ccMixter

ccMixter remix collaboration for the Global Summit CC Salon

Jane Park, September 7th, 2011

Two of the main Polish acts for the Global Summit CC Salon (a musical concert) are encouraging remixes of their tracks under CC BY-NC-SA. A couple sample tracks have been uploaded to ccMixter.org, under users “masala” and “axmusique.”

Masala is a music fusion collective whose genre can only be determined as ethno-electro-ragga-punk-hip-hop, which is famous for combining Asian music with electronics. Masala wants you to remix Rewolucja w nas at ccMixter.

AXMusique is an unusual producer duo who earned the affection of fans and publishers with powerful concerts mixing electronic and rock-and-roll music. AXMusique wants you to remix Hardline at ccMixter.

Both musical groups will choose their favorite remixes, which will be played at the CC Salon with names of the remixers projected by VJs. For more info on the CC Salon and other cultural events at the Global Summit, see the Global Summit Cultural Events program.

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The White Cube Remix

Cameron Parkins, January 13th, 2010

In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Oslo’s RAM Galleri is currently showing The White Cube Remix, a “sonic art” exhibition that features a collaborative soundtrack created by 68 ccMixter community members.

The project began in November 2009 when Rolf Gerstlauer, exhibit curator at RAM, approached ccMixter users Sackjo22 and Gurdonark about creating a collaborative soundtrack for the exhibit. The pair released two tracks – The White Cube (accapella) and Winter Lights (ambient) – and asked the ccMixter community to build from there. From ArtistTechMedia:

Gurdonark and SackJo22 first composed and recorded ambient samples and spoken word source material, reflecting the central themes of this exhibition — light and winter in the north, which were then contributed to the ccMixter community for remix under a Creative Commons license. In less than one month, more than 94 original compositions, from ambient music to chill beats, were created by international music makers at ccMixter specifically for the White Cube exhibit.

SackJo22 and Gurdonark compiled a playlist of these 94 original compositions onto an mp3 player that [is] installed in the RAM Galleri, thus providing more than six hours of original music as a soundtrack for the White Cube exhibition.

All of the tracks created for the project are released under a CC Attribution license, allowing them to be freely shared and reused as long as the original creators are attributed.

RAM will be hosting a symposium tomorrow (January 14th) between 7-9PM CET to discuss the project generally, how the soundtrack was created, and its relation to participatory culture in a broader sense. For those not based in Oslo, you can watch the symposium online via a dedicated video feed (browser plug-in instillation required) – the required meeting ID number is 64858:

Contained In: The Continuous Production of the Ultimate White Cube?
Moderator: Carl Mattias Ekman (architect, scholar PHD AHO)

Participants:
Susan Joseph (ccMixter – initiator of the white cube remix project)
Robert Nunnally (ccMixter – initiator of the white cube remix project)
Emily Richards (ccMixter and ArtisTech Media)
Gisle Hannemyr (CreativeCommons.no)
Frode Gether-Rønning (IT-director, AHO)
Rolf Gerstlauer (architect, curator of the exhibition, professor AHO)

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December CC Music Happenings

Cameron Parkins, December 14th, 2009

Three stories from the Creative Commons music world came across our radar recently, each showcasing a different facet of how our licenses are used to expose artists, encourage collaboration, and promote commercial avenues for freely-licensed works.

everybodyCoverCCFirst comes news today that The Everybody, a new project from Joey Santiago and David Lovering (guitarist and drummer of the Pixies, respectively), have released their latest album Avatar with a CC-licensed twist. Available in both MP3 and lossless formats, a deluxe version of the album can be purchased ($40) that includes CC BY BY-SA licensed stems for each track. Beyond the legal freedoms this choice allows, The Everybody are asking for submissions of re-worked tacks to include in a forthcoming release which will be submitted the band through CC-friendly music community Soundcloud:

Once David and Joey have had a chance to check out all of the tracks they’re going to choose the best of the best of these new creations and turn them into an album called The Everybody Else and release it as a limited-edition gatefold vinyl alongside the originals in Spring 2010.

