Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Darmok And Jalad At Tanagra

When you are a musician by trade, one of the streams of income that you receive is through publishing and mechanical royalties. These occur in the form of a few cents here or there when your song is played on the radio or streamed online, or if it is in a movie or a commercial, and eventually add up into something substantial if you are lucky enough. The way that these are collected is through a publishing collection company, like BMI or ASCAP. Idiot Pilot happens to be registered through ASCAP, which is why when you look through the credits of an Idiot Pilot record you will see something that says "©2007 Idiot Pilot Music ASCAP", which is the case of Wolves. Some artists have more interesting publishing identities though, like Sunny Day Real Estates "One Day I Stopped Breathing" or Broken Social Scenes "Arts & Crafts Productions Inc."

Now that I am releasing The Ghost And The Grace album, I decided to start a new publishing identity for myself. I searched high and low for a name and finally decided.

There is an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation in which Picard is transported against his will down to a unexplored planet, along with a Tamarian captain. The Tamarian dialect has yet to be deciphered, as they seem to speak in random or nonsensical phrases. The Tamarian captain and Picard are eventually able to communicate with each other once Picard realizes that the dialect is based on metaphor to folklore and history. An example would be if you told someone you loved them by saying to them "Romeo and Juilet in the garden," or that you were hungry by saying "Big bad wolf, blowing down house." Because of their new found understanding, the two captains are able to band together to defeat an alien monster that inhabits the planet and are eventually transported back to their respective ships. A phrase frequently used throughout the episode is "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra", which is a reference to the Tamarian story about warriors who learn to work together in order to overcome an otherwise unsurvivable enemy.

Does this seem like a random thing to just throw into a blog post about publishing royalties? Sure, but no longer. As of last week, all of my future solo musical endeavors shall be legally published under "Darmok And Jalad At Tanagra ASCAP."


Anonymous said...

actually the tamarian captain is killed and picard is unable to stop it because he is beamed away at the last second but with his new understanding he is able to communicate with the tamarian 1st officer and explain the situation but yeah this is a fantastic exploration of communication.

Anonymous said...

ha, I will try out my thought, your post get me some good ideas, it's truly amazing, thanks.

- Norman

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