Audio

Learning Music Monthly: Issue #4 Update

Cameron Parkins, June 3rd, 2009

lmm24_hi

Learning Music Monthly, the subscription-based, album-a-month music series from L.A.-based John Wood continues to grow from its initial launch four months ago. Produced in conjunction with CC-friendly label Vosotros, the latest installment of LMM is a video album, with Wood producing music to videos from ten different LA filmmakers after their creation – an inversion of the traditional approach to music videos.

You can download (ZIP) silent versions of the films from the LMM website, stream the videos at a variety of destinations, or become a subscriber to access downloads of the videos (as well as the rest of the LMM music archive) in hi-quality formats. Subscriptions are tiered from a donation-based digital option to a $60 deluxe package and all the material is released under CC BY-NC-SA, allowing you to build upon and share the bevy of work created by LMM.

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FrostWire’s Creative Commons Focus

Fred Benenson, May 28th, 2009

legacy_screengrabFrostWire has been quietly promoting Creative Commons licensed musicians and content on the front page of their Bit Torrent and Gnutella client for quite a while now. Previous featured CC artists include ESPSIX, Mike Falzone, and CC veteran Brad Sucks.

Today the team announced that another up and coming artist, Danny “Legacy” Mcbride, is releasing his new album under our Attribution-NoDerivatives license so he can be featured on FrostWire. This was a smart choice for Legacy (and all of the highlighted musicians) as FrostWire boasts millions of active users which helps them garner substantial exposure they might not otherwise would have received.

Kudos to FrostWire for taking the proactive step of encouraging legal filesharing with CC in an otherwise murky climate. Check out the FrostClick blog for more featured artists and downloads.

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Jamendo reaches 20,000 albums

Mike Linksvayer, May 25th, 2009

Congratulations to Jamendo:

20,000 albums? We can hardly believe it!

Well, it seems like just a few months ago we were celebrating 10,000 albums published on jamendo and this weekend we passed the 20,000 album mark!

Actually, it was 11 months ago to be precise. Look at it this way and you’ll understand why we’re the first to be impressed with the figures: it will have taken jamendo 3 years to gather 10,000 albums, and then just under one year later, that number has doubled!

It’s pretty safe to say we’re going strong. And even safer to say it’s all thanks to you: artists, members and everyone contributing to spread the word of free music!

You can see those 20,000 albums broken down by license at jamendo.com/creativecommons.

Speaking of “we can hardly believe it” and collections of CC licensed media, I recently noticed a post on this blog from 2005:

We’re also happy to see growth at Flickr has gone way beyond our expectations to nearly 1.5 million photos licensed for reuse.

Two months ago Flickr reached 100 million CC licensed photos.

Congratulations to Jamendo and may today’s surprise only hint at an astounding future.

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CC Talks With: DJ Vadim

Cameron Parkins, May 20th, 2009

Having played over 1600 gigs in over 60 countries, DJ Vadim is no stranger to the concept of ‘fan interaction’. Beyond his live shows, Vadim pushes experiments with interaction further, having held a remix contest at ccMixter a little under two years ago to promote his album The Sound Catcher. The contest was a great success, and as a result Vadim, active as both a DJ and producer, is back at ccMixter doing the same thing with his latest album U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun.

The contest is in full swing, with winners receiving inclusion in Imaginashun – Power to the people, an album filled “with remixes from pro’s and bedroom producers from around the world” slated for release this autumn. We caught up with DJ Vadim to learn a bit more about his creative process and how he views the changing nature of interaction and communication in music. Read on to see what he had to say.

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DJ Vadim supporting Mos Def at The Islington Academy, James Bradley

Can you give our readers some background on yourself as an artist? You’ve worked with a wide variety of musicians, from The Pharcyde to Kraftwerk, and released countless albums, singles, and remixes. Your career is long in scope and prolific in production but perhaps you are able to distill it all into a manageable chunk.

I started my music journey in the late 80′s, first with DJing, and in 1992 I started getting involved with production. It was very simple back then, just an Atari and a sampler. There weren’t the possibilities people have now. In ’94 , I set up my own label and the rest is history.