Phlow Magazine is currently running a month-long feature called The Best Creative Commons Music Moments in 2009. Every day until Christmas, a new post goes live from one of “the worlds most active Creative Commons music freaks,” featuring their favorite songs, netlabels, and albums from the open music universe. The series gives a great overview of how diverse and expansive CC-licensed music has become, unearthing a bevy of musical gems in the process.

The Monome Community Remix Project is a collaborative project in which contributors create samples, upload them to a community pool, and make remixes from the community collection. In keeping with its namesake, all remixes must utilize the monome, an open-source hardware controller, as a compositional tool. The first round of the project is now complete, with a CC BY-NC-SA licensed compilation of the final remixes available for download and stream at the MCRP website. The second iteration is currently underway, although the initial deadline for contributions has passed. Thankfully, a third round is planned for January.

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ccMixter Curation at the Free Music Archive

Cameron Parkins, November 25th, 2009

ccmixterThis Monday, we began a guest curation series at our Free Music Archive portal. Rather than attempt to distill the vast landscape of CC-licensed music on our own, we thought it better to reach out to those on the ground working to support and expose these type of artists in their given communities. What better way to start then with a selection of tracks from ccMixter admin/developer/mentor Victor Stone:

For all the activism in the Open Music movement, nothing pushes the ball forward like brilliant, evocative music. While there is plenty of underground music of all sub-genres at ccMixter, there is also a growing collection of mainstream, above-ground producers who understand the value of sharing as a means of boosting their own creativity along with their exposure.

You can listen and download Victor’s full playlist at the FMA and ccMixter – titled Above Ground Collection, it is brimming with excellent music from producers with “an ear for the popular without sacrificing artistry.”

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CC Talks With: Mr. Mayo’s Class Integrates CC, Skypes with Lawrence Lessig

Jane Park, November 19th, 2009

mr mayo
Photo by Mr. Mayo CC BY-NC

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to talk to George Mayo, known as Mr. Mayo to his students, a middle school Language Arts teacher in Maryland. Mr. Mayo was brought to CC Learn’s attention by Lawrence Lessig, CC’s founder and current board member, who Skyped with Mr. Mayo’s class for thirty minutes, answering questions on copyright, YouTube’s take-down policy and downloading music. Mr. Mayo and his class have integrated CC licensed works into their daily activities, documenting it all at mrmayo.org. Instead of elaborating on the various innovative ways Mr. Mayo and his class uses CC, I’m going to let George speak for himself. The following is the interview I had with him via Skype. You can also listen to the audio here.

Read More…

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ccMixter→ArtisTech Media

Mike Linksvayer, October 29th, 2009

ccMixter Only 5 years ago the benefits of CC-enabled remix — fully legal, easy, and respectful of both original artists, remixers, and fans (but not necessarily of those less and less useful strict divisions) — was mostly a vision, unrealized potential. ccMixter played a big part in changing that, beginning with its launch featuring tracks from the WIRED CD — the Gilberto Gil, David Byrne, the Beastie Boys, et al.

Since then, ccMixter has hosted remix contests and challenges from many top artists (check out DJ Vadim Remixes You, wrapping up next week). Many other music remix sites supporting CC licensing and garnering cool contests have also sprung up — seeing the potential of web-mediated, fully legal remix requires no imagination at this point — though there’s still a long way to go to realize its potential to change culture. However, the real strength of ccMixter (and a far leading indicator of cultural change on the horizon) is the ccMixter community and the many years of distributed yet very friendly collaboration embodied in that community. If reading is your thing, check out site admin/developer/mentor Victor Stone’s ccMixter memoir for a deep account of ccMixter’s nature, contributions, and lessons.

For some time CC has been thinking about how to take ccMixter to the next level and looking for just the right entity to do that.

