Category: musicians

Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski talk analog …

Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski talk analog vs. digital:

Bring back the noise.

Such was the prescription from indie musicians Amanda Palmer and Damon Krukowski ’85 during an animated discussion about digital creativity Tuesday night at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts.

Krukowski, who came to the Consumer Research Center/store to kick off the tour for his new book, “The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World,” used “noise” to describe the ambient sounds such as air conditioning or breathing that found their way onto analog audio recordings, but he was also speaking of life in the pre-digital world before social media giants’ content streams.

Krukowski, who was the founder and drummer for Galaxie 500 in the late ’80s, worked on the idea of analog versus digital as a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society in 2015-16. By eliminating noise, he argued, digital technology has isolated authentic sound, though he hoped the debate would not be seen as old versus new, or good versus bad.

But Palmer, a rock ’n’ roll performer who has cultivated an intimate relationship with fans on and off social media, wasted no time lamenting the loss. Instead, she commiserated with Krukowski over a shared displeasure with Facebook. She quoted from Krukowski’s book: “Social media have no content to offer other than what their users provide. Yet that information, too, is limited to isolated signal as defined by the platform — a neat trick.” Then she made her own supporting argument.

“I also hate Facebook, and I hate Facebook more and more every day,” she said, bemoaning the algorithms it uses to determine what is signal and what is noise for its 2 billion users.

“Noise is necessary. If we’re going to stay human, visual, audio, emotional noise, it’s what makes life. If you don’t have it, you don’t really even have the conditions for living. If things are signal only, that literally means there is no room for coincidence, synchronicity, kismet, randomness — the things that make life feel realistic,” she said.

Digital Human, Series 17, Ep 2: The Analogue Human

“The internet is a devastating wasteland”: How…

“The internet is a devastating wasteland”: How social media could be making musicians sick:

Making and sharing music has never been more accessible than it is right now. Even as listeners, we know this: we can get our music on Bandcamp and SoundCloud, no major labels required. But along with the access to technology and the unprecedented ability to share music with people anywhere in the world, the emotional baggage that can come with fame can plague even the smallest independent artist.

“[The internet] is this devastating wasteland where everybody is emoting and creating,” says Sally Gross, a music industry vet turned course leader and principal lecturer in the Music Management graduate program at University of Westminster, London. “Social media and the democratization of the distribution of music, which so many people see as an amazing new frontier, had me thinking, ‘Hang on a minute, what is going to happen to all these people?’”

Gross’s previous experience working firsthand with artists and her current role teaching young musicians about the business inspired the study “Can Music Make You Sick?” Co-authored with Dr. George Musgrave, a senior lecturer in Gross’s MA program, the study was commissioned by Help Musicians UK, a charity established in 1921. Currently under the leadership of Richard Robinson, Help Musicians UK’s goal is to support musicians from the early talent development stages through to retirement; the organization also provides assistance during times of crisis, including crises related to mental health.

Part One of “Can Music Make You Sick,” a pilot survey with input from 2,211 participants, was published in 2016 by University of Westminster’s non-profit music industry information hub, MusicTank. The survey participants are self-identifying musicians in the UK. With the survey, Gross and Musgrave set out to discover how these musicians feel about their working conditions and how they perceive working in the music industry to affect their well being. “[With] the unbelievable amplification of the abundance of music and the value of music seeming to disappear, what was going on in the lives of musicians?” Gross says. “If music and artistic expression is so good for us, what’s on the other side of that?”

In their research, they found that huge numbers of musicians suffer from anxiety and depression and that musicians are at risk to suffer depression three times more than the general public. Although artists “find solace in the production of music,” the study describes trying to build a career in music as “traumatic.” “Musicians feel there are gaps in existing provisions and that something needs to change,” the study reads.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

“The internet is a devastating wasteland”: How…

“The internet is a devastating wasteland”: How social media could be making musicians sick:

Making and sharing music has never been more accessible than it is right now. Even as listeners, we know this: we can get our music on Bandcamp and SoundCloud, no major labels required. But along with the access to technology and the unprecedented ability to share music with people anywhere in the world, the emotional baggage that can come with fame can plague even the smallest independent artist.

“[The internet] is this devastating wasteland where everybody is emoting and creating,” says Sally Gross, a music industry vet turned course leader and principal lecturer in the Music Management graduate program at University of Westminster, London. “Social media and the democratization of the distribution of music, which so many people see as an amazing new frontier, had me thinking, ‘Hang on a minute, what is going to happen to all these people?’”

Gross’s previous experience working firsthand with artists and her current role teaching young musicians about the business inspired the study “Can Music Make You Sick?” Co-authored with Dr. George Musgrave, a senior lecturer in Gross’s MA program, the study was commissioned by Help Musicians UK, a charity established in 1921. Currently under the leadership of Richard Robinson, Help Musicians UK’s goal is to support musicians from the early talent development stages through to retirement; the organization also provides assistance during times of crisis, including crises related to mental health.

Part One of “Can Music Make You Sick,” a pilot survey with input from 2,211 participants, was published in 2016 by University of Westminster’s non-profit music industry information hub, MusicTank. The survey participants are self-identifying musicians in the UK. With the survey, Gross and Musgrave set out to discover how these musicians feel about their working conditions and how they perceive working in the music industry to affect their well being. “[With] the unbelievable amplification of the abundance of music and the value of music seeming to disappear, what was going on in the lives of musicians?” Gross says. “If music and artistic expression is so good for us, what’s on the other side of that?”

