Is running a label a business or a hobby? It's always a question I have to ask myself and most of the time I find myself leaning towards the latter. These days it is not so easy to sell music and I would be a hypocrite if I said that I never take advantage of free music even if it is illegal. What is fantastic is the growing number of people who do choose to buy music and support musicians.
From my point of view, building connections is the most important thing about running a label. Most of the artists on Res Wood I have never met but we still cooperate via the Internet and I feel that I do know them because of their music and their trust that our relationship is built on.
I think that if I was to view this as a business a lot of things would have to change. I would charge higher prices for the work I do and also sell the albums at a higher price. I would also be more demanding of myself and people on the label.
So I guess this is why it's a hobby but an important one. Of course it's a great feeling to make a sale but I feel that it's more so because of the fact that someone out there now has a copy of one of our albums rather than the income we have earned on it.
Resonating Wood Recordings came into being, inspired by the independent music label Preserved Sound and the fine work of Hayden Berry and Antonello Perfetto. When my acoustic duo, See-Saw, was looking for a label, we came across Preserved Sound and really liked the DIY approach to releases that they had. The idea of being able to produce your own releases was something that really appealed to me as it meant that you could simply make more CDs if you needed them. I also really liked the packaging from the very start and knew it would work well with my duo. They happily agreed to have us and we were delighted with being a part of something genuine.
What I realised after some time was that the acoustic music of See-Saw did not really fit into the ambient/modern classical profile of Preserved Sound, so I suggested to Hayden that we form an acoustic label. He agreed and Resonating Wood Recordings was born with See-Saw and Hayden Berry the first two releases. Unfortunately, due to the sheer workload of running a label Hayden decided to to focus all his attention on Preserved Sound leaving me to run things on my own, but Resonating Wood Recordings has gone on to release another eight albums while Preserved Sound is going very strong and shows no sign of easing up on quality releases to add to their seventeen albums and five compilations. Recently they released vinyl for an album by Richard Youngs. This is a definitely an inspiration and a target for me in the future.
That's the brief version of the story but it's taken a long time to get where both labels currently are and hopefully both will continue doing what they are doing.