Audio

Saturday in NY: launch party for the Free Music Archive

Eric Steuer, March 31st, 2009

fma-logo

The Free Music Archive‘s launch date is nearing, and there’s a party in Brooklyn this Saturday, April 4, to celebrate. If you’re not yet familiar with the project, the FMA is an online music library developed by the legendary freeform radio station WFMU and curated by partners including KEXP and Dublab. From FMA’s Jason Sigal:

Every track [on the FMA] will be offered in high-quality without restrictions, registration, advertisements or fees. Many grant additional rights under Creative Commons agreements, making the FMA a valuable resource for podcasters, video producers, remix artists, and others in search of legal audio.  […] Radio has always offered free access to curated audio, and the Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose designed for the Internet era.

Saturday’s party (see full details below) will have live performances by a bunch of great bands – Thee Oh Sees, Excepter, Sightings, and Pink Skull (mp3s by all of the acts who are playing are available here) – plus a DJ set from WFMU music director Brian Turner. WFMU will broadcast live from the event at 91.1-FM in New York and wfmu.org. Live recordings from the concert will be made available for download at the Free Music Archive.

Here’s all the info:

Free Music Archive launch party (curated by WFMU)
Saturday April 4th, doors 7pm, show 8pm sharp, 18+
@ The Bell House: 149 7th St, Brooklyn [map]
Admission: $10 adv. tix (available here) or a roll of the dice
11pm Thee Oh Sees (San Francisco, In The Red Records)
10pm Excepter (Brooklyn electronic-improv)
9pm Sightings (NYC kinetic noise-rock)
8pm Pink Skull (Philly kraut-house)

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Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase Winners Announced

Greg Grossmeier, March 26th, 2009

Once again the Ubuntu Free Culture Showcase has selected great creative works to include in the latest version of Ubuntu, this version due out in April. As with the previous Show Case, all of the winning entries will be bundled with the Ubuntu release and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. This time, however, there were three categories, so three winners. The categories are: Audio, Video, and Image.

The winning audio entry was by Jean Francois Marais (aka: MoShang) for his song “Invocation.” Invocation is from his Stone Bell EP.

Taking the video category is Robbie Ferguson for his video “Spirit of Ubuntu” (ogg video). Robbie hosts the Category 5 Technology TV show which is a live question and answer style show. His entry is a discussion of the Ubuntu community and what it means.

The winning image is a photograph by William J McKee Jr titled “Canadian Clouds” that was taken soon after crossing the boarder into Canada from New York State.

Amazing works from all 3 winners (for more information on the winners, see the official announcement), and the group of submissions (still available on the submission site, but only temporarily) was of great quality!

Be sure to remember that this contest will happen for each new Ubuntu release, which is every 6 months. So, get those submissions ready for the Free Culture Showcase for Ubuntu 9.10 released in October of this year!

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In LA Tonight: Into Infinity at REDCAT

Eric Steuer, March 25th, 2009

into infinity

If you’re in Los Angeles tonight, please stop by REDCAT (631 W 2nd St, LA, CA 90012) for an installation of Into Infinity – the CC-licensed art and music project that explores the infinite possibilities of recombination and reuse. Dublab is producing tonight’s event, which will include collage projections of Into Infinity’s visual art and a live improv performance of Into Infinity’s hundreds of eight-second audio loops. The event is free and open to people of all ages. Schedule is below.

6-7:30pm: DJ sets by the Dublab DJs
7:30pm: Mi Casa Es Su Casa screening
8-9pm: Into Infinity eye & ear collage performed by Ale, Cantaloupe, frosty, Jimmy Tamborello, and matthewdavid.

If you’re not in the area or can’t make it out tonight – don’t worry. We’re going to put the audio from the performance online. You can also make your own Into Infinity combinations at home by playing with the project’s nesting feature and audio mixer.

