Commission Music

Commission Music
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Friday, 7 November 2014

Making a Connection

And the most difficult of Etsy's points for marketing my shop:

  • They need a connection. In a screaming sea of marketing messages, they need to see that you’re a kind and interesting human being, and therefore worth listening to.
[Puppy. Click through for album of puppy images]

I've just taken a break from playing with my new puppy to try to deal with this stipulation of sincerity-on-demand. Well, half taken a break. My kitchen, bathroom and living room are all being repainted at the moment, so the house is extremely chaotic and there's stuff everywhere. The 13 week old puppy is very curious about exploring, and very into exploring with his teeth, so I have to see where he's gotten off to and make sure that the chewing I hear is his rope toy and not a power cable. I did catch him tasting the plug for my synthesiser last night. We have 220 volt power in the UK, so should he actually chew through a cable, that would be very bad news.

Last night he also got himself tangled in my patch cords, which is suboptimal and caused my audio interface to tumble, but fortunately, I caught it before it hit the ground. This is extremely poor timing on the painting, since the puppy's vaccinations have not yet taken effect. I can't just go tire him out in the dog park. He can run around the house or the smallish back garden (where he tries desperately to eat every ornamental plant in it). A relatively puppy proof living room with a kong toy is fine, but the bedrooms are less so. He also wants to show off his newly acquired ability to run up and down stairs. Anyway, it's good I'm only trying to write things a minute long, because sometimes it seems like he's interrupting me every 30 seconds, by racing past with my housemate's underwear in his mouth or sneaking down to the rooms that are being painted. (note to self: buy a baby gate). (I could lock him in my room, but then he'd be eating my underwear. And seriously, if this paragraph seems scattered, it's been interrupted 4 times. I know he needs better boundaries etc, but the painting is making it difficult.)

Anyway, back to the point- I'm not sure I agree with the point, actually. Milton Babbitt was well known both for his amazing compositions and his anti-listener screed, 'Who Cares if you Listen'. Even Lou Harrison, a benevolent and Santa Claus like figure who I had the great pleasure of meeting and speaking Esperanto with, could be a wee bit of a jerk sometimes. He only thought music was worth his time if he agreed with the tuning system and was contemptuous of composers who used other systems, telling them that their 5th was two cents out of tune. On a musical level, I don't think it really matters if composers are kind or are good conversationalists.The interestingness of their music matters a great deal.

I don't think music is a special case in this. A few Christmases ago, I got my sister in law a very nice mug off of Etsy that has owls on it. I did it because I like getting something handmade, because it seems more special and because she loves owls. I communicated briefly with the artist and he was polite and prompt, but I just don't know about the rest of this. Maybe other people feel differently? Leave a comment if you have a thought on artist personalities.

Whether or not I'm worth listening to, however, is easy to decide. My past commissions are available for your perusal, so you can make up your own mind on this. I've got two more underway at the moment! The music commissions are all handmade, and one of a kind. They make a very special gift. Order now and delivery is guaranteed in time for Christmas or Hanukkah. Act now to get the sale price of just £5 for one piece - there are only two left at that price point!

2 comments:

Polly Moller said...

At one of those arts conferences I go to a lot, we were told that authenticity is paramount on the internet. One cannot sell anything without authenticity. Internet people dislike being marketed to, and if they get that sense from the communications of arts organizations they will not buy your stuff. So your marketing efforts must be suffused, as it were, with authenticity. So says the nonprofit world.

Charles Céleste Hutchins said...

Sincerity and authenticity are deeply related, I would think. Harry Frankfurt's important and wonderful book, On Bullshit has some things to say about both concepts!

Thanks for sharing. :)