“The live music market is flourishing even as sales of recorded music have mouldered. Between 2012 and 2013 it grew by a quarter, according to the Performing Right Society for Music, an industry body. Gig-goers now spend more than £1 billion ($1.7 billion) a year on tickets and almost half that again on food, drink and the like. Festivals make up a large chunk of this. In the early 1990s Britain had few of them, recalls Melvin Benn of Festival Republic, a promoter. Around 450 will take place this year. The festival season, once limited to July and August, now stretches until early autumn. On the first weekend of September four festivals battle it out.
All this is changing the way the music industry works. Festivals are increasingly seen as a way to test whether big-name artists have enough fans to warrant arena tours, says Rebecca Kane of the 02, a large venue in London. Newer names find them essential: Clean Bandit, a British band who brought out their first album this year, are performing at around 20 festivals this summer. And music executives are increasingly taking into account how successfully they think artists will perform at big outdoor gigs before deciding to sign them.”
From September 2nd:
“I (Filip) work as a paver for my father (he has a company), our bass-player Kenn works at a gas station, our drummer Simon works in a kindergarten, our guitarist Toby is working with some computer-stuff for the Danish state and our second guitarist Rasmus is looking for a job at the moment. None of us is earning any money from the band and we are spending all our free time on this project, we are 100% doing it because this is what we like to do and not because we are expecting to be famous and rich.”
“Scientists and engineers around the world have been attempting something undeniably impossible— and yet, no one could ever question their motives. Laid bare, the act of ‘understanding music’ by a computational process feels offensive. How can something so personal, so rooted in context, culture and emotion, ever be discretized or labeled by any autonomous process? Even the ethnographical approach — surveys, interviews, manual annotation — undermines the raw effort by the artists, people who will never understand or even perhaps take advantage of what is being learned and created with this research. Music by its nature resists analysis. I’ve led two lives in the past ten years— first as a “very long-tail” musician and artist, and second as a scientist turned entrepreneur that currently sells “music intelligence” data and software to almost every major music streaming service, social network and record label. How we got there is less interesting than what it might mean for the future of expression and what we believe machine perception can actually accomplish.
The core of the Echo Nest remains true to our dogma: we strongly believe in the power of data to enable new music experiences. Since we crawl and index everything, we’re able to level the playing field for all types of musicians by taking advantage of the information given to us by any community on the internet. Work in music retrieval and understanding requires a sort of wide-eyed passion combined with a large dose of reality. The computer is never going to fully understand what music is about, but we can sample from the right sources and do it often enough and at a large enough scale that the only thing in our way is a leap of faith from the listener.”