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TAXI Road Rally 2010 Day 2: Imagine

by Ostin 0 Comments

One thing I need to keep in mind is that these people, some of whom have been extremely successful, started from nowhere. This was brought to mind by the first panel this morning, featuring nine TAXI members who’ve had business success. Each one was different, yet each one had a common thread: dedication, work, discipline, and patience. Those are key factors.

What I’ve gained here is crucial. I know now where the bar is at. I know where I need to get to, which is 1000% easier than flying blind. It’s going to take some time for me to get there, but I know from seeing people–average, everyday people–who are there that it is possible. Through the combination of those four factors above, plus a healthy dose of faith to keep me going, it will happen.

TAXI Road Rally 2010 Day 1: Panels & Brain Pickings

by Ostin 0 Comments

After yet another great breakfast, the Rally proper started with the presentation of the annual Lifetime Achievement Award to Michael Lloyd, a cat with six decades’ experience in the music industry. A fascinating cat who was terribly inspiring, really.
This was followed by a moderated talk with Jay Frank, author of the book Futurehit.DNA, essentially a breakdown of the common elements of hit songs. The ideas were smart and compelling, so much so that I decided to buy that book. Granted, I’m not into songwriting–yet. That may change. I haven’t figured that out yet.

Next was essentially a listening panel, where critiques and comments were given on member-submitted pieces. The panel was a TV song supervisor, advertising guy, and two guys in production music.

I was shocked when I was one of the lucky few chosen.

Even eight hours later, I think I’m still processing what really happened. It was a cinematic/orchestral cue which, in hindsight, needs a bunch of work. But they didn’t know that, so they could only comment on what was presented. Basically, because there’s a LOT of competition in that field, something I definitely am aware of, the bar is terribly high. That said, they called it as they saw it–something I really appreciated.

So this has been a humbling experience. Yet I also know it’s been a good one. I got feedback from people who know what the hell they’re doing, who know where the bar is set, so now I know I need to set my own personal bar to THEIR level, not mine.

But.

I have to get to that point. I’ve been out of the music writing habit for far too long, and it should be a habit. Yes, I’ve done this and that project, but I really should be writing every day, or at least something every night.

This afternoon we had another listening panel, only this was much more wide-ranging and exclusively songs, followed by two great moderated conversations: one on advertising music, and one for film & TV. Great talks, great information–though most of it I knew already, or at least had a good understanding.

I should head to dinner now and will probably take in an open mic.

TAXI Road Rally 2010 Day 0: Registration

by Ostin 0 Comments

After starting the morning with an excellent breakfast, I had some decisions to make. Load in wasn’t going to start until around 10:30, which I’d planned on lending a hand with, followed thereafter only by registration proper starting at 5:30.

Anathem by Neal Stephenson had different ideas. It’s a brilliant book that I’ll probably finish before my flight home–maybe even before the day is out. So, I wound up not helping with the load in and headed down to wait in the lobby. Once I saw the line start to move, I decided to get in line.

Out the lobby door into the parking garage. Down one full side. I actually registered shortly after 8:00pm.

I’d only had breakfast until then and vacillated between skipping dinner entirely or not. Intelligence won out and I had a delicious chicken Caesar salad, followed almost immediately by overwhelming fatigue and pillow contact shortly thereafter.

I missed the first open mic, which is a bit of a bummer. Tonight I’ll make up for it, though. However, it’s time to prep for the real start of this thing…

TAXI Road Rally 2010 Day -1 part 2

by Ostin 0 Comments

Earlier today as I was helping stuff goodie bags I overheard one of the workers state there were 2,192 registered attendees this year.

I knew that the Rally was big, I just didn’t realize _how_ big. 120 business cards may not be enough. 🙂

I was a bit surprised this afternoon when I ordered a chicken pot pie for dinner and was served something roughly the size of a beret. I’m used to pot pies being small, dainty things. And it was delicious, too. Sadly, there’s no refrigerator nor a microwave in the suite.

Time for some reading before turning in. Tomorrow: assist with the load in, registration and the first open mic.

TAXI Road Rally 2010 Day -1

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UPDATE: Took just 20 minutes to get through security, so now I’ve got an hour wait until boarding.

Typing on an iPad is…interesting. I can almost touch-type, but things are just wrong enough to limit utility. But all in all, it works pretty well. I guess I just need more practice.

Over the weekend I’ll be attending TAXI’s Road Rally 2010, an annual convention of fellow musicians, songwriters and composers for education and networking. Registration begins tomorrow afternoon. Today is my travel day.

I’ll do my best to write about my experiences at the end of each night, if for no other reason than as a personal journal. It should be a good thing, especially when it comes to networking. My plan is simple: network, network, network. I’ve got a grip of business cards made up and am burning CDs as I type.

Next up: packing.