Opened to the public in 1903, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a world-class museum that houses more than 5,000 art objects, including works by Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Raphael, Degas, and Sargent. It is also known for its phenomenal music program, lectures, and symposia, as well as the museum’s nationally recognized Artist-in-Residence and educational programs.
Online, it is well-known as the producer and distributor of The Concert, a classical music podcast that features unreleased live performances by master musicians and talented young artists, recorded at the museum’s Sunday Concert Series. The podcast is free, distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works license (Music Sharing), and widely popular. The Concert was one of the first classical music collections to be shared under a CC license, and the ISGM was one of the first art museums to actively distribute digital content under a CC license.
We’ve talked about The Concert before, but wanted to learn more about the series and the decision to use CC licenses for the project. We recently caught up with Director Anne Hawley and Curator of Music Scott Nickrenz, who were able to provide a lot of great information about the series and how CC licenses have played a role in its success.
Those in the CC community best know of the ISGM as a result of your highly successful The Concert podcast. What was the inspiration for the podcast series? Why did you choose to release it under a CC license?
Anne Hawley: We launched The Concert – the museum’s first podcast – in September 2006, as a way to continue the museum’s long history of supporting artists and creative artistic thinking. During Isabella Gardner’s lifetime, the museum flowed with artistic activity: John Singer Sargent painted, Nellie Melba sang, and Ruth St. Denis performed the cobra dance within these walls. Isabella Gardner was a committed patron of artists and musicians and the museum has always followed her lead. The podcast is the latest example of this; it’s a modern way to bring the museum’s wealth of programming to a wider audience, promote the exceptional work of the musicians who perform here, and ultimately expand the reach of classical music.
Music has always been an important part of the Gardner. When the museum opened on New Years Night 1903, attendees enjoyed a performance of Bach, Mozart, Chausson, and Schumann by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra—“a concert of rare enjoyment” according to one guest. During Gardner’s lifetime, the museum hosted visits and performances by well-known musicians and rising stars including composers Gustav Mahler and Vincent d’Indy, pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski, and cellist Pablo Casals, and memorable concerts including the 1903 premiere of Loeffler’s Pagan Poem, composed and performed in honor of Isabella Gardner’s birthday. Four years later, the work had its “official” premiere at the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Today, the Gardner’s music series is the oldest of its kind in the country, with weekly concerts and special programs that enrich and draw musical connections to the museum’s special exhibitions and permanent collection, while continuing Isabella Gardner’s legacy as a music lover and patron of the arts.
The Creative Commons’ sponsored music community, ccMixter, has had a busy week.
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.
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.Comments Off
We’ve decided to release a summary of the results from the survey as one big PNG file (785px × 5080px, 170kb). This file was created using the Summary function of Google Doc’s Form/Spreadsheet and contains a sampling of some of the long form data entered into the spread sheet, as well as plenty of pretty graphs and charts detailing the breakdown in responses that we received. Though by no means scientific, the data is still worth a look if you’re interested in talking about CC with your community.
More importantly, however, is that MuseumPods has incorporated CC licenses into their FeedMe product. FeedMe allows anyone to create a podcast feed for free, and now creators can choose what CC license they want to apply to their podcast. Sign up for FeedMe here, read our podcasting guide, and start podcasting with CC today!1 Comment »
The latest Beyond The Book podcast (mp3) features an interview with CC staff Mike Linksvayer and Melissa Reeder. The two main themes discussed are the intersection of public sharing under CC licenses and alternative private arrangements (see our post on Ozmo, a service that enables both, discussed on the podcast) and the upcoming UGCX conference.
Melissa Reeder will speak on a panel titled Sharing, Selling and Defending Photos Online at the conference, February 10 in San Jose, California.
Conference attendees intrigued by what Melissa has to say can make the trip up to San Francisco the next evening (February 11) for our CC Salon SF!
Addendum: Those in San Jose looking for even more CC info, and soon, you’re in luck. Thursday evening (February 5) Mike is presenting Open Licensing 101: How to Get the Most Out of Your Copyrights in the Information Age, hosted by California Lawyers for the Arts.Comments Off
Make: television is a new TV program from the wonderful crew behind MAKE Magazine that focuses on DIY culture and “celebrates “Makers” – the inventors, artists, geeks and just plain everyday folks who mix new and old technology to create new-fangled marvels.”
