Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fan Financed Music

The goal is to sell 1 million notes. Purchased notes will be used in not just one single million note work, but rather many new works. Composers will work with performers and compose pieces of varying lengths. The first work to be written will be a 1000 note work for solo marimba composed by Music Academy Online founder, Dave Schwartz, and written for percussionist Nobue Matsuoka. The second work will be a 4000 note composition for saxophone and harp and it will be composed by Anthony Lanman who will be working with saxophonist Dr. Noah Getz and harpist Jacqueline Pollauf who perform together as the duo Pictures on Silence.

Yet another creative way to finance a piece. I think we'll see more and more of this type of thing as the traditional sources of funding dry up.

What's your most creative funding idea?

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Daily Fragment

10 - 27 - 09 by Jeremy Keller  
Download now or listen on posterous
Fragment-10-27-09.mp3 (1490 KB)

Here's something I came up with while practicing this morning.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Separated at birth???

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Monte Carlo 76's Arizona Trip (Tag: Monte Carlo 76,gigs,Arizona,TonaTierra,Chicano Batman,Olmeca,Carly's Bistro)

Just got back from Monte Carlo 76's trip to Arizona with many good memories. First and foremost the music and playing was great, with all three shows coming off without a hitch. Adding a computer to the mix has been interesting and I think we'll need to streamline in some areas, but overall it's working.

We were lucky this time to be able to travel in Alex's RV! I'd never traveled in an RV yet and now I'm hooked. With lots of sleeping room, a stove, bathroom, etc. it's a luxury compared to the vans I've toured in in the past. Except for the last night, Gomez, Alex and myself slept in the RV.

It was great to see Arizona through meeting Marisa's family and friends. We got to meet her mom, aunt, sister, and other friends in Phoenix. Our last night in Phoenix we spent with her husband Chris' family on what was basically a ranch outside of the city. The next morning we had an awesome breakfast that included grilled steaks. Maya even got to ride a horse (see slideshow).

One of the side benefits of playing live music are the people that you get to meet and I really enjoyed getting to know Maya better on this trip. She sounded great on backing vocals and on the raps that she contributed to Sun Will Rise and Intoxicating. We also got to hear some of the tracks off her new album. Stay tuned for that one, it sounds really strong.

Speaking of Intoxicating and Sun Will Rise, we're working on remixes of those tunes that we hope to release soon. The beats are strong and danceable, we'll let you know when they're ready. 

It must be a time for new music, as Chicano Batman were selling their new CD and Olmeca is getting ready to drop his new one. This was the lineup for the first two shows at Sports on Congress and TonaTierra. Both shows were pretty well attended and were a great way to show Phoenix our own little cross-section of LA music. One of the highlights of the TonaTierra show were the jams that got all of the musicians together for some freestyle raps courtesy of Maya and Olmeca over some funk and cumbia.

At Carly's Bistro Doug Bale and Mike Montoya played solo sets before and after ours. Doug's set was acoustic versions of mostly 90's rock, while Mike gave us a set of his originals, which got me intrigued to hear more. Special thanks to Doug for letting me use his Super Reverb.

That's about it, the pictures should give you a little more as well.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Contemporary Music DIY

The more I work with ACM and see the success we are having in reaching new audiences, the more convinced I am that focusing on contemporary music is the way to revitalize the Classical, (for lack of a better term,) tradition as a whole. This is only the beginning. If the ideas we've started catch on, we can build an audience for new music. We can recreate a global community of people who care, who attend concerts and debate and talk about contemporary music, breathlessly wait for the next World Premiere, and even compose their own music.

I love to see this kind of spirit enter the Classical/Contemporary/New Music World. Instead of waiting to be asked by the well-known performance organizations or academia for music, Seth Boustead and his group ACM (Accesible Contemporary Music) decided to take matters into their own hands and not just produce concerts for themselves, but also offer classes in theory and composition, as well as a place where new composers can have their work presented.

Seth's article on NewMusicBox describes what sounds like a very effective blend of the use of the internet, community outreach, and traditional performance and education.

