Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Big Project, not enough time.

Next week the Artsgarden is hosting a luncheon for the Indiana chapter of Meeting Planners International. It's an organization of people who (you guessed it) plan meetings and events. It's traditional when you host one of these that you give away something. Usually it's something cute and small with some sort of witty slogan attached: bath salts ("de-stress with the planning experts") or stress balls ("your stress-free venue for meetings and events"), that kind of thing. We decided, because I opened my big fat mouth and suggested it, to give away a CD of live recordings from Artsgarden performances, with contact info for all the bands in the CD jacket. These are meeting planners, who have more occasion to hire bands than most people; we figure we're doing everyone a service by connecting good bands and the people who hire them.

Problem is, this is a lot of work on the production end. I knew this in advance, but what I didn't connect until today is that I actually have to have the CD master finished by this Friday. We're producing the CDs ourselves, and it'll take us a long time to make 175 copies on our iMacs, print the CD jackets and labels, and put them all together. I figure if we don't start Monday morning, we won't get it done in time. Problem is, I don't know what songs we're using yet. I've got almost two hundred hours of music to listen to. I can do triage and cut the listening list by quite a bit, and I don't have to listen to entire songs to decide if I want them on the CD. Still, I've essentially got two work days, minus everything else I need to be doing, to compile 70 minutes of music from my library of live recordings and do all the sound-guy tweaking necessary to make them sound good together. I honestly don't know if it's possible....

I've also got to confirm that all the artists I choose actually want to be on the CD. It's mostly a formality; I can't imagine an artist telling me he doesn't want me to distribute a promotional track to a few hundred professionals who hire musicians. Also, they all sign a performance contract that says, in part, that we can record the show and use it for any promotional purpose we choose. But if an artist doesn't want to be on the disc, I won't put them there. Just because I can, doesn't mean I should.

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