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Netlabel Concert Cycle in Santiago: Noa Noa 2.0

Michelle Thorne, March 20th, 2009

noanoa-logoNoa Noa 2.0 is an upcoming concert cycle for Chilean netlabels, organized by CC Chile‘s host institution, ONG Derechos Digitales, with support from the National Music Fund. This March through August, top netlabel musicians will take to the stage for free concerts in Santiago’s Bar Constitucion. All of the performances will be professionally recorded and made available on www.noanoa.cl under a Creative Commons license. Participants include several important Chilean netlabels, like the award-winning Pueblo Nuevo.

While new music models enjoy success around the world, Pueblo Nuevo’s Mika Martini explains:

Netlabels are particularly useful tools in countries like ours, away from the major global economical centers. It is quite different to have a traditional label in places such as England, United States or Mexico where, if you edit 500 copies of a disc, it will probably be possible sell them because the market is wider and more open. But in Chile, netlabels are useful to get known and begin a career, or to experiment with music in total freedom.

Netlabels are becoming increasingly popular, in part due to the frequent use of Creative Commons licenses to lower transaction costs and facilitate legal sharing and distribution.

CC Chile Project Lead and Noa Noa 2.0 organizer Claudio Ruiz has more information about the event.

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Firefox 3.1beta3 and open web multimedia

Mike Linksvayer, March 12th, 2009

The third beta of the next version of the Firefox web browser is now available for download. For the approximately half of you reading this in a Firefox browser, the next version of Firefox will be (because the beta already is) much faster and more awesome all around (and will be released as version 3.5 to denote the significance of improvements over Firefox 3). You can help ensure the release is even better by using the beta. For the rest of you — now is a good time to get with the program.

Perhaps the most exciting feature in the future Firefox 3.5 for the commons is built-in support for the new <audio> and <video> tags and open audio and video codecs. Admittedly it isn’t easy to explain why open multimedia formats are so important for the open web — they are infrastructure, lowering a number of costs and enabling interoperability for everyone — so the benefits of widespread adoption of open formats (and opportunity costs of their lack) is systemic and largely invisible. We’re pretty comfortable with making such an argument and appreciate the challenges of doing so — though there are many concrete use cases enabled by Creative Commons licensing, we know those are the tip of the iceberg.

We’ve linked a few times to explanations of why open formats in particular are important, and back in 2004 a rant on fixing web multimedia by making audio and video on the web addressable like other items published on the web instead of opaque, which is essentially what the new tags and open formats drive at.

You can also see a few times over the past year where we’ve snuck <video> tags into blog posts for the entertainment of people on the cutting edge running Firefox 3.1 alpha and earlier betas at the time.

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Beatpick Launches New Website

Cameron Parkins, March 11th, 2009

logo1Former Featured Commoner Beatpick have launched a new website that aims to make it easier to explore their diverse catalog, showcasing improved search features and an easy way to find music to be used in commercial contexts. Of course, their entire catalog remains released broadly under a CC BY-NC-SA license, making it shareable and remixable as long as the artists are credited, any derivative works are released under the same license, and any sharing or reuse is noncommercial in intent.

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CASH Music and 50FOOTWAVE Release Power+Light, 1.5GB of CC-Licensed Music

Cameron Parkins, March 6th, 2009

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CASH Music, the CC-friendly non-profit we can’t seem to stop talking about, has teamed up with 50FOOTWAVE to release the band’s entire back-catalog – including a brand new EP Power+Light, prior releases, and various rarities – under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

Fronted by songwriter Kristin Hersh, 50FOOTWAVE’s back-catalog is a massive amount of material, now available for free in both FLAC and MP3 formats making it one of CASH’s most impressive releases to date. The focus of the release is clearly on Power+Light, which can be purchased as a vinyl pressing in addition to free download.

You can hear 50FOOTWAVE’s new EP here and download the tracks here.

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Fresh Hot Radio

Mike Linksvayer, March 3rd, 2009

Net music innovator and philosopher Lucas Gonze (mentioned on this blog many times, e.g., about net native music) writes in about his new thing:

Hey CC guys, this is a note to announce that my new app is live.

The app:
http://freshhotradio.com

The FAQ:
http://freshhotradio.com/help

What’s special about this is that it’s a mainstream-friendly experience oriented towards casual listeners, but the content is from web-based sources like bulletin boards for musicians to get technical advice on their mixes.

