Nadja Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg

my thoughts

    This page is...I've decided, where I get to spew and share my opinion. I'll change it as often as my schedule allows and sometimes maybe, even sooner depending on how I am feeling about "stuff". I'll tell you now that it will rarely be about music or playing the violin except for the times when it is. I invite you to spew and share as well. For an archive of my previous opinions, click here. Email


    By now I'm thinking that most of you know that I started my own record label.

    October 3rd, 2006 celebrates the 1 year anniversary -- and what a year it has been. Where to start, where to start...

    You thought I was going to say, "Let's start at the beginning," didn't you?

    Too predictable. And if there is one thing that this past year wasn't, it's predictable!!! Oh boy, just when you think you know a lot of stuff about a lot of things. After all, I am smack in the middle of my 25th year anniversary as a soloist. Yup, my career is 25 years old, and ya know, in that time frame one starts to amass quite a bit of knowledge -- or so you'd think. I honestly thought my memory card was all used up -- this computer was full of data. It sure felt that way. Did you know, for example, that when you ask for the color red for an album cover, this is very confusing to printers?

    Red is red. Vanilla is vanilla. Chocolate is chocolate.

    Not so.

    Red looks more like brown, and when I say, "I wanted red not brown," I get, "When red is printed, it comes out looking like brown."

    So then I say, "How about if I had asked for brown? Then what would I get?"

    They say, "Brown."

    Are you following this?

    Or how about this: distribution. Now let me tell you that "distribute" is a fancy word for delivery. You give the distributor the product, and they mail it out to stores. Sound simple? VERY COMPLICATED STUFF, FOLKS!!!

    Especially if your product is manufactored by the distributor. Well, then they have to actually make the CD's. That means pressing them -- that's the round silver thing you put into the CD player; inlay artwork -- that's the booklet or foldouts you read all the information from; traycards -- what's a traycard? spine print -- spine print? C'mon, what the hell is that? Brown is the new red.

    Oy, I'm getting a headache just typing this stuff. Since I was responsible for every aspect of every single thing that my company released, you can imagine how many headaches I had this year. Plus, ya know, I still had to maintain that 25 year career, and of course, that miscellaneous entity we all have to deal with called: life.

    "You have to break my entire wall because of a leak upstairs caused by my neighbor who fell asleep in the tub? Did he die? I hope?!" But then I got smart -- right around the new year I decided I needed help.

    Now I have to admit to you that the thought of passing responsibility to someone other than myself is such a frightening prospect for me that, quite frankly, I never considered it. Ever. Like in my whole life. Never. For anything.

    Maybe something like "I'll get the hot dogs and you get the buns" kind of thing but actually even that changed when one time I asked a friend of mine to drop my bills into a mailbox and somehow she couldn't manage even that. And so of course nothing got paid that month, and I got into trouble with everyone and blah, blah, you can imagine: since then I get the buns. Trembling with fear I hired someone: explained the duties and the drill that I had learned so far; wrote the first salary check; and sat back down at my desk. I sat there and stared at the phone ... and then the computer screen ... and then back to the phone ... and then my cell phone ... and then back to the computer screen ... then I walked over to my fax machine ... back to the cell phone. This went on and on for days, interrupted only by a few trips to the bathroom in which I would stretch my neck out the door to check on the computer screen anyway.

    The Maytag repairman: do any of you remember the Maytag repairman? That was me: just waiting for the bad news. The fact that I hired someone I had worked with in another capacity for 14 years didn't do anything to quell my fears -- not until I realized things were under control. Things were working. The company was doing well. The company was successful in fact!!!

    My albums were being sold in the United States and Canada! Whoopee! I decided to hire someone else and buy a briefcase. Then I secured Japanese licensing -- yippee! I hired a lawyer and bought myself a pair of pumps!

    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, I'm a business woman for sure now. Got a staff and everything. Yup.

    Am I making any money?

    Okay. No.

    But everybody knows that all new independent businesses need more than a year to show any profit -- geez, everybody knows that! Right? That's not important right now. What's important is this (and if I may be serious for just one moment): (WARNING: this next paragraph contains text of a serious nature. Those wanting to laugh or giggle should not read this paragraph.)

    The name of my company is NSS Music, and I have released five albums in one year. This is not a vanity label. I will work my ass off for this company that I believe in and that I am excited about because I am so proud of the quality of the albums we release. Of the five released so far, I am involved musically with three of them. This pattern will continue and grow. I will play on some albums but not all. Some will be classical, and some will not. However, all the albums will be spectacular in their content. Much more than I can say for the major labels -- all of them. Which brings me to the title of this essay: "And MERRY Makes 5."

    MERRY is my fifth release. It's a long time dream come true for me in that I've always wanted to make my own version of those wonderful Christmas tunes we all love. And finally I have done it. This album is so happy and beautiful and diverse and festive and Christmasy. I invite you to stop by the website to see more of the festivities involved with this release. I am sure you'll enjoy it.

    Meanwhile, I have a staff meeting in a couple of weeks. My first staff meeting ever. I am very excited. I am going to wear my new pumps and put lots of stuff in my briefcase so that when I open it up, it takes me a good two to three minutes to get all my "documentation" ready. That makes me look more important. Maybe I'll go to the Duane Reade pharmacy and pick up a pair of those reading glasses. They make you look so intelligent. Also I want to serve some food -- that's always classy I think. Everyone loves food. Bagels or donuts. Hmm. What the hell do I know.


    NSS Music

    ©2008-2001 Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg