Monday, January 16, 2012


That would be "Victory-American Music Abroad Day."

Today is our deadline for applications, and they are pouring in.  The very question of whether we would get enough applications has been the bane of my American Voices existence for months now.  The previous administrators, Jazz at Lincoln Center had some 3 months and Burson-Marsteller working on the PR; we had 5 weeks (including Xmas/New Years) and moi.  We have just about matched them, with an over/under bet on the books to see if we trump.  We burned past them, and looks like we doubled the apps.

With time short, we aimed at networks.  Good ol' fashioned PUBD 504: who are your partners, how do you multiply your message.  We advertised in music magazines aimed at particular genres, and tapped into networks by contacting music associations, record labels and talent management, music social networks, State and City Arts Councils, artistic foundations and institutes, and civil society organizations, and got them to help multiply the message.  We reached out the old-fashioned way by making tons and tons of phone calls and sent scores of emails.  And we got the networks to spread the message in e-blasts and social media outlets, tweet by tweet, facebook post by facebook post.  We clawed our way to get the message out.  And it seems to have worked.

Nothing like a victory to rip you from the jaws of malaise.  I now know what I had been missing for some time: the sense of accomplishment.  Not platitudes of praise, but good ol' fashioned Tiger mother accomplishment. Those who read this blog know of my perpetual pondering of Maugham's ephemeral question of the search for fulfillment.  Perhaps I have an answer: achievement borne out of hard work creates accomplishment that is fulfillment.

As I smoked a cognac-sprayed hand-rolled cigar on the top of Meridian Hill, basking in the sun's soft light, I thought of Phadrus' joy for that which is Quality and felt a sense of ebullience that I had been without for a while.  There is still much work to be done on this project, but these are solid first steps.

I will end this particular post by paraphrasing Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill, which was playing on my ipod:
Climbing up on Meridian Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Jeanne D'Arc was primed for fight
She was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen had no choice
I did not believe the information
I just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom boom
"Son," she said
"Grab your things, I've come to take you home."

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