In their research, they found that huge numbers of musicians suffer from anxiety and depression and that musicians are at risk to suffer depression three times more than the general public. Although artists “find solace in the production of music,” the study describes trying to build a career in music as “traumatic.” “Musicians feel there are gaps in existing provisions and that something needs to change,” the study reads.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Why It’s Harder to Be a Successful Musician Th…

Why It’s Harder to Be a Successful Musician Than Ever Before | MetalSucks:

Those who read this site regularly know that I’m no industry naysayer. I believe that technology helps music for the better, have supported streaming services from day 1 (literally), think the Internet has done wonders for creativity and music consumption, and think the state of the music industry (and metal industry) in general — from an artistic perspective — is the best it’s ever been in the history of recorded music.

But none of that changes the fact that, in spite of — or maybe because of — those advances, making music for a living is harder than it’s ever been. I’m not pining for the days of yore when rockstars could be rich, or saying kids these days are doing it all wrong, or that art suffers when there’s no investment in it — I’m just stating a fact.

Here’s why:

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Why It’s Harder to Be a Successful Musician Th…

Why It’s Harder to Be a Successful Musician Than Ever Before | MetalSucks:

Those who read this site regularly know that I’m no industry naysayer. I believe that technology helps music for the better, have supported streaming services from day 1 (literally), think the Internet has done wonders for creativity and music consumption, and think the state of the music industry (and metal industry) in general — from an artistic perspective — is the best it’s ever been in the history of recorded music.

But none of that changes the fact that, in spite of — or maybe because of — those advances, making music for a living is harder than it’s ever been. I’m not pining for the days of yore when rockstars could be rich, or saying kids these days are doing it all wrong, or that art suffers when there’s no investment in it — I’m just stating a fact.

Here’s why:

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Why The Internet Is A Bad Place To Discover Mu…

Why The Internet Is A Bad Place To Discover Music:

1. Music choice is more about personal identity than it is about anything else.

Personal identity is spread through human interaction — that means what your friends listen too, or what your diaspora listens to — you probably listen to as well. Humans look to other humans for the social clues that help them decide what their identity should be, and in that way, that is how music discovery is spread as well.

That’s a long way of saying this: Yes, we are overwhelmed by all the music choices available to us, but we find new music the way new music has always been found — word of mouth.

How do you think Bach got his gigs? Word of mouth. How did Kanye blow up? Word of mouth.

What the music industries needs more of is streaming services with these social cues. Spotify should tell me that 30% of my Facebook friends (or, now, Google+ connections) are listening to the Black Eyed Peas. Or that 70% of listeners from my (hyper-local) area have started listening to Justin Beiber’s new album. I’m much more likely to listen to it is my friends (or merely people near me) are also listening.

Because music creates self-identity — which, in turn, creates something much more valuable: community.

If the music industry decided to start selling “community” instead of “music”, they’d be better off.

.2. Most music discovery platforms are in the wrong place.

Do you know the story of Joshua Bell playing violin in the Washington subway? He, one of the best violin virtuosos in the world, played piece-after-piece of classical repertoire. He played for 45 minutes and made $32.

To me, this was a ridiculous exercise. It proves two things to me:

1) The venue is much more important than the music or the musician

2) Never mistake a busy street for a venue

People are walking by. They left their houses because they had somewhere to go. Some middle aged guy with a fancy violin doesn’t change the fact that they need to catch a train to get to work.

How arrogant do you have to be to expect people to stop their lives to listen to your music? Give me a break.

Here is the important part: Facebook, Twitter, and most of the internet is a street. It is not a venue. People are on their way somewhere. They are doing things. They are busy. The internet is, then, not necessarily the best place for people to discover, and fall in love with, a song or an artist.

So if it seems that listeners are overwhelmed, that they are not finding the music they want, or nobody cares about “my” music — it’s because listeners are not in a venue that makes the music matter.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion

Why The Internet Is A Bad Place To Discover Mu…

Why The Internet Is A Bad Place To Discover Music:

1. Music choice is more about personal identity than it is about anything else.

Personal identity is spread through human interaction — that means what your friends listen too, or what your diaspora listens to — you probably listen to as well. Humans look to other humans for the social clues that help them decide what their identity should be, and in that way, that is how music discovery is spread as well.

That’s a long way of saying this: Yes, we are overwhelmed by all the music choices available to us, but we find new music the way new music has always been found — word of mouth.

How do you think Bach got his gigs? Word of mouth. How did Kanye blow up? Word of mouth.

What the music industries needs more of is streaming services with these social cues. Spotify should tell me that 30% of my Facebook friends (or, now, Google+ connections) are listening to the Black Eyed Peas. Or that 70% of listeners from my (hyper-local) area have started listening to Justin Beiber’s new album. I’m much more likely to listen to it is my friends (or merely people near me) are also listening.

Because music creates self-identity — which, in turn, creates something much more valuable: community.

If the music industry decided to start selling “community” instead of “music”, they’d be better off.

.2. Most music discovery platforms are in the wrong place.

Do you know the story of Joshua Bell playing violin in the Washington subway? He, one of the best violin virtuosos in the world, played piece-after-piece of classical repertoire. He played for 45 minutes and made $32.

To me, this was a ridiculous exercise. It proves two things to me:

1) The venue is much more important than the music or the musician

2) Never mistake a busy street for a venue

People are walking by. They left their houses because they had somewhere to go. Some middle aged guy with a fancy violin doesn’t change the fact that they need to catch a train to get to work.

How arrogant do you have to be to expect people to stop their lives to listen to your music? Give me a break.

Here is the important part: Facebook, Twitter, and most of the internet is a street. It is not a venue. People are on their way somewhere. They are doing things. They are busy. The internet is, then, not necessarily the best place for people to discover, and fall in love with, a song or an artist.

So if it seems that listeners are overwhelmed, that they are not finding the music they want, or nobody cares about “my” music — it’s because listeners are not in a venue that makes the music matter.

Digital Human: Series 16, Episode 4 – Illusion