Posts Tagged ‘Slow music’

Community supported music

April 14, 2012
I love music

I love music

Listen with your heart

Listen with your heart

Music and musicians have always relied on patronage, be it music that is commissioned or travelling minstrels who are hoping for food, drink and bed for the night.

The present structure of the music industry, controlled by a handful of greed-driven mega-corporations who criminalise music lovers is an aberration that is self-imploding.

Say NO to ACTA

Community supported agriculture: The community supports the farm. This is usually through shares or a subscription, then sharing the produce, possibly some of the work too.

Community supported art: The community supports an artist or artists and in return receives works of art.

Community supported music: The community supports the music.

What is a community?

A hamlet, is a clearly defined community. In urban settings, community is less well defined.

With the internet, community has become diffuse.

Music as the analogy of community supported agriculture, slow music as the analogy of slow food, all part of the slow movement where people, quality and sustainability matter.

Nancy Baym brought together three career performer/songwriters who all stumbled on the same analogy for how musicians can “make it” in the digital age: that of Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs). In a rethinking music podcast, Kristin Hersh, Zoe Keating, and Erin McKeown discuss what models have worked for them, and the unorthodox ways they’ve learned to make a living as artists.

The Community Supported Musician (Rethinking Music VIII)

Kristin Hersh used to be on a major record label. The label made all the money, she was left with nothing. She now has a subscription service, fans pay a subscription, this gives them CDs, concerts and other benefits

Zoe Keating makes her music available for download on bandcamp, for example her excellent album Into The Trees. She sets a minimum price, but you can pay more if you like. The average price paid is $4 more than the minimum. This seems to be a feature of bandcamp, fans downloading music will pay more than the asking price. If it is available for free, they still pay. Maybe it is because they know they are not being ripped off, maybe it is because they know the money they pay is going to the artist not into a corporate coffer.

On name-your-price albums, fans pay an average of 50% more than the minimum on bandcamp.

Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho makes his books available for free download on the internet. He finds by doing so he sells more books.

Paulo Coelho featured on FrostWire

Maybe people are intrinsically honest, they like to be treated as adults. You play fair with them, they play fair with you.

The Sixteen are using crowd sourcing to raise the funding for their next recording. The Sixteen are though new to this and are making mistakes. There was no mention at their recent concert at Winchester Cathedral. It is important to engage with people.

The Sixteen – Winchester Cathedral – Choral Pilgrimage 2012

The album Somewhere Under The Rainbow by The Jane Austen Argument was financed through crowd sourcing.

We need music to be available for free to re-educate people as to what is good music. Some people can quite literally not afford music.

Do you want to eat junk food all your life or would you rather eat real food, food that has taste?

Do you want to listen to junk music all your life or would you rather listen to real music, music that has soul?

Do you want your tomatoes to all look the same, the same colour, the same shape and size to within a millimetre, no taste, but long shelf life? Or would you rather grow them in your garden, buy off a farmer’s market, different shapes and sizes and colours and they taste great?

It is the same with music. The same bland pop, the same moronic looped backing tracks? Or would you rather have real musicians, with a bit of edginess, that do not all sound the same, some you may not even like?

As junk food has destroyed our sense of taste, junk music has destroyed our ability to listen.

Music, like food, is at a cross roads, it is for us to determine the direction it takes. It is too important a decision to be left to greed-driven global mega-corporations.

Slow music

April 9, 2012
Rock like a Hurricane - Rudolf Schenker and Paulo Coelho

Rock like a Hurricane - Rudolf Schenker and Paulo Coelho

I’d rather be a musician than a rock star. — George Harrison

You don’t have the right to make money off your music, you have the opportunity. — Andrew Dubber

Fast music is greed, music turned into a commodity.

Fast music is global corporations criminalising those who wish to listen to music.

Fast music is global corporations telling a pack of lies about piracy.

Fast music is tacky TV programmes like X Factor that degrades performers, dumbs down music.

No, you have not made the song your own when you simply clone the original.

At a time of slash and burn of quality programmes, the BBC has sunk to a new low with the payment of £22 million for the rights to a me-too X Factor clone.

