Saturday, March 17, 2007

“From where ever it is right now.”

Yesterday, I had another meeting with Judd Greenstein, my friend, colleague, and collaborator on this very exciting recital project. We’ve met several times over the past two years, and we talked yesterday about how the timing has worked out, how it seems like all of a sudden, this project is flying – now! I think we work similarly, whether in learning music (me), writing music (Judd), or getting projects off the ground: lots of thinking, some talking, some sketching, and then BAM! There is goes.

And so this project is front and center in my mind: programming, rehearsing, publicizing, recording, scheduling, and, not at all least, financing. I’ve been talking about fundraising almost non-stop these days, with anyone who will listen. Lots of brainstorming going on, and I’m lucky to be in touch with several colleagues who have great track records of fundraising and organizing. I’m picking some excellent brains, and I have a few ideas which I’ll present here over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned…

As it has evolved, our project (which is still nameless, although there are front-runners…) has presented natural “phases,” each with its own to-do list, collaborators, and financial needs. Here are the phases of this project, as it stands now:

Premiere: May 17th at Vim: TriBeCa. This event will be the world premiere of Judd’s piece and the premiere performance of this concert program. It will also be the kick-off fundraiser for our as-yet-nameless project fund! Maybe a reception afterwards…

Record: Ideally, early Fall 2007. The cd will be a reduced version of the concert program, and will be made available on online retailers and at our performances (JG, JD, and myself). Judd’s burgeoning record label, New Amsterdam Records, will release the cd.

Tour: Over the next year (essentially, Season 07-08), I would like to present this program four or five times in venues around the country, maybe in conjunction with masterclasses for singers and/or composers at University music schools. The more performances, the more exposure, both for us, the performers, and for the new work.

Of course, all of this takes money. Judd and I applied for a grant last year. We didn’t get it, in part, likely, because of the way we’ve brought this project to life - slowly, with lots of diffuse elements and ideas scattered around which have only recently been brought into focus. We had a great idea, but it was still too vague an idea for the grant committee to see the potential and give us money.

That concept – scattered elements brought into focus – can be applied to every facet of this project. I was talking to a friend about fundraising last week (like I said, it’s all I talk about these days!), and he shared a story with me. He attends a meditation center near Boston, and years ago when the idea for the center was still just that, an idea, the Maharishi needed to raise a million dollars to bring the center into being. The people around him asked, “But where are you going to get that kind of money?” The Maharishi simply answered, “From where ever it is right now.”

The money for this project is out there, and we believe that it wants to come to us. Judd, Jocelyn, and I believe strongly in this project and in the future of our collaboration on other projects. I told Judd the story of the Maharishi over lunch, and then later when we were talking in more detail about the music, he used the line “from where ever it is right now” to describe composing. Amazing idea, isn’t it? That the music exists out there, scattered about, and bit by bit – or all at once! – it comes. Lisa Bielawa described it in a different way on her BMOP MySpace blog: “terry's synopsis for trumpet has introduced itself.” I love this idea! “Hello there, I’m your next composition!” It is our job as artists to be open to receiving these ideas and inspirations as they come.

I’ll write more soon about my fundraising ideas. Lots of things to explore, lots of people to talk with and meet with. Lots of “putting it out there” and making it happen.

Oh, man, I just realized that I wrote this whole post and didn’t talk about the music part of my meeting with Judd! Rather than get into it here, I’ll post again later. Needless to say, when we parted ways on the corner of 8th and Broadway, we were both inspired. We’ve been talking about this project for two years, but yesterday, our partnership was born.


southern gal said...

congrats on the break through and moving to the next exciting phase!

Scatterbrained Seal said...

I'd love to get to hear this sometime! And since it's officially the 19th, good luck with rehearsals! I can't wait to see it on the 28th of April!!!

Sarah said...

Ah, yes. It is often the way in this business: financials, venue, the practical all comes before the music. But that's the way it is.

Interesting about composing, that ithe music is just out there. I have a good friend who is a gifted composer, and for him it's more "work." His music is always dramatic, beautiful, riveting, but he goes about it as one might a term paper. To each his or her own, as long as the end justifies the means.

Ariadne said...

"From where ever it is right now." I'm going to remember that!

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