100 CD’s Project

by Jason on October 20, 2009 · 38 comments

in 100 CD's Project, Marketing/Promotion, Music, Recording

No More, No Less

Jason Parker Quartet: No More, No Less

Today I started an experiement called the 100 CD’s Project. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but I borrowed it from an artist and writer named Christine Mason Miller, who did her own version called the 100 Books Project. I thought it was such a beautiful idea that I wanted to recreate it using my new CD, “No More, No Less” by the Jason Parker Quartet.

The gist is that I am going to send 100 copies of the CD out into the world as a gift to whoever finds them. Christine describes the project beautifully:

Imagine you are going about your day, minding your own business, doing what you normally do here, there and far away. Imagine noticing something out of the corner of your eye, a package in a brown paper bag with the words “This is a gift for YOU” written on it. Would you know that the YOU in that message was YOU? Would you dare accept a gift from a total stranger left on the windshield of your car, in your bicycle basket or on a bus bench?

Isn’t that cool???

I plan to enlist the help of friends and family around the world, and hope to have CD’s placed from Seattle to New York, from Denmark to Israel. And with any luck I will receive some kind of response from those who find them!

So today I took a handful of CDs and this note and dropped them at various locations around the city:

Noted Attached to All CDs

Noted Attached to All CDs

I drove over to the Ballard Market to get the bags to put the CD’s in and got to work assembling the first 20 packages.

Assembly Line

Assembly Line

The first 20 were left in the Ballard and Fremont neighborhoods of Seattle. Here is where the first batch ended up:

CD #1: Ballard Market Patio

CD #1: Ballard Market Patio

CD #2: Ballard Market Men's Room!

CD #2: Ballard Market Men's Room!

CD #3: Ballard Market Produce Section

CD #3: Ballard Market Produce Section

CD #4: Windshield, Ballard Market Parking Lot

CD #4: Windshield, Ballard Market Parking Lot

I actually saw the woman who owns that car receive the CD…don’t know if she popped it right into the stereo or not!

CD #5: Seattle Public Library, Ballard

CD #5: Seattle Public Library, Ballard

I’m particularly proud of this last one. Notice the placement!

CD #6: Seattle Public Library, Ballard

CD #6: Seattle Public Library, Ballard

CD #7: Bergen Place Park

CD #7: Bergen Place Park

Parking Meter, Market St.

CD #8: Parking Meter, Market St.

CD #9: Ballard Health Club Entryway

CD #9: Ballard Health Club Entryway

See it on the handrail?

CD #10: Ballard Locks

CD #10: Ballard Locks

CD #11: Fremont Coffee Co. Patio

CD #11: Fremont Coffee Co. Patio

See it waaaay in the back?

CD # 12: Azure Salon Steps

CD # 12: Azure Salon Steps

A woman coming from the Salon saw me leave this one and gave me a very nervous look…

CD #13: Bitters Co.

CD #13: Bitters Co.

CD #14: Fremont Rocket Sign

CD #14: Fremont Rocket Sign

CD #15: Quadrant Lake Union Center

CD #15: Quadrant Lake Union Center

I saw a guy slow down, check it out, and keep right on walking!

CD #16: Lenin Statue

CD #16: Lenin Statue

See it there on his right toe?

Cafe Ladro Bulletin Board

CD #17: Cafe Ladro Bulletin Board

CD #18: Fremont Troll

CD #18: Fremont Troll

CD’s #19 & 20 I gave to a brother and sister who saw me place #18 on the Troll’s nose and were very curious as to what I was doing. Turns out the brother is a jazz fan from Louisville, KY, and when I found that out I gave them both a CD. They were so surprised and appreciative and insisted on giving me $10. So I made money on the project! 😉

It was a blast running around leaving these today and will be so exciting to get some responses. I will let you know when they come in and will certainly post more as the remaining 80 CD’s hit the streets. I’ll have some photos from my accomplices from around the world soon…

If you’d like to be one of my accomplices and place a few around your neck of the woods leave a comment and let me know where you live. All accomplices earn themselves a FREE CD and a place in JPQ history! 😉

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason Crane | The Jazz Session October 20, 2009 at 11:31 am

I think two things about this:

1. It’s a great idea and it deserves to succeed.

2. In this weird, paranoid land, people will be reluctant to open suspicious packages.

I sincerely hope #1 outweighs #2. Good luck!

Jason
Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
October 20, 2009 at 11:52 am

I thought about that, too, Jason. We’ll see what happens!

Mark October 20, 2009 at 12:35 pm

I love it, very creative idea. I’m in the Tacoma area and would love to be an accomplice.

John Dover October 20, 2009 at 12:38 pm

Hey Jason,

What a fun idea. Let me know if you need any help.