The show began airing on public television (broadcast/cable tv) a little over a week ago and is also available on Legal Torrents, blip.tv, Vimeo, YouTube, and iTunes. The show is released under a CC BY-NC-SA license and available for download in HD, allowing all those inventive DIY-ers watching the show the ability to remix and reuse the content under the terms specified.1 Comment »
If you’re in Los Angeles over the next two weeks, GOOD is hosting a series called GOOD December from Friday, 12/5 through Friday 12/19 in their new space on Melrose Avenue. It’s open to the public from 11am-5pm every day and will offer salons, panel discussions, meals, and more. There will be occasional parties in the evening hours that require an RSVP; check out the GOOD December site for more details. There’s also a nice write-up about it at Flavorpill with some useful info.
Creative Commons is collaborating with GOOD on two of the ongoing pieces of the series. One is an installation of Into Infinity – the art and music project we’re producing with Dublab. The other is a set of podcast interviews about the culture of sharing that I conducted with Jimmy Wales, Chris Hughes, Chris Dibona, Caterina Fake, Curt Smith, Joi Ito and a variety of other luminaries who use sharing as a cornerstone to work they do across a variety of fields. Snippets of the interviews will be running throughout the series’ two weeks – grab a set of headphones and listen up!1 Comment »
Food writer and culinary culture aficionado Brian J. Geiger maintains a great site called The Food Geek, which features a blog, podcasts, recipes, and loads of helpful cooking tips. The site – which combines Gastronomica‘s thoughtful analysis and Alton Brown‘s geeky wisdom – is published under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Over the weekend, Geiger posted a column entitled “Who owns that recipe?,” which explains why recipes can’t be copyrighted (while the expression of recipes can) and encourages food knowledge sharing as a way to “make a better life for ideas.” Highly recommended for food fans and free cultural works proponents alike.
Ideas are better shared than they are stored. Ideas like company. Ideas like new environments. Ideas like to frolic in new brains with other ideas. It’s how baby ideas are made. Ideas can’t reproduce well alone, so everyone wins if ideas are allowed to be promiscuous. … How firmly do I believe in this? I have released all of my original work for this site under a Creative Commons License.
We’re collaborating with MuseumPods, a company focused on helping museums and other institutions publish podcasts, on a project to learn more about the how members of the museum and education communities want to share the media they create. If you are affiliated with a museum – and particularly if your museum produces podcasts or is interested in doing so – we encourage you to spend a few minutes taking our Podcast Publishing, Access, and Rights Survey. Your responses will be used to help us make decisions about ways we can make it easier for musuems to mark their media with clear permissions. The data will also be aggregated later and shared online, but your answers will remain anonymous.Comments Off
Photo by Joi Ito
Etsy, the ever-wonderful “online marketplace for buying & selling all things handmade”, just posted a great podcast featuring new media theorist Henry Jenkins on their blip.tv channel and their wonderful blog The Storque. Jenkins discusses fan art, a topic that is not only dear to his heart but also essential to a organization like Etsy which thrives off the ingenuity of their community. All of Etsy’s podcasts are released under a CC BY-NC-SA license, making them easily shareable and reusable.Comments Off
“The Concert” is a classical music podcast produced by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum which is released under our Music Sharing license. Here is what we had to say back in 2006 when the podcast first launched:
The podcast features unreleased live performances by master musicians and talented young artists recorded from the museum’s Sunday Concert Series. “The Concert” includes music by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, and Chopin for solo piano, orchestra, string quartet, and voice. A new podcast will be posted on the 1st and 15th of every month; users can subscribe to receive free, automatic updates delivered directly to their computers or mp3 players. With “The Concert,” the Gardner Museum becomes the first art museum to encourage sharing and free distribution of its online programming by using a Creative Commons license.
“The Concert” is now on episode 54 and has reached over 1 million downloads, bringing classical chamber music to people across the globe in an unprecedented fashion. While the content of the podcast – lush arrangements of beautiful compositions recorded by experts – is at the heart of why “The Concert” has done so well, the Music Sharing license employed by ISGM has made that content more immediately sharable, stripping away legal hurdles that might inhibit casual listeners while protecting ISGM’s commercial rights.1 Comment »