and get your act together, because things should come to a head towards the end of May, when everything will begin to click into place.  You'll normally be full of ideas, and with a bit of effort, you'll be able to apply them to your musical projects.

If you feel as though you are stuck in a rut, this would be a good time to tear yourself away from your studio, get out more to see your friends, and perhaps get a little networking done, since you will feel an urge to socialize more than usual.  Relations with the band or your colleagues should go smoothly. However, if for some reason they do not, don't worry! It should be relatively easy to resolve any conflicts, due to the generally good vibes you'll be feeling on a psychological level.

An influence is also present which favors having sex, so be sure to have as much as possible of it this month. By all means, take advantage of every opportunity--always remembering, of course, to take the necessary precautions.  In any event, this should be a stimulating month in every sense.

Capricorn - The Goat - December 23 to January 21

Things will normally flow fairly smoothly at the start of the month, and you will be at peace with yourself for the most part.  That being the case, it might be a good idea to evaluate your current projects; in all likelihood, this smooth state of affairs will not, alas, last forever! See which of your projects are really working, and which ones need a bit of fixing up.  If you decide that you need to make a new start on certain things, don't become morose and gloomy over it. Instead, get to work on making things better straight away.  This will not be as hard as it sounds, for discipline will come relatively easily to you this month; now is the time to take advantage of it.

If here are any tensions that have been brewing under the surface between you and your bandleader, manager, or any other authority figure, they are likely to come to a head sooner than later.  If you become really pissed off, try not to explode, as doing so won't help things--particularly at the start of the month.  Instead, strive to see the other person's point of view.  Do like Obama does, and try to come to a consensus of some sort!  Or, if at all possible, avoid any touchy issues entirely until the end of the month; at that point, you'll be in a better mood for discussing difficult topics and will be seeing things more clearly.

This is a good time to make changes in your immediate surroundings, whether it's rearranging the furniture in your studio, or bringing interesting new people into your life.  In fact, your everyday encounters with people and situations are likely to get much more interesting in May.  Chances are your situation has become too structured and ordered anyway, so don't be afraid to take a walk on the wild side, should the opportunity arise.

Aquarius - The Water Carrier - January 22 to February 20

You'll be challenged at this time to think about completing your various projects to reap their rewards or other consequences.  In the back of your mind, you are probably already beginning to turn your attention to what the next step will be for your career or projects, even though circumstances are forcefully reminding you that the present stage isn't over yet.  The challenges at this time are often related to events that started three months ago. Your energy is high, so this is a good time to accomplish all kinds of work.

Your mind is functioning relatively clearly now; it is quick and receptive, and you are eager to expand your knowledge of any area you encounter.  You can put this curiosity to good use and quickly discover that the more you understand about any given situation, the better you will be able to handle any problems that arise.

If you are looking for a new agent or record company, you are putting out positive energies at this time and can use this to make a good impression on people you want to impress. In fact, May is a good time for any group interaction, and you will want to hang out with  friends or the members of your band. You'll have faith in your ability to achieve and you'll be able to work well with others.  You will not, however, be inclined to back down in any matter. If you should have to fight with someone to maintain your position, you will do so effectively, although you will want to seek out common ground where the two of you can agree--should there be any.

For those born between February 7 and 16, Jupiter/Neptune contacts indicate that you'll probably feel good both physically and psychologically, and have a positive outlook for much of the month.  Your awareness of and contact with music will be greatly heightened, and this is something you will definitely want to take advantage of, because this energy will not last forever.  However, you should avoid taking drugs or overindulging in alcohol this month, for you may find it difficult to control your use of them. Also, your body is much more sensitive than usual, and you may react badly to drugs, even prescribed ones.   That being said, this period should be highly profitable for you. Musically speaking, great intuitive leaps in your work are not out of the question!

Pisces - The Fish - February 21 to March 19

Examine any projects that you've started over the past few months in order to see how they have been coming along.  It's important that you do this now, because in about 30 days, challenges will arise that will test their validity.  Don't be caught in the illusion that you can simply stick your head in the sand and hope for the best; rather, evaluate what you have accomplished so far and decide upon a logical plan of development.  Your mind is quick and functioning clearly at present, so doing this should easily be within your reach.

Communication with colleagues might be a bit difficult during the first half of the month, and you may feel somewhat isolated. Your energy level might be on the low side as well.  Best to find something rewarding to do that requires concentration. You will need to find a balance between your needs and obligations, for neither can be allowed to win out over the other.  If duty wins out to the point of negating your self-expression, you will feel impossibly restless.  But if you ignore your obligations and do only what you choose, you will soon find that you are in conflict with others, which will prevent you from deriving any real satisfaction from your activities. You will clearly have to make some compromises, but if you are honest in expressing your needs to others and asking that they do the same, you should be able to work things out.

For those born between March 11 and 18, a contact with Uranus may bring about events or situations that are quite surprising to you, breaking you out of your usual routine and introducing an element of liveliness to spice things up in your life.  Surprise will probably crop up at some point soon; when it does, give yourself the freedom to respond spontaneously, perhaps in a way that surprises even yourself!

Rhys Chatham is a composer from New York who has lived in Paris since 1988.

Art Work: Florian Quistrebert

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