This post is raw.

There is no fluff, no filler, nothing extraneous.  This post is as near a piece of my own heart as I can make it.  Something plucked tender and fragile from my chest and placed, still beating, on the altar.

I offer it up to you…


I don’t do what I do for money.  I don’t do it for the dice-roll or the rattle and shake.  I don’t do it because I harbor some sideways mile-high delusion of grandeour.  I don’t do it for hyperbole, from hubris, or to mitigate an ever-vacant black hole.  These type of things have never really appealed.  In truth, they are not even in the vicinity of my prime mover.

The real reason is much, much simpler.

I do what I do because I feel that I have something to say.  I feel, in my heart, that there are people who need to hear it.  And I know that: if I do not get it together, no one else will.

My grandfather part raised me.  He taught me music, poetry, philosophy and chess.  He died when I was thirteen years old.  I saw the black-wing skull-eye claw-toothed raven with my own eyes and, as simply as that, my childhood was over.

I understood that this was a finite deal.  That: there would be an end, there would be a reckoning and, at some point, I would be lying on my own deathbed.  And, at that moment, I would either be: filled with some measure of satisfaction, or harboring a spirit screaming; being torn apart, relentless vicious and all pain by a sky-high black tidal wave of regret.  That there was a choice that I could make that would mean the difference between: enjoying a degree of peace in my passing, or spending my last moments on this earth facing down an unstoppable, inexorable, world-tide of pain-absolute, set in motion from the crack splinter and fail of the countless false dams I had been forced to construct in order to warp and twist my heart around a barbed wire path that was not my own.

Everything became very clear.  And that choice (the choice of what to do with the time and energy of my life) seemed, in the best possible way, like no choice at all.

Because, at the root, I do what I do for a kind of love.  At least, my idea of what a real love is.  Something so deep and far reaching that is almost a kind of madness.  A devotion, religious in it’s fervor, epic in it’s scope, and fathomless in it’s depth.  Something to be fetished, day after day, month after month, and year after year, purely for the act of the worship itself.  A love that forms a sacrificial altar upon which all the inconsequential distractions and minutiae of life can be blood-let and transmuted into something which shines as truly your own; unique, perfect and timeless.

And ever since the day that I truly understood that the meat of my body was ultimately destined for the worms or the flame, I have known that: as long as I extend the maximal amount of effort, as long as I try my hardest and work as truly as I can in this field, in this calling, in the relentless fray of my love, that I will come to the end my life free from the cloying stench of regret no matter how long it’s duration.

This is a knowing which is worth any price, any hardship, any sufferance.

This, is why I do what I do.

My name is James Radcliffe and I am a 100% audience supported independent artist.  If you like what I do (and can afford it) then please consider buying some of my music.  Each purchase really makes a big difference to me and 10% of every sale goes to a charity which: houses, feeds, clothes, and educates orphaned children in Nepal.

Also, every month I send out a newsletter packed with Interesting and Exclusive Things.  If you sign up today you’ll also get 3 FREE tracks of my music as a welcome gift.

Get 3 Free Tracks Now.

And lastly, if you’d like to find out what I’m up to on a more day-to-day basis then here is my brain on Twitter:

118 thoughts on “ Manifesto: ”

  1. My day was marred by disenchantment, in fact this whole week has been strangely disenchanting, until I listened to Invocation. Thank you for enriching the world with your beautiful music and writing. Respect :)


  2. Reblogged this and commented:
    “James Radcliffe is a 100% listener supported independent musician, writer, and artist.

    He has been writing and performing publicly since the tender age of 8. He has played in a diverse collection of situations, including (but not limited to): punk bands, jazz groups, orchestra, brass bands, outreach programs for charity, solo, and many, many more.

    He has performed in: coffee houses, rock clubs, jazz venues, front rooms, concert halls, theatres, and on the street in an ever-growing list of countries.

    James: writes, records, mixes, and masters all of his own music in his home studio. His music and writing are now downloaded, listened to, and read in over 170 countries around the globe.

    In Jan 2014 he released an independent album of original music. More recently he released: ‘Invocation‘; a single created exclusively with layered acoustic cello and voice.

    He believes very strongly in ethical business, and 10% of all profits from his work are donated to a charity which: feeds, houses, clothes and educates orphaned children in Nepal.”


      1. Thanks James – yes I do like to always ask first and myself be asked. It’s courtesy and respect to the artist and then you can also check out the space where your work will be shared.


  3. What an amazing gift your grandfather gave you. I don’t hear it as an obsession with death, but as an awakening and call. I have become convinced that the most important talent in life is perseverance. How wonderful that you discovered it so young. May you live long and persevere in loving with your whole heart.


    1. Thankyou very much for this, it brightened my already bright day. ;-)
      I think that you may be very close to the truth in what you believe to be the greatest talent in life. Perserverance is both foundational and key to most things.
      Have a good one,
      – J


  4. What you’ve written here was enough to convince me that I had to listen to and purchase Invocation. The music is as deep and multi-layered as the writing in your post. Best wishes on all your endeavors, and thanks for stopping by Evolution Made Easier and giving my current post a like. :-)


  5. Loved this post – powerful and effective view on life, especially this: “I have known that: as long as I extend the maximal amount of effort, as long as I try my hardest and work as truly as I can in this field, in this calling, in the relentless fray of my love, that I will come to the end my life free from the cloying stench of regret no matter how long it’s duration.”

    When I was growing up, my mom would often get on my case about studying for school, saying – “if you work your butt off and get a C, that’s fine, but if slack off even 30 minutes of your studying and get a 99% on the test – you’re in deep trouble.” She obviously wanted me to get good grades, go to college, etc. – but the deeper lesson that I took away is the same as yours, and it’s a powerful one.

    In a world where we have one mind and one body, only – a day is a hefty price to pay for not accomplishing much.


    1. I couldn’t agree more, and you are lucky to have such a wise mother. ;-)
      I’m glad you liked this – I really appreciate you taking the time to write and share this with me.
      Hope you are well,
      – J


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