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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Burning both ends of the midnight oil...

Blogging from my phone while sitting in my favorite park. I uploaded pics from the upstate trip the other day.

Best of Upstate NY October 2010

The trip was fun and renting a car was actually not a total disaster. Though it did take a little extra time picking it up, but only because there were people in front of us who couldn't make up their mind whether or not they wanted the insurance or not. We were on the road before 10:30 though and with the help of my mix cds, we had a relatively smooth trip, minus one minor traffic jam on the thruway (...and yes, I said mix cds...I programmed the whole trip!).

We were the only people at the orchard when we arrived so we had the run of the place. We picnicked and then took our bags down to the orchard to explore. Not very many apple varieties were still on the tree but we picked a peck each and, after buying some goods at their store (a pumpkin pie and some apple salsa among other things), we headed down the thruway again to the sculpture park. Because of a truck passing us at the wrong moment, we accidentally missed the exit and, with time running out before closing at the park, I opted to pull an illegal u-turn to get us back on track in lieu of going 20 more miles and paying another toll.

In the end we had about a half hour longer to explore what was a beautiful sculpture park. It was opened back in 1960 and is probably one of the biggest collections of its kind. Some of the work was even commissioned for the park. One in particular being a spot where the earth itself was sculpted into a row of hills.

Meanwhile, I've had some interesting developments here in the city. Last year around this time I got a message from someone who had been scouring the internet looking for music he could arrange for his orchestra in Phoenix. He found "Of Slowly Falling Rain and Autumn Chill" and liked it enough to request a copy of the score. I obliged because I saw it as great exposure but later that day I realized that, if one person likes my music enough to play it others might and i'd be doing myself a great professional disservice if I didn't put it up online and sell it. So I did and I haven't had a bite since. Granted I haven't exactly advertised it's existence but I'll get to that.

Yesterday, in the middle of what was turning out to be another one of those days where I'm feeling like complete shit because of some extraneous factor, probably money, I got an email from someone else who had stumbled on my webpage while scouring the internet for music. She wanted to know how she could buy my music because she had liked a certain song and wanted to use it for a dance piece. This was great, I thought, but it raises a couple of issues. The first being how and what to charge. I, at one point, had an online store but have been spending so much time lately revamping my music and wondering if any of it is "finished" enough to sell, that I haven't even considered keeping up such a venture. Of course, now I'm reconsidering. The other issue is whether to charge for the music as though it were a regular music download and let ASCAP do the job of collecting royalties or to charge this person as though I were licensing them the music for their personal use. I opted to give her the choice because after all, she didn't tell me much about the project other than that it was being thrown together for a show which is happening tomorrow at Triskelion Arts in Williamsburg. Of course, she chose the cheaper of the two evils and I obliged anyway, figuring, all potentially damaging precedent setting aside, at least it's exposure. And exposure of a different sort. Having something posted on the internet, though it is more widely available, does not feel as exciting as having my music played, no matter how small the audience is. Case in point, it was the dance performance a few weeks ago that exposed this person to my music in the first place. When someone's name appears in the program of a performance, they seem more real than a webpage.

Of course, the object now is certainly to make my webpage make me seem more real. That is what the past few days have taught me. That and you should always check on all of your webpages and email accounts as often as is possible. When I went to go check on my online store and see if it was still up on Myspace, I noticed an email from April in my Myspace inbox from someone who said she works A&R for a music supervisor in L.A. and was interested in my music. I immediately started kicking myself and wondering how in the hell I could have missed that. Then, of course, I emailed her back and apologized for missing the email and directed her to my webpage and the rest of my reel.

This all just leads me to the final point I've decided to take from all of this. Be prepared. If you're going to put music out in the ether, be prepared to deliver more of the same...i.e. keep your chops up. Don't neglect it either and let it sit up there and get old. Refresh it all the time. Incidentally, this is why I haven't advertised my music's existence aggressively. I haven't been ready before now for people to actually be interested in buying my music either to perform or listen to but now, or at least within a few weeks, I will be. That's the idea, at least.

I actually find it to be quite lucky that all this happened the week before I sit down and talk to my web designer about what I want from the new website. It brings up some great points and ultimately is going to shape how well my webpage works for me and harnesses the massive marketing power of the internet.

In other news, I sat down with the Bulgarian piano player and talked ideas about how my work is going to fit in with her upcoming concert plans. She may play the dance piece, Collapsing Elbows, and potentially a cycle of three piano sketches (one of them being the one my choir director will play at the Brooklyn UU next month!). She has great ideas and I'm quite excited to be working with her. I'll keep you all updated on what will happen next there. The first concert may be around New Year's.

For now, I should go and start burning that midnight oil. Lots of work to do!

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