Now, we’re very happy to announce that ccMixter will henceforth be run by ArtisTech Media. For details, see the transfer FAQ, Victor Stone’s take, and letter from Emily Richards, the CEO of ArtisTech Media:

I love ccMixter – exactly as it is. In all my years in music and tech, I’ve found ccMixter’s community to be the most positive, cohesive, and collaborative I’ve been a part of. The music collectively created at ccMixter is uniquely powerful, because of this amazing community of talented, visionary artists. Our goal at ArtisTech is to continue to help foster this talent and community as it grows. And for those seeking even more opportunity for their art, well, our aim is to help you find ways to share your music with the world, without disturbing the balance of this beautiful musical jewel we all love (ccMixter.org).

As the old saying goes ‘if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’ so we see no need to change things. We may add capacity to allow for larger file uploads and perhaps other improvements of a similar nature, but ccMixter belongs to all of us and it works so magically right now, as it is.

I first uploaded tracks to ccMixter in October 2006, based on the recommendation of ArtisTech co-founder, Jason Brock (spinningmerkaba). When I listened to my first group of remixes (by norelpref, Hundred Schools of Thought, Briareus and PorchCat) I knew I’d been lucky enough to stumble upon something extraordinary. More than three years later, I am more amazed by ccMixter than ever before.

The longstanding participation of Emily (known as Snowflake on ccMixter) and others in the ArtisTech team in the community was a huge plus — adding to the team’s great mix of business, music, and technology experience, and their great spirit and respectfulness.

So CC is really excited about this transition. We believe that in ArtisTech Media we’ve found just the right entity to take ccMixter to the next level, but only with maximum respect for the community and adherence to the forms of openness that have enabled the site and community so far.

If you’re already involved in the ccMixter community, we hope that after reading the FAQ and posts from Victor and Emily you’ll be convinced the long search was worthwhile and that you’re very excited to participate in ccMixter’s next step. If you’re not involved yet — check out the site!

p.s. A huge THANK YOU to all who have helped make this transition possible over the past year, in particular Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for pro bono legal help, and CC’s General Counsel, Diane Peters.

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DJ Vadim Remixes U in Secret ccMixter Event

Victor Stone, October 7th, 2009

DJ Vadim and Creative Commons are celebrating ccMixter‘s fifth anniversary with Secret Mixter October ’09. In this event, the 6th of its kind on ccMixter, starting today, musicians and singers sign up to have their name put into a virtual hat. After the two week sign-up period, everyone is notified, in secret, with a remix assignment. They then have two weeks to do a remix of their
assignment. On November 4th, everybody will upload their remix – including Vadim!

DJ Vadim has long been a strong proponent of including his fans in the musical experience. He has been sharing the full studio stems and a cappellas to his albums on ccMixter.org for several years. In early 2009, in advance of his album “U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun,” he gave a featured commoner interview where he said

“…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.”

With his participation in the Secret Mixter, Vadim is making the ultimate statement about what it means to communicate with his fans.

Come and join the ongoing musical conversation of the Commons at the Secret Mixter October ’09 – you never know who’s going to remix you.

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CC on the Free Music Archive

Cameron Parkins, August 12th, 2009

fma-logo
It has been just over four months since the Free Music Archive launched as a destination for high-quality, freely licensed music. Since that time, the site has developed an avid community and grown to include a number of fantastic curators all while expanding upon the site’s initial catalog to host over 11,000 tracks. All told, the FMA has, in a very short time frame, become an indispensable destination for music lovers looking for freely-licensed music to download, share, and reuse.

The FMA has always offered and promoted CC licenses as a means to share the majority of music uploaded to the site. Today we are ecstatic to announce that CC has joined the FMA’s curatorial ranks! We’re celebrating with 50 great tracks that will be both familiar to the CC community while hopefully offering some new names as well. The launch is split into two mixes – our FMA Inaugural Mix and The WIRED CD: Rip. Sample. Mash. Share.

We’ll be doing regular updates to our collection over the coming months and our next featured mix will highlight some of the great community-driven artists and collaborations found at sites like ccMixter, Jamendo, Beatpick, Sutros, and more. We are on continuous lookout for great CC-licensed music to add to our page and would love to hear your suggestions on tracks and artists in the comments.

