Musings of music producers in NYC...

Friday, January 11, 2008

People Who Know People or the Who's Who in Weird Music Network

Hearing that Jonny Greenwood is into Messiaen makes us feel good about what we're doing here at Major Who. We're in a constant struggle over whether to emphasize the art and community aspects of what we do or to play up the more commercial side of our company. As a facilitator of new music and a supporter of great artists we're helping struggling artists to succeed and realize their potential. This is a much needed service. However, in order to sustain ourselves, Major Who has to focus on commercial projects to feed the engine and grow the company. The struggle is about maintaining this balance.

I had lunch with Joe Jackson the other day - hadn't seen him in ages. I'm assisting him in putting together some instruments and tech for a theater piece for which he's composing the music. The play is based on the life of Bram Stoker and will likely open here in NY sometime soon. Joe gave me a copy of his new album Rain coming out at the end of the month and told me about his upcoming tour. He asked me if I missed being on the road and I said most definitely. But there are more than enough fun and challenging things going on right here at the moment to keep me busy.

Lastly, we headed up to Pleasantville on Wednesday to assist in the challenging audio and video idiosyncrasies involved in the presentation of Holding Fast, an unusual collaboration by composer Randall Woolf (my bff) and filmmakers Mary Harron and John C. Walsh. Mary and John traveled to Darjeeling, India, to shoot a short documentary video of daily life in a Tibetan refugee camp and brought back uncut footage that served as the inspiration for an original musical piece by Woolf. That composition in turn provided the structure for the final edited short video, a gorgeous, colorful picture of the remote outpost. It was performed live by Jennifer Choi, whom the Times has described as a violinist with "brilliance and command," accompanied by the video and an electronic soundscape produced from the ambient sounds of the refugee camp.

The question and answers showed insight, many of the audience wanting to know more about the lives and plight of the refugees documented in the film. It was the first time I had actually met Mary Harron, though I've known her through Randy for many years. I thanked her for putting my music in the film American Psycho. I'm still getting royalty checks for that!

Major Who has something new brewing. We can't talk about it yet but we're all very excited. Stay tuned.

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