What’s it like playing with Grammy Award winners?

Jon Silpayamanant playing with Yo-Yo Ma and Eric Edberg in Kresge Auditorium during DePauw Discourse.  September 29, 2011.
Jon Silpayamanant playing with Multi Grammy Award winner, Yo-Yo Ma, and my former cello teacher, Eric Edberg, in Kresge Auditorium during DePauw Discourse. September 29, 2011.

Sometimes it’s good just to reflect on your musical experiences.  I know I’ve said that in the grand scheme of things the Grammy Awards don’t mean much and given what I said in my previous post even a figure some of us might consider to be the elder statesmen of post WWII Anglo-American pop doesn’t seem to be known by a wide swath of younger audiences, it does still matter to some folks.

Continue reading “What’s it like playing with Grammy Award winners?”

Which Came First, the Music or the Brand?

If you think your music is a difficult sell, try playing a piece of amplified sheet metal. This is me, performing as Noiseman433, in St. Louis (9 May 2003) during the Rotten Piece 2003 Tour. Photo by Carol Kelly.

As I mentioned in a previous post, if you’ve Branded yourself well, then Marketing (to raise awareness about your music) and Selling (to get gigs) should be much easier to do.  Branding is the totality of your public image and having a good Brand is tantamount to making all other aspects of your business move more smoothly.  As Peter Montoya stated (I quoted him in the post above):

Branding happens before marketing or selling; it’s their source. Without a strong brand, marketing is generally ineffective and selling is like beating your head against a wall of sales resistance. A strong brand is the rock-solid foundation for all marketing, because every other aspect of a product’s identity–its logo, how its ads are written, who its spokesperson is–is based on that brand. Branding is the reason customers consider a product in the first place.

When you have a strong Personal Brand out in the world working for you, you’ll attract new business without even trying. Prospects will come to you after multiple exposures to your brand, and they’ll come 90 percent sold on you already. All you’ll need to do is close the sale. We’ve seen it time and time again. New business with no work. If that’s not cool, nothing is.

Continue reading “Which Came First, the Music or the Brand?”

Yo-Yo Ma playing ‘Appalachia Waltz’ with DePauw students

http://www.facebook.com/v/10150415619203513 Here’s a video I took of Mr. Ma playing Mark O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz with DePauw students at The Hub (the centralized non-dorm food court on the DePauw campus).  This was supposed to something of a flash mob event though before any of the music students, much less Mr. Ma, arrived, there were already several hundred students filling the Hub to the brim!

There is a much better video of Mr. Ma taken from the floor posted by The DePauw Multimedia here.

Also, a couple of videos of a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20 with DePauw students and faculty at Asbury Towers Retirement Home here and here.

The Asbury performance happened not more than an hour after the Hub appearance!

Yo-Yo Ma’s Romulan Music Project

Jen Usellis Mackay as a Klingon

Nerd Lunch has a podcast about the upcoming Commedia Beauregard’s production, “A Klingon Christmas Carol,” with a brief mention of my group’s (the il Troubadore Klingon Music Project) involvement with the soundtrack.  I composed all the music (you can hear a couple of samples here and here) and my band will record the final versions for the production.

 

Cast member and official tweeter for A Klingon Christmas Carol, Jen Usellis Mackay, joins us at the lunch table this week. Jen gives us the inside scoop on what it’s like to work on the first play performed in the Klingon language, how to get in on this year’s performances in Chicago, and Yo-Yo Ma’s Romulan music project (not really). Later the Nerds get a mini language lesson from Jen and we all play a few rounds of “our favorite Klingon things”. Listen and find out why tlhutlhlu’meH QaQ jajvam!

 

We’re mentioned around 31:30 with a funny blurb about Yo-Yo Ma’s so-called Romulan Music Project which I thought was humorous.

 

Links to the podcast may be found at the links below.

http://nerdlunch.blogspot.com/2011/11/nerd-lunch-podcast-11-klingon-christmas.html

http://blog.paxholley.net/2011/11/15/nerd-lunch-episode-11-a-klingon-christmas-carol/

DaHjaj QeylIS qa’jIH.

A scene from Commedia Beauregard's production of "A Klingon Christmas Carol"

“I am the Spirit of Kahless Present.”

Sometimes I have to be in the business of creating culture, not just re-creating culture (or ‘re-presenting culture’ as I sometimes refer to my musical activities).  I’ve been watching a DVD of the final performance of  “A Klingon Christmas Carol” which is a production by the Commedia Beauregard that has been running during the Christmas season for the past four years.  This is in preparation for scoring incidental music that my group, il Troubadore (or more properly, the il Troubadore Klingon Music Project), will be recording for the live production this season.

As I’ve been developing Klingon Music and the possible theory behind it for the past year or so (though my interest in Klingon music dates back many more years as I’ve mentioned elsewhere) sometimes projects like this are incredibly satisfying.  Nothing like creating not only original music, but a completely ‘original’ style of music for a culture from a Science Fiction series.

While I won’t be posting actual examples that will be used for the score/soundtrack of this production, I will continue to blog about (with other examples) the music as I spend more and more time immersing myself in Klingon Culture.  As I mentioned in a previous status update at my facebook page that I still haven’t gotten the typical post conference/event blues after having the chance to play a concert with Yo-Yo Ma–this project and the project in my previous post are the reasons (amongst so many others).

I’m just so thrilled and pleased that I can have all these exciting musical experiences without having to leave this little quaint part of the world as I’ve said regarding this past month or so of such wonderful strangeness!  As the saying goes–“Show me a bored person, and I’ll show you a lazy person.”

Or, as the Klingons would say, Hoch ‘ebmey tIjon (“Capture all opportunities!”)!