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ccMixter: Using our Imaginashun with CC0, an Upgrade and Podcast

Victor Stone, June 8th, 2009

The Creative Commons’ sponsored music community, ccMixter, has had a busy week.

Imaginashun Remixes

DJ Vadim, featured and interviewed last week, put out a Call for Remixes for his new album U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun and the remixes are the community has responded in kind and some amazing remixes are starting to come in.

CC0 Enabled

ccMixter is now offering the CC0 (CC Zero) waiver for sample uploads. (CC0 FAQ) With this waiver, musicians who upload samples of their work in the form of solo instruments (often looped for easy re-use) are indicating their willingness to participate in the vast public domain (like the World Wide Web itself). The CC0 license carries with it the most freedoms possible, or put another way, the least “friction around your work,” meaning, it’s the most accessible form of sharing available. James Boyle’s The Public Domain (mentioned here many times before) remains the best resource around for getting to understand the importance of a public commons, especially in terms of our culture and creativity itself.

It only took a few minutes for the waiver to be enabled on ccMixter for veteran member spinmeister to upload all the samples to an original composition under the CC0 waiver. “I personally like the idea of a world,” he explained, “where a portion (not all) of good stuff is gifted. I also think it’s pretty cool when people who have received gifts are making gifts to someone else as their ‘response’.” Read the rest of spin’s explanation in the forum thread announcing the arrival of CC0 at ccMixter.

ccHost 5.1 Release Candidate

ccHost is the open source project that powers ccMixter and is currently going through a release candidate phase for the it’s 5.1 version. The previous major version, 4.0, was the winner of the Linux Journal’s LinuxWorld Expo Product Excellence Award for Best Open Source Solution and has been very popular as a remix-aware, web management system for liberally licensed content. Last year saw the release of a major upgrade (5.0) while this 5.1 update marks a full year of real-world usage, making it one of the most stable releases of ccHost ever, with 100s of bug fixes on top of the 60+ feature enhancements leading up to this RC release. Those enhancements include many that ccHost sites have long been asking for, including support for OpenID log in and registration. This release boasts extensive admin control of licensing options, built-in special handling for CC0 waivers and support for Creative Commons’ latest license tools like RDFa scraping. For the more visually oriented, 5.1 comes with a new skin that mirrors the 2009 clean, simplified look and feel of the mother ship CC site. (See the release notes and changelog for the gory details.)

To all the ccHost-enabled site administrators and developers holding off upgrading from 4.x to 5.x, this is the stability release you’ve been waiting for. Please download the RC and send us feedback on what you find.

ccMixter Music Podcasts

In a forum posting from June 17, 2008, MC Jack in the Box, our resident double-agent from the very cool RemixFight (a forerunner and model for ccMixter) mentioned nonchalantly that he might have come up with “a cool way to build buzz for the playlists if people can record their own radio shows featuring ccMixter uploads. … I’d create a themed show, with me adding a few ‘hidden’ voiceovers to the show. Hell, I might even do a weekly ‘best of ccMixter’ kind of show if that could happen.”

Thus began the “Cool Music Show“, a weekly feature that quickly became the most popular way to discover new music on ccMixter. Every Friday, like clockwork, he curates upwards of 45 minutes of the best uploads from the previous seven days on the site. Last week, MC Jack posted episode #50 (!) to raves, kudos and much hazaa from a grateful ccMixter nation.

We decided to use the occasion of the 50th show to launch the new ccMixter Music Podcast. Using the ccMixter playlist as a basis, we developed the tools to create a single, seamless MP3 and post it to the archive.org.

To subscribe to the show, just drag this link to your podcast-aware music player (e.g. iTunes, Amarok, etc.).

We seeded the podcast with the last 7 Cool Music shows, but as explained in the announcement thread, we want other community members to contribute their own shows. So, if you have curating and MC skills you’d like to share, we invite you to submit a ccMixter music show of your very own! Instructions for how to do make and submit a show is here.

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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.

mosdefvadim
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!

cover
U Can’t Lurn Imaginashun Artwork, SMALL Studio

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