The majority of the work that I do for CYO is done from my home office.
I sit in my father's vintage desk chair (he was an attorney) and use his turn-of-the-century conference table as my desk. My shiny iMac sits on top of the worn wood and is joined by a Bose speaker, pictures of my family and friends, random piles of music, letters and mugs left with a few sips of tea or coffee from a few days ago.
The walls of the office are adorned with framed CYO concert posters, awards we've received, a cool invitation to my great-grandparents 20th wedding anniversary from 1931, a picture of my sister crossing the finish line in one of her many marathons, ticket stubs from various shows (and my nieces theatre performances), a piece of framed art created by Jon Anderson that he gave to me after our show in 2010, and the original Woodstock poster that Graham Nash signed for me in 2003. Did you know that the hand on the guitar is Steven Stills hand?!
The two bookshelves are filled with some of my favorite books, the complete collection of CYO CDs and DVDs, magazines in which we've been featured, books on John Belushi and Annie Lebovitz, a printer and my DEVO hat signed by Mark Mothersbaugh.
I like to control the mood in my environment by adjusting the lighting, so I only use floor lamps. Overhead lighting makes me feel as though I am in a stuffy corporate office – so it doesn’t exist in my home life.
Also, at all times, one, two or three dogs are sleeping on the warm grey rug that covers part of the wood floor.
This inspiring and personal space is where I create the shows, make the calls, answer emails, listen to music, eat lunch and make it happen. Furthermore, it is here that I worked on the 8th installment of Music and Its Industry for our upcoming show in March 2014.
We are doing a show based on Branding Music, of which the seed was planted in 2010 when (my now principal percussionist) Eric Poe was a freshman. He asked if we could do an all Disney Show. I told him that if he was still here his senior year, that I would do a Disney show. He remembered, and kindly reminded me of that last March.
So, staying true to my word, I contacted Disney and worked directly with a helpful, encouraging, informative, incredibly knowledgeable and easy to talk with man. We planned the whole show together. It was hot and happening! An awesome Disney package that would make Dick Van Dyke sing with the bluebirds.
Then a dark cloud descended on our carousel of happiness. The weekend before CYO's show in March, Disney Live is scheduled in Cleveland! They decided that we could not do our show because we would COMPETE with their show. Wow – really?! Talk about a major compliment!
After talking with Disney again, they've allowed us to perform 3 or 4 of the tunes from their catalogue, and we will add pieces from Pixar and other markets. Although we cannot bill it as a Disney show, all of the music still fits into the category of Branding Music – which I see as exploring how a brand (like Disney) has a noticeable, consistent personality and sound in their soundtracks. What makes music specific to a certain type of movie? This is what we will explore for March 2014.
So here I sit, looking over lists of tunes for us to perform in March. I can hear water beginning to boil in the kitchen for another mug of tea, that I will sip while whistling zip a dee doo dah. At my feet, three dogs sleep having succumbed to the calming effects of the soft lighting.