Fast music is jerks driving around town or sat on a bus or train who think the world wishes to share their bad taste in music.

Fast music is moronic pop with repetitive tape loops.

Fast music incorporates Digital Rights Management into digital downloads to prevent sharing (though the technical savvy can always get around).

Fast music only lets you listen to a small sample in poor quality lofi.

Slow music is people who love music, love to play, love to listen.

Slow music is sharing.

If no one shares, how do we discover new music?

Slow music is a site like bandcamp that enables sharing, that connects those who make music with those who wish to listen, without a greedy global corporation getting between the two.

Slow music is being able to listen to an entire album on-line in reasonable quality mp3.

Slow music does not incorporate Digital Rights Management.

Slow music is the nurturing of talent.

Slow music is improvisations on Astor Piazzolla by A Ritmo de Tango.

Slow music is Les Sessions Cubaines, recorded at Studio Egrem.

Slow music is Rudolf Schenker and Paulo Coelho playing at a St Joseph’s Day party.

Slow music is Improv #1, performed live at a house concert.

Slow music is the Shadowboxer live studio sessions at Surrey University.

Slow music is Ken Crane with his guitar.

Slow music is singer-songwriter Carly Bryant playing on the street in Brighton.

Slow music is two delightful albums Where are the Arms and Gabriel Kahane from Gabriel Kahane.

Slow music is Beautifully Undone, an album of cover versions by Lobelia that she has made her own.

Slow music is Josie Charlwood at her piano.

Slow music is The Sixteen playing at Winchester Cathedral, part of their Choral Pilgrimage, now in its 25th year.

Slow music is the live performance of Happy by Steve Lawson and Lobelia at a house concert.

Slow music is Playing for Change, not only linking musicians across the world to produce awesome music, but also ploughing back any money made to help and educate young musicians.

Slow music is available for download as high quality, lossless FLAC.

Slow music is like community supported agriculture, those who like the music support the music, share it with their friends.

Steve Lawson on slow music (from the notes for his album Slow Food):

So Why Slow Food?

Well, the slow food movement was so named in contrast to fast food – the big business, low nutrition, fast buck, zero time approach to cuisine.

In contrast the slow food movement is about things being local, seasonal, organic, treasured, valued, social, cared-for.

That’s how we make music – this is not pop music. Not that it’s willfully obscure, just that when we’re composing it as we go along, playing what feels right in response to what’s just happened, it’s more like cooking a special meal for your family than it is like planning a way to fry more burgers per hour. The ingredients are pretty simple, but they’re what we know best. And the tracks take a while to bloom… It’s a pretty drawn out musical dialogue we’re having here, so sit back and relax, turn off the distractions, put the headphones on and enjoy it.

For the same reason, I’ve chosen to release these tracks as 24bit files. That’s higher than CD quality. Will you notice? Probably not, given that you don’t have the 16bit versions to compare it to, but believe me, this is as good as this music can possibly sound. 24 bit allows us great dynamic range I’ve avoided compressing the life out of the tracks, so you can enjoy that range). For that reason, I’d recommend you download the FLAC versions of the tracks if you have something to play FLAC files on (Winamp, or Songbird, For example) – the files are pretty big, but that’s where you’ll get the most benefit from the 24bit-ness.

Steve Lawson writes an excellent blog, and you will find some pretty good music there too. And he is offering 20 albums on a 4 GB memory stick! What more could one ask for?

Steve Lawson plays some really cool bass, though he less plays the bass than weaves a haunting, Zen-like soundscape.

Slow music is part of the slow movement: slow fashion, slow food, slow gardening.

Slow fashion: Style, quality, we care where it comes from, how it is made.

The Alchemist pen from Montegrappa is slow fashion.

Slow food: Quality food, linked to regional culture, the land, sourced locally.

Eating out at Ristorante Alla Corte is slow food.

Friday lunch at the Guildford Institute is slow food.

Buying from farmers markets, supporting local producers, is slow food.

Slow gardening: Sowing heritage varieties, creating a wildlife garden, working with, not against nature.

My garden is slow gardening.

Top Story in The Digital Mission Daily (Monday 9 April 2012).


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