Envelope, Please

In a shocking development, I went downstairs to get my mail.  I was really after the score of the Thomas Ades Piano Quintet, which was mailed to me and which is PFD (translate how you will).  But then, another package caught my eye.  It was addressed to “Yo Yo Ma,” and below this vaguely familiar name was my own address:

Haha, very amusing, how droll, I thought—all in succession.  I giggled wryly to myself like a tickled melba toast.  Some friend seeks to punk me or prank me or something; a joke lies concealed within.  But when its contents were revealed … they were not funny, at all.  Inside were two CDs of cello music by Peter Sculthorpe and the following postcard:
It seemed serious, earnest:  your typical semi-solicitation.  Hmmm.   Did the virtuoso, in days of yo-yore, live in the Greystone Hotel, even:  in this VERY ROOM?  Casting my eyes about, it seemed unlikely.  Which left only one other possibility to consider:  that I am Yo Yo Ma.

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  1. Posted October 12, 2007 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Well, it could be the mark of success in society today, or perhaps an interesting guerilla tactic. Consider the following excerpt:

    “Today the rationalization of the bottom line via genre containers has broadened its technological reach to include the electronic monitoring of CD sales, popularity ratings, and radio airplay statistics… [T]he tendency is increasingly to concentrate resources on profitable sectors and then to diminish those sectors to a category of profitable stars (Negus 1999, 47–51)… Divisions whose profitability profile is substandard are either abandoned entirely or undergo a kind of inner metamorphosis to reflect a financial logic produced by statistical data. For example, when in 1989 Warner Music purchased the classical music Tulda label (in Germany) and Erato (in France), Warner divested itself of various genres and artists and concentrated instead on a few lucrative star artists, like Jose? Carreras. As Benjamin Boretz wryly remarks, “To make it in today’s classical music market, you have to be Yo-Yo Ma: I do not mean this metaphorically, but literally!” (private discussion with author, April 28,2003).”

    From Martin Scherzinger. “Music, Corporate Power, and Unending War” Cultural Critque – 60, Spring 2005, pp.23-67


  2. Posted October 12, 2007 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    While this final possibility does seem unlikely, it’s rather an easy hypothesis to test. Borrow a cello from one of your musical friends—perhaps Mr. Isserlis would be happy to oblige?—place bow to string, and see what happens.

  3. Posted October 12, 2007 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Congratulations. I hope you’ll soon make a recording with Edgar Meyer. Wait a minute, what if you are Joshua Bell?

  4. John Perkins
    Posted October 20, 2007 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Ok, this provided a VERY much needed laugh for me…

    “Casting my eyes about, it seemed unlikely. Which left only one other possibility to consider: that I am Yo Yo Ma.”

    You are just hilarious. Keep it coming.

  5. Posted October 25, 2007 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    wow jacque. jeremy as joshua? interesting …

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