Terri was born in Harlem, New York in January 1958, attended the High School of Music and Art as a Voice major, was Manager of Business Affairs for CBS Records International for 10 years, Director of Administration for Prince’s Paisley Park Music for 2 years, was Director of Sales for Kampo Cultural Center, then moved to Japan to co-manage Pizzicato Five.
Among other artists, Terri has worked with Laurie Anderson, Don Alias, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Mark Egan and Danny Gottlieb, Boom Boom Satellites, Hisaishi Joe, GAO, Asian Kung-fu Generation, Chitose Hajime, Feed produced by Lenny Kaye, and Kayoko. She managed Pizzicato Five’s international career, signing them to Matador Records, and was instrumental in getting their music exposure in commercials and films outside of Japan.
She wrote the first authentic Bushisms book to be published in Japan: Bush in Wonderland (Fushigi no Kuni no Bush).
I suppose I need to write this in the third person, although it feels weird. Here goes.
Terri was born in 1958 in New York City’s Harlem. She grew up in a working class neighborhood in Queens, attended the High School of Music and Art majoring in voice and piano, and attended Fordham University as an English major.
She was probably destined to become a bit conventional. You know: 2 car garage in the suburbs, 2 kids, striving hubby, church every Sunday, etc.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
But Terri was(is) a lifestyle beta tester, a people geek – fascinated by the spirit that drives human communication. The lives she read about in her beloved science fiction fantasy, or wrote about as part of her elementary school greeting card business, or sang about in dreadful songs she wrote as a young punk rock bandleader: she wanted to live in those lives, and watch what happened.
Not the most comfortable type of family members to have, no doubt.
Fortunately, her parents and her only brother overcame their frustration with her life choices, and showered her with her with consistent and unshakeable love.
So, life went on after leaving Fordham at 2 years. Terri spent 10 years as Manager of Business Affairs of CBS Records Intl, with a promotion just before Sony bought the place.
She lived in an urban construction commune in the East Village: alternative lifestyle by night, good junior executive by day. But the business side of the music business was the wrong place to be – she simply wasn’t hip, or interested enough in being fashionable. It was hard to leave, because it was a fairly cushy situation, with travel, and a decent salary. In the meantime, one of the places she traveled to was Japan. And the alternative/underground music scene caught her attention immediately. So she conceived the idea of managing these amazing bands and introducing them outside of Japan.
She left CBS, and then came the Pizzicato Five (Nakagawa Katsuhiko, Joe Hisaishi, GAO, Buffalo Daughter, Pugs, and FEED) years. As artist management income wasn’t always consistent, there were stints at Paisley Park Music, Kampo Cultural Center and being the Japan rep for the New Music Seminar.
Finally, Terri moved into dedicated entrepreneur-dom. That meant lots of travel, almost living, in Japan, and finally moving there to manage P5 worldwide. Then band broke up and it was time to work as a writer and editor, doing video and audio production with her then-business partner now dear friend, and searching for a way to stay in Japan and yet, eat.
Many things happened. She co-produced hybrid book/CD/DVD series about the Mozart Effect. She wrote a book about GW Bush (Fushigi no Kuni no Bush), became a Howard Dean activist, joined the movable intellectual online feast of America’s progressive political movements (where she learned a lot about building and maintaining communities). She hung out, albeit briefly, with one of her writing inspirations, Neil Gaiman, and one of her business inspirations, Matt Mullenweg and one of her presentation inspirations, Garr Reynolds.
She worked for an ESL company with long time friend, singer-songwriter Kayo, producing hundreds of podcasts at the dawn of that medium’s first popular wave in Japan. Here’s the list – they’re still in iTunes, and some are available as audiobooks:
The Time Magazine Podcast for Japan
The Nikkei Weekly Interview
eigo de Career Up!
Real Life with Akiko and Tina (renamed The Adventures of…)
She became Field Director, North Asia for Obama ’08. She did some English teaching, but relatively little. Instead, life persuaded her that she needed to stay independent, in order to:
- produce programs she’d want to see/hear
- develop WordPress community sites
- help other people tell their stories (aka business presentation coach)
That became her focus. It wasn’t a particularly easy road, but life is filled with constant learning, creation, honing skills, and gaining deeper understanding of the things that matter to her.
The entrepreneurial thing became less viable. She likes doing the work, she doesn’t particularly want to have to sell the services. Time for a change. Through another dear friend, she started working retail, at the Apple Store in Shibuya just before the earthquake in 2011. In 2013, she was promoted from Specialist to Business Specialist. She loves her work, challenging as it is.
Then, in 2014, she started a set of two bands with her musical soulmates, Nick and Miho of Sabolitai. She’s still not entirely settled with her own band name, which is just ‘terri’. It seems rather bare. But it’s at least recognizable in this little Tokyo bubble. She goes on retreat with her best friend Lauren, who runs Tokyo Writer’s Salon.
She is filled with gratitude for friends and family and invisible mentors. And she’s grateful for the chance to continue make her life a work in progress.
January 2016 update: band name settled: Antaidian.