In that journey i met and have worked and performed with lots of people, although rocking Glastonbury in 1999 and performing at Sonar in 2006 with DJ Krush and DJ Shadow stand out as highlights.

Have technological shifts changed how you approach music production? What kind of production tools do you do use?

Yes. I have so many more possibilities now that didn’t exist 15 years ago. I have so much more equipment, software, and toys for creating music now that didn’t exist or was not affordable. It is a bit like riding a push bike and going on a top of the range Yamaha super bike – they both get you to where your going but you have so much more options with the super bike, right?

I use Cubase, an MPC, my Apple computer and Ableton Live.

The environment leading up to your new album U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun was one of personal turmoil and growth. What was the process you went through on the way to releasing this album? How did the aesthetic of the album come into fruition as a result?

Well, when you go through turmoil and tragedy you can come out of it either being overwhelmed, pensive, and quite depressed or come out fighting and positive. I did the later. I felt that if cancer couldn’t hold me back, nothing would. It was hard – personal turmoil with my family, personal relationships and my own health. It was like being stripped back to nothing. But now I feel good about life and that is the most important.

What is your motivation behind the U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun remix contest? You’ve already done one successful contest on ccMixter – what was your experience like previously?

Well I think one of the most important things with releasing music is communication. Nowadays, that means participation and that is what ccMixter offers. It is a combination of the two, letting fans and music people participate and communicate together, with you, with me and create new music and ideas. This sort of interaction wasn’t possible 10 years ago.

Music is about communication. Without it you either have a huge MTV campaign or you get lucky – the music that people like is one that communicates with them, music that they (the fans) feel part of.

Both remix contests are using CC-licenses as their mechanism to enable this kind of reuse. As an artist who uses sampling as one of their core techniques, how do you view this sort of licensing? What are the major differences to you between working with live musicians and sampling material?

I think its a great marketing and promotional tool plus it is fun for the fans and producers. In regards to sampling and live musicians, you have more opportunities with live musicians because you can break any piece of music down to its basic elements – bass keys, drums etc. and hence be able to manipulate and control what you do much more

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know? Any plans for the future?

Well touring, releasing more music and making new music. I am up to so much its hard to remember it all. Best thing is to keep up with it via my homepage and MySpace profile!

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U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun Artwork, SMALL Studio

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“Here. My Explosion..”: CC-Licensed Feature-Length Film and Soundtrack

Cameron Parkins, May 18th, 2009

Here. My Explosion… is a new feature-length film from Reid Gershbein. Released under a CC BY-NC-SA license
(the film’s soundtrack is released under a CC BY-SA license), and is available for free download here.

The film is shot using a tilt-shift photography technique and clocks in at around 75 minutes. If you like the film, you can support it through donation at Gershbein’s website. Thanks to Boing Boing for the heads up.

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Kutiman Talks to CBC; Interview Audio on ccMixter

Cameron Parkins, May 6th, 2009

thruyouIf you’re interested in online culture, you’ve probably come across the amazing THRU YOU project from Israeli producer Kutiman (see this WIRED profile for some background). Kutiman mashed together various YouTube clips of people playing instruments (many of them instructional videos) to create something totally new and unique. The result was a collection of seven songs and videos that artfully demonstrate the potential of digital collaboration.

Last month, CBC Radio’s Spark talked to Kutiman about the project and posted the interview audio posted to ccMixter under a Creative Commons BY-NC license for producers to chop up and use in their own tracks. Check it out!

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Rhizome Interviews Free Music Archive

Cameron Parkins, May 1st, 2009

fma-logoRhizome, the digital art and media outlet of the New Museum in New York (and CC supporter), posted a fantastic interview today with Jason Sigal of the Free Music Archive. The whole interview is worth a read, but Sigal’s discussion of how CC licensed music can help U.S. radio stations is of particular note (Rhizome question in bold, Sigal’s answer follows):

Was the move to bring together an international group of curators intentional? I ask this only because I feel the model of FMA is not only informed by the direction presented by web 2.0 technologies but it is also a response to outdated US copyright law and its impact on American radio stations. The reason why so many American broadcast stations are now turning to talk radio is because they are also trying to podcast their content online, and talk radio allows them to side step restrictions regarding music licensing and podcasts.