This type of organization appears to be a viable option for many. Here in Los Angeles we have also seen similar organizations such as the Improvising Composers United who have produced concerts at schools and libraries featuring contemporary composed and improvised music.

As colleges and traditional performance organizations grapple with the problems of the current economy I believe that we will need more organizations that provide lesser known and maturing musicians and composers with new avenues to have their works publicly heard. This is nothing new, with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (also of Chicago) being one of the oldest and best known examples of an organization that provides both education and performance opportunities. I would encourage all composers and performers who identify a need like this in their own communities to use some of these organizations as an example and create something. Unfortunately, there will be no bailouts for the arts.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

The Good Ole Days

There is none so dangerous as the white American who waxes nostalgic about what he or she likes to call "the good old days." Or, alternately, those "simpler" times, or the era of so-called "innocence" remembered from their childhoods, memorialized in a Norman Rockwell painting, or via televised re-runs of the Cleaver family, or Opie Taylor casting a line down at the ol' fishin' hole.

I've never been a proponent of the "good ole days". Tim Wise articulates this well in this article, especially relative to the current political climate.

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Friday, October 16, 2009

Indie Music Tech: Open Suggestions for MySpace

Open Suggestions for MySpace

There have been a number of posts recently like this one, suggesting that MySpace is irrelevant. Is it too late for MySpace, or can they reinvent themselves and become relevant again? If the latter, below are some suggestions I've complied from Hypebot. What else would you recommend that they do to improve their service? Please add your comments to this post and I'll email them to Owen Van Natta in about a week:
  • remove all unnecessary clutter like emoticons
  • remove all non-artist related apps and tools
  • significantly reduce the number of ads per page
  • improve customer support/service
  • create limitations and filters on how your friends may contact you
  • pay all artists for plays on MySpace, not just signed artists
  • limit the number of videos a user can have on his/her page
  • limit the image size that can be displayed on a page
  • update the design of the site
  • improve the artist rankings or get rid of them
  • limit the number of comments that can be displayed
  • limit the banner size an artist may have on their page
  • become a site only for bands to connect with other bands

Although, many don't seem to communicate through MySpace anymore, I was thinking today that it still seems to have some value since many artists have made it more like their static web page. I don't use it much any more myself and have little vested interest as to whether or not it continues, but when something that was/is so huge seems to be quickly falling out of favor I become curious as to why and whether it's worth caring about.

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Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Wrong Cure for Insomnia

When I couldn't sleep this morning I thought I'd turn to Anthony Braxton's 9 Compositions (Iridium 2006) not to put me to sleep, but to occupy my mind with thoughts of something other than "why can't I get to sleep?"

It succeeded and then some.

Not only couldn't I get back to sleep, but it got me going on all sorts of musical tangents, ideas for the current piece I'm working on, etc. I started some coffee, sat down to start composing, but first got sidetracked by the video below.

What do you do when you can't sleep?

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Miles Electric

Lately I've been revisiting the electric Miles Davis stuff again, Get Up With It being a particular favorite. Just yesterday I was checking out the movie Miles Electric: A Different Kind of Blue and was really happy to see a movie in which the musicians were both allowed to talk and play more than usual. In fact, I think Stanley Crouch was the only critic in the film!

Anyhow, I'm not here to offer a review, but just share some of the inspiration that the film and Miles and the other musicians gave me. I especially loved Airto's segment.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Recording at ELAC

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New controller for Live - the Novation Launchpad

I've started to use Ableton Live for sequencing in the group that I'm in, Monte Carlo 76. So far, we've been using the Korg nanoPad to control the scenes in a pretty basic way. Create Digital Music has a full review of the new Novation Launchpad, a grid-style MIDI controller for Live. The design is simple, but it appears that you can even control volume and other parameters by switching modes and dragging your finger up and down the columns.

Since I haven't settled on a controller for Live yet and since I see it figuring prominently into my solo music in the future, this looks promising.

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