A Manifesto for the Future of Music Technology Research

“Meaningful innovation happens when fields intersect – yet those who work in music technology are too often siloed in distinct fields within universities, industry, startups, journalism, hobbyist and fan subcultures. We don’t always know how to think together, and we often do not know what others can contribute. We don’t even know what we don’t know. When fields do come together, old hierarchies too often overshadow the spirit of collaboration and mutual learning. Institutional barriers challenge our ability to work together, from the way organizations are structured to reward-systems that encourage people to keep doing what they have always done.

Let’s Build Better Worlds

Music technologies make worlds. Let us make better worlds. Let music technology do good, serve public interest, foster belonging, justice, collaboration and sharing, enable greater access to positive musical experiences and personal connections, and create durable objects and practices.

We call for greater awareness of the cultural forces already in new music technologies, and the courage to challenge or change them when the collective good demands it.

Ask of any music technology: For whom will this make things better? How? Is it open or closed to creativity and innovation it has not yet anticipated?

Ask of any policy: Whose rights and opportunities are being promoted? Whose are being eroded? What idea of culture does it presume?

Ask of any practice: Who is invited to join in? Who is left out? Where will it find support?

Ask of any organization: How does it help people come together? Does it exploit them in doing so?

We must create more opportunities for people to engage one another through music. We must fight for people’s rights to create music and music technologies, and to enjoy music free of rent-seeking and unwarranted legal intimidation. We must stand up to abusive musical practices, from exploiting people’s dreams of making a living in music, to criminalizing whole classes of audiences and musicians, to subjecting people to hearing loss, to the use of music in coercion, warfare and torture.

We are Music Technologists. We work in science, art, engineering, humanities, activism, social science, policy and industry. We believe in music technology and we want to build better worlds. We invite you to join us.”

Via Music Tech Fest | A Manifesto for the Future of Music Technology Research

The Sync Project and Berklee College Of Music Partner To Explore The Science Behind “Music As Medicine”

“The Sync Project, a PureTech startup working towards scientifically measuring and harnessing music to improve health, has announced a collaborative partnership with Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (BerkleeICE). The partnership involves joint original research, course development and an internship program. 

‘Music can be a catalyst for new disruptive ideas to emerge, whether those ideas are applied to the creative music space or whether those ideas are exported into other fields, like health,” said Panos Panay, Founding Managing Director of Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship. “The Sync Project’s rigorous focus on the leading science of the neurological and health impacts of music, makes them a perfect partner.’

‘The Sync Project’s mission is to bring together the scientists, technologists, clinicians and musicians of the world to help accelerate the discovery of the clinical applications of music,” said PureTech CEO and Sync Project Co-founder, Daphne Zohar. “With this collaboration, we hope to engage and inspire the next generation of musicians to help us advance the field of music as medicine.'”

Via — Hyperbot

The Death of the (Musical) Middle Class

“We have to get over the notion of the old musical middle class, where you could put out an album every two years, do a bunch of tour dates, sell some t-shirts, and make $75k a year. The new reality looks like driving for Lyft when you’re home, maybe taking a few freelance composing gigs for an ad agency, releasing and touring around your own music, and bartending at your buddy’s place on weekends. Is this less fun, perhaps, or more stressful, than the old way? Absolutely. But it’s also the new normal.

[…]

When people talk about the gig economy as a new concept, it’s because it’s a new concept for a very select group of people. Women, immigrants, and people of color have always been part of the gig economy, not because it was cool and freeing and driving for Lyft is a super fun way to make money while finishing their novels–it was because they had no other options. Being able to ‘follow your passion’ and make art for a living is a very class-based concept–most people are just working to pay the bills, and the idea that you have a right to write and perform music and make a living doing so is a foreign concept.

I absolutely believe in paying people for their work, but figuring out what they should be paid (or have a right to be paid) is tricky. But opposing Spotify, in the absence of a realistic solution, is just silly and privileged. I’d love to be a (middle class, educated) boomer riding life out on a cushy retirement package…but that’s not an option anymore. Rather than bemoaning the lost past, we need to focus on making the gig economy more sustainable for everyone.”

via This Week in Music Tech | The Death of the (Musical) Middle Class

This Band Just Finished a 28 Day Tour and Made How Much?!

“[T]his isn’t a sob story. We knew [the tour] would be an expensive endeavor, and we still chose to make the investment. We could have played a duo show instead of hiring six people to tour with us. That would have saved us over $50,000, but it was important at this stage in Pomplamoose’s career to put on a wild and crazy rock show. We wanted to be invited back to every venue, and we wanted our fans to bring their friends next time. The loss was an investment in future tours.

[…]

We, the creative class, are finding ways to make a living making music, drawing webcomics, writing articles, coding games, recording podcasts. Most people don’t know our names or faces. We are not on magazine covers at the grocery store. We are not rich, and we are not famous.

We are the mom and pop corner store version of ‘the dream.’ If Lady Gaga is McDonald’s, we’re Betty’s Diner. And we’re open 24/7.

We have not ‘made it.’ We’re making it.”

Via Digital Music News | This Band Just Finished a 28 Day Tour and Made How Much?!

What Is Going To Save The Music Industry

“Consumers no longer need to buy full albums to get the songs they want. They are able to buy the songs they care about piecemeal. Is there an opportunity to save the album? When an artist creates an album, isn’t that the product? Not the individual songs, but the collection of songs into one product? How can the industry entice people to purchase full albums again? Maybe there is an opportunity to revolutionize what individuals actually get with an album purchase to be more in touch with new technology and mediums. An album has the ability to provide way more than just a collection of songs, possibly music videos, maybe some commentary, and an artistic album cover. It can be so much more interactive.”

via Feature.fm | What Is Going To Save The Music Industry

Iggy Pop: “If I had to depend on what I get from album sales I’d be tending bars between sets”

“Delivering the fourth annual John Peel Lecture at the Radio Festival in Salford last night (October 13), Pop said, ‘The people who don’t want the free U2 download are trying to say, don’t try to force me. And they’ve got a point.’

‘Part of the process when you buy something from an artist, it’s kind of anointing, you are giving people love. It’s your choice to give or withhold. You are giving a lot of yourself, besides the money. But in this particular case, without the convention, maybe some people felt like they were robbed of that chance, and they have a point.’

[…]

During his half-hour address, the 67-year-old shared ancedotes and experiences from his own career, and at one point noted: ‘If I had to depend on what I actually get from sales I’d be tending bars between sets.’ Defending his Swiftcover commercial, he said: ‘If I wanna make money, well about about selling car insurance? At least I’m honest. It’s an ad and that’s all it is.'”

via Uncut | Iggy Pop: “If I had to depend on what I get from album sales I’d be tending bars between sets”

Patreon Donors Gave $10 Million To Musicians and Creators in 2014

“‘In our eyes (and hearts), this demonstration of support underscores a dramatic, cultural revolution happening in arts communities around the globe,’ wrote Tyler Palmer, Patreon’s VP of Operations. “More creators are able to create freely and fully by connecting directly to the people with the power to support them. We’re honored to help make this happen, and inspired to do more.'”

via HypeBot | Patreon Donors Gave $10 Million To Musicians and Creators In 2014