Archive for October, 2011

More New Forms

Within my projects, Hazy would benefit from fan funding, once it has established a fan base (as of yet, nothing has been officially released) and will utilize mixed media packages to create a more appealing package beyond downloads. Interactive games and graphic novels have been discussed.

With my aim to head towards music for animation and installation, there is a lot of scope to sell my music to be used in advertising, either in video, or at events. though getting the initial foot into the market looks like it could be difficult.

Monday, October 31st, 2011 Networking Music, Uni No Comments


One Dennis Mackenzie came and said some interesting things about how he started up Urban Circle and Hype-On. Hard in some ways to relate it to what I’m doing, but very inspirational to get out and get involved in things.

Monday, October 24th, 2011 Networking Music, Uni No Comments

New Models

With the traditional music distribution model of record companies and distribution companies declining in popularity, many other models are jostling for the position to take over.

Whatever method comes out on top, it is highly probable that as long as music is being sold as recorded music, record companies will still be profitable, as will distribution companies, though the precise role they play in the process may have to change substantially. Streaming is looking the most popular of the new models at the moment, but it faces some serious issues because as it stands, it isn’t profitable. Spotify, likely the largest contender in the streaming business, over the last couple of years has been consistently deep into the red (they lost $42 million in 2010) – however, their losses are slowly decreasing, and freemium models take time to build a sufficient base to be profitable, so it may yet succeed. Though unless they are able to pay more money to the artists, the artists are likely to stop providing music, as they money they get per play is currently negligible.

Another approach some bands are trying is to give the recorded music away for free, and make money through other means, be it gig tickets, or merchandise. This is sustainable once a band has built up a large enough fan base, but it can be very hard to do so.

A way to distribute music avoiding some of these problems is to embed the music into another format like an interactive game. Music games are seemingly on the decline at the moment, but they may well rise again when a new format is found (the guitar hero format now firmly driven into the ground and flogged to death).

Regardless, other media often have music involved, and I want to focus on this area of music, as a supporting role to other media, be it video, games/interactive toys or installations.

In many ways that just passes the distribution problem to the video producer, but I feel the film industry is in some ways more stable currently than the music industry, with Hollywood being the driving force in the creative sector to keep royalty revenues flowing.

Monday, October 17th, 2011 Networking Music, Uni No Comments

Loose Fit – Table Beggar video

Clever Lo-fi effect.

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Thursday, October 13th, 2011 Illicit Audio Visual, Inspiration No Comments

Who’s Internet?

Digital Rights Management – the locking of a piece of digital media to a single person – has been in a constant state of flux as it tries to keep up with the advance of digital media distribution, and the capabilities of those who want to find ways around it. For a long time, DRM could only restrict media to a certain piece of hardware – be it a single computer, or disk needed to be be in the CD or floppy drive for a program to run. This hardware key approach is still used extensively by some companies today, though is beginning to decrease¬† in it’s use (for example, in 2010, avid removed the hardware tethering from Pro Tools – a very high profile program that used hardware keys as a form of DRM).

Now however, with the increase of cloud networks, DRM is starting to be more effectively linked to a user, rather than hardware. Streaming allows media to be viewed (or listened to) on any machine, as long as the user is logged on to a service and have the rights through that service.

The problem with this streaming service is that it lowers the perceived value of the media – with no physical media behind it.

Another interesting facet of the media distribution networks allowed by the internet is CRM – Customer Relationship Management – algorithms that attempt to tailor a customer’s experience of a network to that individual by tracking their previous behaviour, and introducing them to related things. This is interesting as it means that our experience of the media is almost entirely controlled by these algorithms, and we have less control about what we look at than we think.

In some applications this is obvious – such as targeted adverts in Facebook, or suggestions of films on dvd sites, however some CRM is a lot subtler, and the majority of people don’t know they’re being affected, for example Google’s search results being tailored towards previous searches by a user.

This has an interesting effect of, in a way, creating a teme – a technological meme. An idea that self replicates and can said to be evolving without direct human control. This constant copying and changing of the controls over what we can see could potentially become harmful, depending on the restrictions put on them as they will steer the attention of a population towards certain ideas and away from others, without that population being specifically aware of it.

Aside from temes, this herding of attention can be used to purposefully distract the masses from certain idea, or push them towards one. for example, giving everyone more exposure to a certain artist, will almost certainly boost their popularity, and can now be done with particular ease.


Monday, October 10th, 2011 Networking Music, Uni No Comments

Intellectual Property and Web Commercialism.

“I’d prefer to be raped by Pirate Bay than played on Spotify” -Magnus Uggla

It seems to me that the internet – and data sources in general – are gradually shifting towards a cloud format, with applications and data fixed less to a specific machine and more to a particular user.
From a consumer point of view, this is very practical, provided that network connections are widespread enough, but it poses a problem for content creators, particularly musicians as it is currently very difficult to profit from this structure.

In the old, seemingly failing system, musicians have been getting money through copyright, but laws are currently leaning away from musician’s favour, causing them to get minuscule revenue from even a large number of plays[]. This has come about because of change in technology, with the law getting left behind.

There has recently been a review of the IP laws in England – the Hargreaves report – with an aim to help promote economic growth (though I have doubts as to whether economic growth is entirely a good target to aim for [])

Hargreaves says government should react to copyright infringement “by modernising copyright law, through education, through enforcement and by doing all it can to encourage open and competitive markets in licensed digital content to increase legitimate digital content at prices which appeal to consumers.”

He goes on to say that the government should establish a “Digital Copyright Exchange”, a “genuine marketplace independent of sellers and purchasers” to facilitate easy buying and selling of copyrights. This could potentially benefit musicians quite a lot, as it would make the artists as copyright holders a lot more approachable, making legal use of their music much easier, hopefully increasing revenue from other media using music, however it also takes some of the control of the copyright away from the artist, and this may be enough to discourage the majority from using the system.

Monday, October 3rd, 2011 Networking Music, Uni No Comments

Some dhol, if you will.

I’ve been a fan of dhol drumming ever since I saw the Dhol Foundation in 2004.

This is a video from the first performance I saw of them.

Dhol Foundation – Womad 2004:

Since then, I have been following projects Johnny Kalsi has been involved in, and seen the dhol foundation and other bands he’s in a few times, I have found the intricate rhythms and fusion with modern dance music fascinating each time.

I couldn’t find good quality recordings from shows I have been at, so these are just random live videos.

Transglobal underground:

Afro Celt Sound System:

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Saturday, October 1st, 2011 Global Perspectives, Inspiration, live-fmp No Comments