Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Celebration of Rejection; or the beautiful Miss Candy Candykins

I'm off to Paris to meet Lynne, check that her paintings match the city, and spread the ashes of our dear beloved friend Evelyn. A bit in the Seine, a bit at Les Deux Magots (sprinkled over the crème de menthe), a little buried outside her favorite pizza place, a little tucked in next to Napoleon in Les Invalides. 

After that, heading to Amsterdam to catch up with Laura Bohn, who is performing in a Monteverdi / Hip-Hop mashup performance, then to Berlin to perform the Shitstorm of Asshattery letter with the lovely and talented Candy (which may not be her real name).  The highlight will almost certainly be my tearful love song to Simon Stockhausen, longing for the tête-à-tête we will now never have, which goes something like:
Dear Simon
How it thrills me
When you sneer
Just a little
Compel me to do 
What you want me to do
I want to be
A forward thinker
Like you
My Simon 
My Simon 
My Simon  
So why I am traveling all the way to Berlin? I am making a big deal of a rejection, something we have to deal with daily, but, Oh what a rejection!  A rejection of epic proportions! 

On that topic, one of my peeviest peeves is as follows. One spends a lot of time working on a proposal asking some foundation for its cash, which, as far as I am concerned they owe you for chrissakes, or similarly on the preparations for a competition or reading, which again takes quite a bit of time and energy and a Benjamin or two for all the copying and postage and whatnot and then in the end, more often than not, you receive a form letter - well, just an email nowadays, akin to being dumped by SMS - which tells you very little, e.g.:

Dear Erling,
I am writing on behalf of Music Director Joana Carneiro to let you know that we have completed the selection for next year’s composers as part of Berkeley Symphony’s Under Construction new music reading series and, unfortunately, we are unable to offer you a position this year.  We very much appreciate the strong quality of this year’s applicants and regret that there are but three positions available in the program.  Thanks again for your interest in our program and we hope you’ll consider reapplying in a future season.
Yours sincerely,
--- so and so ---
Director of Operations
Berkeley Symphony

So should one really reapply?  Or do they think your music sucks so bad that next time it will go into the shredder in its entirety once your return address's postal code is noticed?  Would it be so hard to simply send you a transcript of their discussion so one knows something at least of whether it is worth your time? One applauds their love for all your fellow applicants and their work, at least their love for the average applicant's work, but it's unclear what they thought of one's own work, which one might think is the more important question at hand. 

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