Thursday, December 10, 2015

About Commissions for Composers.


I find it entertaining when people suggest that when I, or another member of Laboratorie New Music cite a commission for our compositions on this website, for a score, a performance or in one of our published works, that some individuals find this impossible and untrue.

I decided to help on this matter by explaining a few key points.

First, if I ever cited a commission from a sponsor company that was untrue, the type of companies who are our generous sponsors, would have an army of trademark and intellectual property attorneys all over us.

The fact is that these corporate attorneys have web crawlers that identify when, and if, the corporate name and logo are used at anytime and anyplace.  If you use their name or logo/symbology in an unauthorized manner, you get this joyful "cease and desist" letter.

We don't have any of these letters in our archives.

So let's move past this...

"How on earth do we get these large, rich companies to sponsor our compositions?"

Let's think in a business-like manner...or even better, let's just use common sense.

When I teach, I find it fascinating that students/composers feel that they are entitled to receiving monies for their creative efforts. Yet, they dismiss the one key life lesson...if you want something (i.e. an advance commission for your work), you need to give the sponsor something back in return.

In Advance.

Now I am not speaking of the final work, I am speaking of what can you give them in advance to let them know you are sincere. If it is Ford or Petrobras or HSBC, you have to ask yourself...what's in it for them?

If you still do not buy into this, go ahead and research me.  I have another job.  Just like Brian Ferneyhough has his Stanford gig, Pierluigi can turn down Columbia to stay put, and most teach in esteemed universities to pay the bills.

For me, and a few others, I choose to take a bit of a different path, but I feel lucky because what I do is imminently more interesting than Ives (Insurance).

My job is that I make up name for products...yes just the names.  You use them everyday...Xbox, Outlook, Excel, Aeron, Escalade.

OK...enough.  But through this experience dealing with the largest companies in the world, I learned a bit about how to win them over.

Over the next few weeks I will share some tips on how this is done.  If you are interested, tune in.  It will not be the 'Golden Key',  but a few tips will be forthcoming and it is up to you to make them work.

Bil



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