Let’s say I’m hired to do a job for a commercial for Tampons. This actually
happened to me. The producer will say to me that a particular chord doesn’t sound
very ‘Tampon-like’ to him. What the hell does that mean? I said, ‘are you looking
for something that goes (BILL MAKES POPPING NOISE). What are you saying?
. . .I literally had a job in the 1980s for the launch of an early Internet provider. In any
event, this woman said we want to introduce this service because it’s somewhat
classical even though it’s high tech. We’re really looking for a solo piano kind of
thing. I said okay what do you mean by a little more classical? I played
something and say something like this. ‘Beethoven-like which is a little more
Romantic or Mozart-like? I kept working my way through Hayden and then Bach
and she said that’s it. That’s Baroque but to her it’s classical because that’s what it
said in the record store. . . She didn’t have the language. I said okay and I did this
demo spot. She said, ‘I’ll fall on my sword for that it’s beautiful.’ . . .
. . . I’m not the pianist so I come into the session with a real pianist. She comes in
that day with the account executive and the client. The client says, ‘what’s this? I
thought it was supposed to be jazz?’ I said jazz? The account executive gets
upset. The producer and the account executive go out of the room and they come
back in. She says, I guess I wasn’t really clear that I wanted classical jazz. So they
merged their words classical and jazz. Oh, are you talking Ellington? Nobody knew
what they were talking about. This is what ended happening. I started playing some
chords and they’re like NO, NO. It had to be solo piano playing. It turned out what
they were looking for was George Winston new age piano. The account guy was
hearing that as jazz. The client was hearing that as jazz. And the producer was
hearing it as classical. When it’s actually new age fluff played on the white keys. The
pianist goes home. I can handle this it’s just the white keys. I sat and just blew
something out.
Both Carol and Bill recognize that their job depends on being able to articulate what the
client is thinking and this is a mutually coordinated action. The definition of “mutuality can
simply mean that all participants are committed and able to make some contribution to the
process” (Gergen, Schrader & Gergen, 2009, p. 102). This process is exhibited as Bill
describes the give and take performance with the client to finally get to what music they
It’s not about me. It’s about them. Going over it again and again. Even if I’m failing,
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