John

Matt Rodela October 20, 2009 at 2:44 pm

I thought the same thing as the other Jason, Jason. Imaginative, fun, and inspiring idea, but if I saw a package like that I would definitely NOT open it. I may even report it to the police depending on my mood that day (I live near DC so we’re told to always be on the lookout for suspicious packages). I’m sure curiosity will outweigh paranoia in some though. Can’t to hear about the results!

John Nastos October 20, 2009 at 4:46 pm

Wow – that is a pretty cool idea. Excited to hear the results. I agree agree with the trepidations of Matt and the other Jason, but I bet you’ll still get some interesting responses.

Jenn October 20, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I picked up on your link from Amandan Thorne’s FB page. I live in little old Sidney, Ohio….Amanda’s home town and one of her high school buddies! I’d love to help you out if you are looking to branch out this way! Sounds like a very cool project and I’d love to follow the progress of this. Much luck to you.
Jenn Doyle

River Willow October 20, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Hi Jason,

I’m an artist, like you, but paint and paper, instead of cd. I have traveled extensively in Europe and other countries and like the Jason above, I would NEVER open a package like the one you have pictured. In addition, you are fostering a climate where you are “training” people that they SHOULD be able to trust unmarked packages: a very UNSAFE practice. Might I suggest, you just hand them the cd, should you want to give away the cd’s? Then you make boh your gift a safe gift and the receiver’s inhabitants of a little safer world. It just takes one unsafe bag to tear apart your world.

Amanda October 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Interesting idea. I, too, considered how many people would willingly open such a package in such paranoid times. Perhaps the external packaging needs a bit more of an explanation, to overcome suspicion? i.e. “I am a musician seeking to spread the word about my music. Please find enclosed a free CD of my music for whoever finds this package. I only ask that, if you enjoy my music, you spread the word.”…or something less wordy! In many cities at the moment, this would be regarded as a suspicious package and would be removed from stores, shopping centres etc by security. What a complex world we live in, huh? Good luck!

Catherine Hagele October 21, 2009 at 10:51 am

Hey Jason,
You know I’d love to leave one of these in Philly somewhere…
We miss you guys!
-Cath

Sunna Gunnlaugs October 21, 2009 at 3:46 pm

Love this idea. I’m in Iceland and I’ll be your accomplice. Might be expensive to ship. Let me know.

Michael Morgan October 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm

I’ll be a willing accomplice. I live in Burlington, VT, an area that is ripe for your music.

John Goldsby October 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Hi Jason, Cool idea! I bet you get some good responses along the way—it’s sort of like sending out a message in a bottle.

Kai Weber
Twitter: fruehlingstag
October 23, 2009 at 3:25 am

Hi Jason,

I’m a bit late now, but I love the idea as well, and I don’t think the security concerns would be share by too many people over here in Germany. So in case you still need a “distributor” and “photographer” in Munich, Bavaria, you can find me ready for it.
I was quite astonished to see that you have a Lenin statue in your neighborhood. And what’s the story behind this troll?

Jason
Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
October 23, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Thanks to all for your comments! I’m swamped with preparations for my CD Release Party at Lucid tomorrow night, but when it’s all over I’ll respond to some of your concerns and get CDs out to those of you who have volunteered to be accomplices. I appreciate it!

Rob Michael November 4, 2009 at 1:54 pm

This idea seems super-cool. The telling of the story is as interesting as actually carry-out the plan itself.

Steve November 25, 2009 at 5:33 pm

This sounds like a really cool idea. I just stumbled upon this and think it’d be cool to participate if you still need any help.

Garret December 16, 2009 at 7:12 am

How about I place some in FOBs in Iraq? Would give soldiers free CDs and would put your music in a new part of the world!

Jason
Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
December 16, 2009 at 2:23 pm

Hey Garret,

I just sent you an email. I would LOVE to send some CD’s to Iraq for the soldiers!

Thanks for checking out the blog and for volunteering to be my accomplice in Iraq.

Be safe!

Jules January 4, 2010 at 8:32 pm

You want some to be spread round Scotland?

Mike Venti May 1, 2010 at 1:54 pm

Great idea Jason.

I’ve been hearing about a few artists doing this kind of thing with great results. I love the fact that you’re updating us all as to who has found the CD’s and where.

I’m looking forward to finding out what happened to all the other CD’s as they are found!

Simplexicon
Twitter: simplexicon
June 24, 2010 at 11:53 pm

Great idea, man. I’m going to use this in Vancouver when I release my first album there. I am a graphic designer turned musician, so producing artwork etc. is a breeze and costs will be minimal. What were your costs on this and how much time do you think it took? (Clearly, it was a labor of love. I really admire creative approaches to promotion.)

Jason
Twitter: 1WorkinMusician
June 25, 2010 at 12:27 am

Hey! This didn’t really cost me anything more than the cost of the discs themselves, which is negligible in the long run. As for time, it did take a bit, and I’m not done yet. I still have 10 discs to get out and a few cities to follow up on. If you end up doing it come back and let me know how it goes!

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