Which Music Industry Are You Fixing?

Even with the enormous changes in the music industry over the past fifteen years or so (pick your favourite year zero) things are not perfect. There is a sense that the music industry is malleable now and this raises questions about how it should be moulded.

Young girls finish running race
Christmas party at works, 18/12/1937 / by Sam Hood, Taken at Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia), Ashfield, N.S.W. via Flikr Commons

Voices are being raised about what the industry should be and how we can get there. There are increasing incidences of people positing ideas only for an opposing view to emerge rebutting them from within the community of musicians. Continue reading Which Music Industry Are You Fixing?

Recreating my musical self with the aid of (community) gravity and other invisible forces

Comet Donati by Bond 1858
Image of the Comet Donati taken by W. C. Bond in 1858. The comet leaves its trail as it passes on its elliptical path through the solar system. Periodic activity can feel like long-period comets but perhaps not everything needs to follow such a long orbit.
I have had a somewhat unsettled relationship with making music for a long time. It has always been a passionate one, but it has often been difficult to the point of not being an active musician for many years at a time. I always seem to return though and I’m going through that process again now.

Perhaps because I’m a bit older and more self-reflective, if not wiser, I find myself watching this process as it is occurring and trying to make sense of it. When I was younger it didn’t need to make sense, it just happened, but perhaps I’m not as trusting or brave as I was then.

I have been prodded out of my comfortable isolated process by an interesting, intimate and introspective article by Clutch Daisy. Where’s Your Head At? looks at the effect of an increasing level of self-awareness in his creative process. (That’s my take on it anyway and I hope it’s at least partially accurate)

Clutch’s article has resonated with me because my current musical state is redolent with self-awareness. I haven’t made much music for ten years and the process of restarting is not an easy one in many ways. Simply justifying using the time is no simple thing as I could be spending that with my family or looking to fill it with more remunerative work.

In so many places heightened self-awareness inhibits action. Like a teenage boy in a new lumbering graceless body I’m contemplating the dance-floor and wondering how I’ll move. With my interrupted musical life it is simply a fact that needs to be dealt with though so I’m trying to incorporate the meta-process into the process somehow. Continue reading Recreating my musical self with the aid of (community) gravity and other invisible forces

Can we increase tangible collaboration between independent musicians?

Adult and child help a younger child climb a pole
We can all benefit from a helping hand

Last night I awoke to find I had drifted off in front of the television. That’s never a great feeling but I happened to hear something I wouldn’t normally have which softened the blow. There was a poker tournament on and they were interviewing a young British poker player who had just lost his imaginary money and been eliminated from the tournament. He was asked what he attributed the rise of young British poker players to. His response was interesting. He said the rise was catalysed by the emergence of a cooperative attitude between his peer group on the poker circuit.

Poker is a competitive environment and he was talking about a group of people who were in a sense adversaries learning to cooperate for long-term benefits. This hadn’t happened before as British poker players were competing against each-other, looking for short-term advantages. I wonder how much cooperation could be deepened within the independent music community.

There are several ways that cooperation is already thriving, there are blogs where lots of bright people share their knowledge and there are amazing communities of people interacting through Twitter helping and supporting each-other. Both these things are wonderful but I think there is scope to make even greater strides in creating a new music industry by increasing some more tangible aspects of cooperation. Continue reading Can we increase tangible collaboration between independent musicians?