It is deliberate that this is a zero-option experience, unlike Pandora. The experience is modeled after terrestrial radio. You go there and the music just starts, which makes it easier to use and less of a distraction.

Notice that this project has a lot in common with Webjay: it’s about new music, not hits. The content is legal. The curation has a strong identity and voice. The hosting is all deep links. There is an incentive to click through to the song host on whatever web site it came from, and from there to explore the fringes of the music web. You can always download the song. The song is always MP3. The experience is about the browser.

And at the same time, the form is completely different. This is not a social site, and it’s not about listener curation. It is brutally simple — one player page, one playlist, and a static page of documentation.

One way to think of this is Techmeme for music. It’s a single point of entry for the sprawl of web-based music. Another way to think of it is as a netlabel, along similar lines as RCRD LBL. Or maybe it’s a blog crossed with a webcast. Dunno.

It’s important that a lot — but not all — of this music is Creative Commons. What I’m doing to advance the cause is to create an application model that can bring totally unknown CC music to mainstream listeners without having the listeners feel like they’re eating nasty vegetables just for the sake of some abstract good. *But* I’m not slicing the whole problem from the licensing angle but rather than from angle of the originating culture. CC is important because of the ways that it leads to thriving creator communities. And as you’d expect there’s music from Mixter in the new site.

best,
Lucas

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Learning Music Monthly, CC-Licensed Music Series, Launches

Cameron Parkins, March 2nd, 2009

lmmlogo_web

Learning Music Monthly is a new subscription-based, album-a-month, musical series from L.A.-based musician John Wood. Launched yesterday in partnership with CC-friendly record label vosotros, Learning Music Monthly grows out of a previous and similar project that began as an album-a-month project for John Wood and his musical cohorts, resulting in releases that ranged from a record made entirely on a hand-held cassette recorder to “an autobiographical musical written by a robot.”

Building upon new methods of music distribution, LMM is being offered as a tiered subscription service that ranges from a donation-based digital option to a $60 package that includes, amongst other amenities, a handmade album delivered by mail each month, limited edition stickers, bonus albums from friends of LM, and a song written and recorded for you, delivered on your birthday. The band is also offering a lifetime VIP subscription, which includes a private performance anywhere in the world. From LMM:

Learning Music Monthly is a collaborative, subscription-based album-a-month series. As a subscriber, you receive a brand new full-length album of original music every month. You can choose to receive your monthly issues on CD (delivered to your mailbox in beautiful handmade packaging, with cover art by a different artist each issue), or in downloadable high-quality mp3 format. Subscribers also receive unlimited access to our online archive of music, including a newly re-mastered album from the original twelve Learning Music albums released each month. Additionally, you are invited to collaborate in the creation of Learning Music Monthly, with remixes, covers, and sound donations, regardless of whether you are a subscriber or not.

As one of the primary foci of Learning Music Monthly is collaboration, the website features numerous ways for the LM community to get involved. Found sounds, remixes, cover versions, and videos are all encouraged and LM has gone so far as to begin filling the section on their own, including audio stems for the first installment’s single Short Tempered. All of the material – from the original music to artwork to samples – is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, an essential aspect of the project that makes this kind of digital collaboration legally sound and clear.

The project has just begun, so be sure to head over to the Learning Music Monthly homepage and learn more about what is happening. Similarly, the project has launched with a page at CASH Music, the CC-using music nonprofit “dedicated to improving the music experience for artists and listeners alike.”

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JoCo Looks Back on LegalTorrents

Fred Benenson, March 2nd, 2009

JoCo Looks BackWe’ve posted all of the data that was offered on Jonathan Coulton’s “JoCo Looks Back” USB jump drive promotion on LegalTorrents. The zip file contains the entire “JoCo Looks Back” album (also available on CD for $15 from CDBaby.com) plus all of the separated source audio files from each track, all licensed under our Attribution-NonCommerical license.

Download the 730mb torrent and start your remixes today!

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