Thursday, February 21, 2008

Je m'appelle

Here's a minor annoyance: when I joined GEMA (which is the German rights organization equivalent to ASCAP or BMI in the States), I was told that I had to use my whole name (first, middle, last) because another Daniel Wolf (whose works include the apparently immortal Birdie McGinnis, Stand by the Navy and French Lessons) was already registered with ASCAP, and that there was an agreement 'tween the organizations not to duplicate names. I didn't mind so much, as I had often used my whole name, or at least the abbreviations (some close friends call me Deej, others Dan'l; Mrs. Robbins is the only person on the planet allowed to call me Danny, but that's another story), and it wasn't like poor Johannes Walter, who, born without a middle name (zweite Vorname), had to GEMA-fy his name with the addition of a "Caspar" up front, which was sort of cool (i.e. like the painter Caspar David Friedrich) until strangers started addressing him as Caspar (BTW, Caspar Johannes Walter is a superb composer. See here.) But it is a hassle to always have to insist to concert organizers that the name on programs, recordings, and broadcast reports always has to be in one form. GEMA and ASCAP and BMI are nothing if not companies with huge investments in computing technology. So, it ought to be clear to even the data base of littl'est brain that ASCAP's Daniel Wolf, who is long gone from this coil, is not adding any more titles to his catalogue, so as long as I never call a piece French Lessons, it ought not be a problem with matching my name, without middle name, to any of my titles.

On the other hand, maybe I really ought to write a piece with the title French Lessons.

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