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“I’m terrible. I like to have the TV on in the background! (I’m not alone on this, Wayne Shorter, John Lennon, Miles, etc., – they all liked to have the TV on!)”

Adam Holzman, Keyboardist | Keyboarder

What does a normal or ideal working day look like for you?
After coffee in the morning I try to get all the junk out of the way: emails, phone calls, running to the post office, etc. I try to work on music starting mid-afternoon through the early evening. This varies, depending if I have students, gigs, other projects, etc.


How many hours per day do you work on average (writing, painting, practicing, composing)? What is the best case result (two pages, one sketch, twenty bars)?
About 5 hours, maybe a bit more. Best result? Something completed: either a part for a recording project, or a song, or an idea.


How many hours do you add on average for ‘background work’ and everything else (research, office stuff, acquisition, website, social media)?
Oy, probably not enough to do it right. I guess I spend not more than several hours per week on social media and promo stuff.


Are there weekends for you? What does free time mean?
Yes, I think so. Free time means I don’t have to be anywhere else!


What is the biggest threat to your artistic work, what do you get distracted by?
I get distracted by long phone calls, other errands, and sometimes personal doubts.


Do you have strategies to protect yourself from distractions?
Almost impossible to avoid these distractions, except the phone calls, which I sometimes ignore. People seem to want to talk for a long time since the pandemic!


What is your working environment like, what is essential for you? For example, do you need absolute silence – and if so, where and how do you find it?
I’m terrible. I like to have the TV on in the background! I like the noise and I also enjoy occasionally looking up at seeing Godzilla eat somebody. (I’m not alone on this, believe it or not! Wayne Shorter, John Lennon, Miles, etc., – they all liked to have the TV on!)


When and where does the most important part of your work happen, where do you find the greatest inspiration? At work at your desk or by chance – reading, relaxing, travelling, interacting with other people?
The most important part, these days, takes place in my home studio. When I travel I often think about ideas, and how they might fit together. But the real work is when I’m surrounded by all my keyboards and electronics.


How often or easily do you get into a creative ‘flow’, and what helps you most to reach this state?
It varies. Sometimes I’ll be very excited about an idea and can’t wait to get back to work, and sometimes I’m floating around aimlessly between projects. So some weeks I’ll be very productive and other weeks I might drift for a little while.


What do you do when nothing works out – when ideas or success fail to materialise, or when you don’t succeed in what you set out to do?
Dump it and move on. But don’t delete or erase anything!! Very often something that doesn’t work now might fit something else perfectly down the road.


What helps you when your self-confidence is down (e.g. because of bad reviews, financial downturn, bad mood, personal worries)?
Taking a break for a little while. You can’t really force it (unless you have deadline…). If you force something it probably won’t work out and you’ll be even more miserable.


Do you reward yourself when you have achieved something, reached a certain goal?
Not really. Just bask in the glow of getting another project completed. Maybe go out to dinner!? 😉


Do you rely on the advice of others or on advice literature? Are there any books that have helped you to find courage on your artistic path?
I’ve never been interested in that stuff (advice books). If I need advice I’ll ask someone that I know and trust. Or just muddle through on my own and figure it out.


How much does the recognition of your art by others mean to you? What is the best form of recognition?
It is nice to know that other people like your work, that you’re making progress. It helps keep the inspiration flowing! The best is when someone you truly admire gives you a genuine compliment.


What are you afraid of?
Being left behind. Being irrelevant.