In Pursuit of the Perfect Note


I remember the afternoon when I had to give a solo performance of Gabriel Fauré: Requiem op. 48. As I stood backstage with my viola professor, her bun tightly bound at the base of her head, she looked at me up and down and rolled her eyes. Bracelets, necklaces, a butterfly in my hair and earrings were all sparkly and stage ready.

'Take all of those off. QUICKLY!!' she snapped.

My hands shaking, I removed all of them and picked my viola back up. She looked at me again and nodded her head. satisfied. She looked me in my eye and said, 'All of that frilly stuff would have just gotten in the way. You don't need them.'

Sure, those things would have gotten in the way of the performance, wood knocking against plastic beads, would have been problematic. But hey, there were pretty (and perhaps a welcome distraction) For weeks prior to that performance, however, we were in pursuit of the impossible: The Perfect Note.

The Perfect Note was performance perfection was tied to a perfect sound; a pure, consistent tone unaffected by change in pressure or position. This was tougher to accomplish than you think. The discipline to pursue the perfect note required incredible patience and focus. Pushing through the physical pain of finding and maintaining the proper position of every angle of my body, was incredibly frustrating. However, both were required and necessary to play at optimal, pure levels.

After hours and hours of playing, literally, one note, the MOMENTS when I FINALLY found that level of purity were euphoric. Those moments showed what was possible to achieve when I decided nothing would get in the way of finding and playing that note. 

What does this have to do with branding and story? Everything. I believe that we’re all, in some way, in the pursuit of the perfect note. Our note, our story, the brand narrative that will make people stand up and take notice. How much time are you willing to spend on just finding and perfecting your brand’s story?  How many times are you guilty of spending your time on the window dressing of your brand and not on those core elements that make your brand perfect?
— Christa Chambers-Price

I challenge you to allow yourself to go in full pursuit of the Perfect Note for your brand. Trust me, with all of the noise out there, the world needs it. There will be plenty of folks with similar brands where everyone is playing the same or similar tune. You will be different because your brand's tune will made up of those perfect notes you insist on reaching and striving to discover.

(BTW: I stepped on the stage, essentially stripped down to my viola, dress and heels. As I played, muscle memory pushed me through the difficult passages. My ear was hyper-focused on creating as many perfect notes as I could and the music soared. At the end, I put my viola back in hand and there was silence. I looked at my professor and she nodded and smiled (a rarity). Then the applause happened. Then the entire room stood up with the exception of one person. My lifelong and first viola teacher sat in the front row, with tears running down his face.)