My Own Requiem

In my profession I am afforded the opportunity to spend a great deal of time working with and speaking to highly intelligent, artistic people who's passion is positively infectious.  This week I am especially surrounded by such people as we have our annual meetings with these fantastic people.   The following is an account of one of the most inspiring and touching musical meetings I've had the pleasure to participate in.

During a standard label presentation from one of our esteemed record label/business partners one of our presenters told a story.  Upon learning of an impending illness that had a great liklihood of taking his life, this gentleman opted for a very dangerous surgery in the hopes that he may live past tis illness to continue making music.  Like anyone would do- he prepared for the procedure.  He settled his financial affairs, finalized his will, made plans for succession after his demise, met with all of his loved-ones and eventually told his final goodbyes to the people who meant most in his life.  He essentially prepared methodically for his passing with the precision of a great conductor preparing for his greatest performance.  As he was nearing the procedure day, he began thinking about the reality of going under general anasthesia and decided that if he were going to be going to sleep for perhaps the last time ever- he wanted to do it on his own terms.  

With this in mind, he presented to the surgeon that it was his wish to take a recording into the surgical gallery for the time preceding and throughout the surgery.  He wanted his music player and headphones as any music lover would.   The only difference was for him- this was perhaps the last time he would ever listen to music.  Something he had devoted his entire life to.  This was to be the last music he would hear.  His last memory on earth.  He had chosen his requiem.  Much to the chagrin of the doctor- and after many arguments with the surgeon he was allowed to do so and was thus prepared for whatever would come next.

 At that moment in the meeting he hit play- on a beautiful, warm work of music so endearing that there was not a dry eye in the room.  He was sharing his personal requiem with us...

Every now and then in my line of work- I am reminded how amazing it is to be surrounded with passionate, talented, artistic people.  This was one of those moments.  This man whom I knew as an astute business man, and music lover / entrepreneur shared with me and my colleagues one of his most deep, personal moments.  Shared with us the music that was to take him into the afterlife.  There is nothing more powerful in our lives than the threat of our own impending death.  We are all born equal.  We live, excel, and achieve throughout our own lives and are eventually brought back to the exact same place we came from... on the same plane.  He reminded me of this, and his story has touched me- and forced me to think of my own mortality.

Given this fact- I have been thinking- "what would my requiem be?"  As difficult of a decision as this is to make.  I believe I may have it.  So today- not facing a life-threatening surgery, or my own certain demise I present my own requiem.

 Edward Elgar-  Enigma Variations, Variation 9 "Nimrod"

If you had to choose- what would be your final opus? 




Balls of Steel (Macklemore)

So I'm not totally sure if it is a true story- but after buying Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' album "The Heist" (twice- dont ask why), and listening to it top to bottom several times I have realized that these guys have got mad skills, and HUGE balls.  I liked their sound initially, but the track entitled "Jimmy Iovine" shows utter contempt to the old ivory tower record industry ways.  His reply to Jimmy ..."I appreciate the offer... thought that this is what I wanted... I'd rather be a starving artist, than succeed at getting fu@%ed." (true or not- this stuff is good)


To be independently produced, released and topping the charts is a feat in and of itself- but to openly call out one of the godfathers of the music industry without fear of recourse is in and of itself impressive.  These guys prove that the new era of popular music is upon us.  It's all about the story.  It's all about that immediate splash and making yourself known- just ask Amada Palmer.  That genuine message, cultivation of real friendship with your fans and pushing out true content to the people who follow you closest is the key to winning.  

If you haven't bought the album- do it.  It is a fantastic, well versed trip.  If you are lucky- you might find the Amazon discount and grab it for $1.99 (the reason why I have both the censored and extended full expletive version).  This is worth $10 though... or perhaps $15.  These guys are talented.