Perhaps you've seen my #supersecretsanta posts on social media.
Or maybe you've come across one of the CDs on your daily travels.
Or perhaps you've helped me out with one of my other projects - and as a "thank you" I've handed you one of the CDs with the bright neon sticker.
. . .and you may ask yourself "Where did this CD come from?"
. . .and you may ask yourself "Who - in this day and age - is still pressing CDs?"
. . .and you may ask yourself "Why is someone apparently giving away these CDs?"
Well. . . .the story starts with an effort some years back to affect some good in this world. It involves a bunch of generous, talented, NYC-based musicians (and me) doing what we do - performing, recording and producing music. Our goal was to use our skills and our music to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
The short version of the story goes a little something like this. . . .
"Christmas Sessions from NYC" came one year after "Xmas '05". "Xmas '05" was our first attempt. . .a bit of a baby-step, I guess. "Xmas '05" went from concept to pressing in record time - and we pressed only a modest number of CDs. )The purpose of "Xmas '05" and "Sessions" was to raise money for two worthy charities - Habitat for Humanity and Music Rising.)
Well - "Xmas '05" was such an unexpected success (the promotional concert was a blast and we quickly sold out of CDs). As a result, we aimed for bigger and better the next year. We took more time in the studio AND pressed more CDs (a lot more CDs).
Well - the CD came out JUST as the sales of legal digital downloads were starting to look like a hockey stick and CD sales were nose-diving. So while "Christmas Sessions from NYC" was - from an audiophile-POV - an improvement on "Xmas '05". . .and while "Christmas Sessions from NYC" still raised even more money. . .the majority of revenue did not come CD sales. As a result, we were left with a whole bunch of unsold CDs. . . .and. . .umm. . .CDs aren't selling any hotter in 2017 than they were then.
So - here we are. The revenue that "Christmas Sessions from NYC" continues to generate comes by-in-large from digital downloads & streaming services. On top of that - NYC is home, which means that storage space is at an extreme premium. Still - I can't bring myself to simply send the remaining CDs off to a land-fill. After all - 1) a lot of talented people put their blood, sweat & tears into this album, 2) I hate adding to our already over-stuffed landfills and 3) THERE IS GREAT EFFING MUSIC ON THESE CDs!!!!
I hit on an idea popular with a number of street artists and the like. . .I'll leave copies of the CD at locations in and around NYC for folks to find.
So - at the newsstand, you might grab a copy of the paper only to find a CD underneath. . .when you go to take a seat on the downtown A, you might find a CD there on the seat. . .as you walk through Union Sq toward the holiday shops, you may notice a CD there on a bench. . .as you're collecting your tips from a table you served, you may find a CD there as well.
On each CD is a sticker that reads "CONGRATS - you found one! Please enjoy, pass the love forward and have a very merry Christmas! #givelove #givemusic #supersecretsanta"
My hope is my follow NYers (and the odd tourist) will pause for a moment, sense the love & joy that went into the project and ultimately enjoy some rockin' versions of Christmas classics. If that happens, winner-winner! If they go so far as to read the liner notes and are moved to take action, even better. (Again - here is the back story.)
Either way. . . .I'm having fun playing Super Secret Santa this year. It feels good knowing that something we did years ago still has "legs" and can make even more people's lives a little bit brighter. I hope that the folks that pick it up and take it home enjoy it.
And - ho ho ho!