delusions of grandeur

ah, the smell of fall is in the air. which means there's all sorts of musical memories floating around

Fall is the season for H.S. marching band

Fall is the time prospectives prepare for auditions. DMA prospy's are cleaning up portfolios for their first round of submissions. Undergrad seniors are considering MM's, starting to do the paper work, and realizing they're gonna get screwed by their workload...and then considering taking a year off.

undergrad seniors are getting together apps to send off, thinking about audition material for the spring...

oh, who am I kidding? 17/18 y/os aren't thinking that hard about it yet. They're too busy with fall activities (sports, marching band, all those AP classes...).

But, deep down, they're all thinking about music.

Which brings me to the real point of this post.

Music brings in people from all different paths. There are those wishing to perform, those wishing to teach...usually in the beginning it's just those two. in some places lucky enough to be a near a conservatory with an active youth program, will be thinking about composition or other academic areas. But, usually, that comes a bit later.

Most of us can point to an experience or a person that sent us down our path at every level. For some it's just the inexorable journey toward a doctorate; the grim acceptance that to make it in the professional "classical" world you need that slip of paper. for others, it was a band/orchestra/choir director. Others it was a fabulous private lesson teacher. Maybe it was having a visiting woodwind quintet step in and give a  performance and talk about music, or the local conservatory's graduate string quartet dropping by to drum up interest in a school.

Or...maybe...just maybe...

it was that infernal radio/ipod/internet radio

Secretly, i think we all have the same reason for getting into music...

I call it "The Rock Star Syndrome."

We'd listen to our favorite bands from HS and think "I wanna do that!" We try and start garage bands, but realize that trombone, piano, flute, and a horn player picking up his/her dad's bass and fumbling around does not make a very "metal" sounding group. on top of that, the lyrics sucked and Bach just kept creeping in...

We try to learn guitar, and talk to some non-band/orchestra/choir friends about being in a garage band. Maybe some of your friends started one and you pitched being the keyboard played cause "i've got a Clavinova at home! Sounds just like a real piano!" of course, they want a Dave Smith Poly Evolver, or maybe a Micro Korg...and most certainly think you're not "cool" enough for the band.

We all just wanted to be rock/rap/pop/soul/metal/country/not-classical stars.

we didn't want to be on PBS, we wanted to be on MTV/VH1/BET. we didn't want to be on Decca or Naxos or even Nonesuch records. We wanted to be on Roadrunner, Columbia, or Epic records.

but it wasn't in the cards. It wasn't what we were meant for

Still, we love the lights. love the attention. We wanted to entertain, have fun, bring the joy to others...be in the spotlight. Even as educators, we loved to be the conductor, the person up front, getting the attention. We try to hide it, but we still love the rush that comes after that first down-beat, the kick of leading a group in a single activity, the taste of power, and the amazing release after the final cutoff of a "kick ass totally metal concert of Holst!"

and we still listen to our favorite songs/bands. There is plotting of doing an arrangement of "Waterfalls" for the pep band, incorporating death metal into your next symphony, or drafting a paper about Britney Spears and the loss of self to corporate America, or analyzing the use of gesture carried structure in the works of Radiohead or Daft Punk

in the end, no matter what level of education we are, not matter the original path, the heroes/heroines, the years of arduous study of history/theory/technique/pedagogy/conducting/performance/composition, the complaining about work load, looking for jobs, all the concerts/presentations/backslashes

we all just wish we were rock stars

well, at least i do


What to do...

I am sitting here with the "Join" page to BMI standing open. I just closed ASCAP's page after discussing the issue with a few of my composerly friends. But...i just don't know what to do.

I've read all the material on BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC. How they all pay out is basically the same, the math just, well...doesn't quite add up completely. Nothing ever does, does it? I question whether or not people are fairly represented.

I also don't believe in a great deal of the licensing idea. I don't understand why i can't negotiate it all myself...And i'm confused that even as I "pay to play," I somehow make royalties. So, the bar pays royalties, and i get those royalties, but I pay them for the right to play, making $1 for every $10 they bring in...but then they're paying...wait, huh?

Exactly. The whole business just continues to make no sense to me, no matter how i try to rap my head around it.

But that's not the question. At the end of the day, i look at my calendar and...I have at least 3 performances this semester. I'll prolly end up snagging 1 more somewhere, i'm sure. While it's not like i'm getting huge play, if i can get 10 performances in the next "school" year, August to August, that'd be amazing. 

And, if i join one of these groups, i'll make some money doing it. Not a lot, but i'll make money.

So, what do I do? I'm morally opposed to so much of it. I don't make the art for the money. But...if i could make an extra few hundred bucks...why not? 

So, i really need opinions peeps. BMI, ASCAP, SESAC, or keep it as it is?

not to mention i should really build a "store" or something to "buy" music. gawd...really?