Exactly. (I just snapped my fingers in agree-ance!) Of course it’s going to be international, that’s the nature of the web. And that’s one reason we offer Creative Commons licenses — they adapt out-dated copyright law to fit the world wide web.

The FMA has already become a fantastic resource for curated CC-licensed music and is a database that looks to continue to grow in quality and quantity over time – see featured curators dublab and CASH Music for two prime examples. Also, be sure to check out our initial coverage of their launch for more information.

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Trent Reznor on NIN’s Business Models and the Future of Music

Fred Benenson, April 9th, 2009

For Digg.com‘s fourth Digg Dialogg, Kevin Rose interviews NIN’s front man Trent Reznor with questions submitted by the Digg community. Not surprisingly, the top rated question refers to NIN’s choice to use Creative Commons licenses when releasing his two recent albums. One of those albums, Ghosts I-IV, topped Amazon MP3 as the best selling album of 2008.

Trent & Kevin

NIN’s experiments in music publishing were not accidents. In the interview, the soft-spoken Reznor carefully articulates the reasoning for his new forays as well as his advice for up-and-coming artists. NIN has a huge fan base and a lot at stake here; these are not academic rants with no practical interests at stake, but rather the actual beliefs of a working, career musician whose career depends on their success. If you watch one interview about the future of music, this should be it.

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Winner of “One Billion Fans” contest announced

Mike Linksvayer, April 9th, 2009

Last fall we posted about the One Billion Fans contest run by the music website TribeOfNoise. Today the winner has been announced (pdf press release) — Dereck Rose, a Jamaican-born singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist.

Congratulations to Dereck Rose, the jury-selected winner, and the other top ten finalists (I can actually recommend the top vote getter, Bleeemo)!

Also congratulations to TribeOfNoise for pulling off the contest. To be completely blunt, the site looks more crassly promotional than many sites hosting music under CC licenses. However, just as bluntly, there’s a need for hard core promoters of freely licensed music (note that “hard core” modifies “promoters”) — judging by promotions for mass market music, that’s needed for mass market success, and there’s no reason freely licensed music shouldn’t compete in such arenas.

TribeOfNoise is also more innovative on the licensing front than most sites. All music on the site is available under CC Attribution-ShareAlike. Here’s an explanation sent last month from Hessel van Oorschot, the site’s “Chief of Noise”:

Artists like Moby, Nine Inch Nails and Radio Head made the first moves towards an alternative form of music distribution. A Dutch company called Tribe of Noise takes it one step further. At Tribe of Noise, composers upload their music under a Creative Commons license and allows companies to download, remix and commercially use the music FREE and 100% legal.

ARE THEY MAD?
WHY DO MUSICIANS GIVE AWAY THEIR MUSIC FOR FREE TO COMPANIES?

“While the traditional music industry is still in the repressive mode by introducing digital rights management and sending out the watch dogs, we rather think in solutions for like-minded spirits”, says Sandra Brandenburg, founder of Tribe of Noise. “It was not difficult to find thousands of independent artists worldwide who believe in sharing their music, and who actually encourage fans and professionals to freely distribute and build upon their work.”

“We take the Darwinist approach; adapt and you will survive. So instead of resisting change and become extinct you want to embrace change. People are going to share music, so give them something to share. Simultaneously the artist builds an inner circle of valuable contacts. Game developers ($50 billion industry), advertisement agencies ($750 billion industry) and others are more than willing to pay for music. Getting Exposure is the name of the game.”

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The Free Music Archive Launches

Fred Benenson, April 6th, 2009

fma-logo
On Saturday WFMU celebrated the launch of its new website, The Free Music Archive.

Today, the community opens its doors to the public though is still in beta for now.

Since there is so much content on the site, the FMA is featuring particular curators such as WFMU, KEXP, and dublab.

So go register an account, and start downloading some of the 5,000 tracks already posted, or search by license type (special kudos to WFMU for incorporating some non-standard license search options here), and help one of the world’s greatest independent stations thrive on the net!

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