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WRONG NOTES: a blog of ear reverence

Wrong Notes collects posts on music, art, culture and fun stuff. Also included: news about the Ear Reverends.

Music blogging motifs

For those of you who know my alter blog at the iCite net, you might have wondered if what I am building over there has any connection to what I am doing here at Wrong Notes. The simple answer is: sort-of. Over there, I am looking to create a new way to interconnect things on the web, and one of the things I want to interconnect is online music. So, the way I am releasing my music here is meant to hook into that.

As is often, amazingly, the case with these kinds of ideas, others are also working on similar things. People want to share music and connect with other people who like similar music—and so new ways to do this online keep being created.

In an earlier post here, I mentioned Lucas Gonze and his Webjay site. I think Webjay has really struck a chord with people (so go check it out if you haven't), and, in response, there have been a number of interesting experiments and comments and reflections on online music that I wanted to note here.

Jon Udell's Active Résumés is and links to a number of interesting comments, including Collaborative playlists by Alf Eaton. Sébastien Paquet is talking about and demonstrating Musiclogging and is also pointing people to the Internet Topic Exchange on Playlistlogging.

Marc Canter also often posts about this. I know and enjoy Marc as a fellow Harry Partch loving / Eno digging / synth building / tech visioning guy.

(The accompanying musical notes are my "Joi vs the Burtonator" blog-themed song, which was my first experiment in "blonging".)

CD symbolism and the power to play music

We (humans) commonly have had the power to record music and listen to it for less than one hundred years. It's been maybe only during the last fifty years that records (LPs and CDs) have become the most common way to listen to music.

I have considered myself a "CD addict", and probably would have called myself a "record junkie" when I was a teen. And, I find access to music mp3s on the Internet an interesting catalyst to reflect on what it means to listen to recorded music: what I feel like I am purchasing when I buy recorded music, and how the formats / media (e.g., album vs playlist) affect the ways in which I relate to the music I listen to. Mp3s are changing my listening.

I have a lot of ideas about this that I want to explore. And, as I have suggested, I think one of the important ways to explore it is as a musician recording music for these new formats / media.

While thinking about this today, I serendipitously came across Edward W. Felton's A Grand Unified Theory of Filesharing and a number of good comments in response (via BoingBoing). Here is a comment I wrote:

Two of the appeals of owning CDs are: the power of possessing the shiny disc, and (to initiate the "concert") the ritual of spinning the shiny disc to make music.

I think at least some of us who grew up with albums and CDs continue to strongly relate to this (80-90 year old, legacy) idea of music that comes out of a shiny disc. Even when we download and/or listen without the disc, something seems missing until we possess the disc as well.

At least some of today's free-riders are also people who have never embraced the ritual of the shiny disc—they aren't simply too young / inconvenienced to possess the discs, but are creating new rituals (or putting greater priority on different rituals, e.g., making playlists and sharing them) as well.

In terms of the battles of CDs vs filesharing, I think it is important to note that record companies are fundamentally in the business of selling shiny discs, and that "music business" throughout its history, with the exception of the last 50-75 years, had nothing to do with selling discs.

I love these shiny discs myself, but they are serving a more and more symbolic, and less and less functional role in my music listening. And, as a music listener and music creator, I feel drawn to follow where the power of music is going—which is the where people want music (i.e., which is less and less about where the shiny discs are).

"Plastic Toys" now available, latest in the Practices series

"Plastic Toys", the latest piece in the Ear Reverends' Practices series is now available. Please listen and enjoy.

This piece combines a remix of a piece I originally created in 1988 (now known as "Trescony Toy #3" and soon to be heard in Wrong Notes) with new music and vocals with some field recordings I made a few weeks ago while in Seattle.

Some people have mentioned that they didn't quite understand how to play all the songs here on Wrong Notes, so I'll note the two ways:

  1. each text post includes a music post, just click on the "play notes that go with this note" link below
  2. there is a m3u (mp3) playlist available that plays all of the current music posts, just click the "mp3 playlist" link in the upper right of the page

I'll be adding some other formats soon too.

Another thing about free culture

It's sad how desperate and cynical we become when all have in the world is business and so-called "business culture". Business can be fine and we need a way to do commerce, make change, etc. But, culture is the context of business, and not the other way around.

I very strongly support Lawrence Lessig's work to address (from the perspective of a lawyer and legal scholar) the need to preserve and support the cultural context for creative works. It's sad to see his work being subjected to desperate and cynical attacks, though, fortunately, there are also good people open to intelligently discussing and debating the issues Lessig addresses.

Thanks, and getting the tech set up here

Thanks to everyone who has sent me comments on my music and my blog. I feel very encouraged!

My goals here are to release new music often and to connect with people enjoy listening to it (or at least who are also interested in the subjects I write about here). So, since I don't have a comment mechanism set up yet, please feel free to email me if you have any immediate comments about my music or about this blog, including any technical suggestions or issues with accessing my music files.

Right now, I am using the great and wonderful Internet Archive to host my music files, but one liability in this is that I don't have 100% control over the files once I give them to the archivists, which doesn't allow me to organize them as fully as I'd like. Plus it takes a day or two for the files to go live.

I finished two new pieces yesterday, another Wrong Note ("Matter Day") and another Practice ("Plastic Toys"), and, if I could, I would release them right now. But, it'll be another day or so while I submit them to the archivists and wait for them to go live.

One option I am starting to look into is a different host for this site who will give me unlimited data transfer, which I think I'd like just in case a lot of my music files start getting downloaded (it's OK to dream, right?). Hostbaby is an option, and, since it is from the same folks behind the excellent CD Baby, I bet they are helpful and reliable.

But, all the web hosts whom I have used before and trust have fixed / metered bandwidth—so I'd like to hear about other's experiences. I want an inexpensive, perfectly helpful and reliable, web host who offers unlimited data transfer. Whom would you recommend?

Free culture, creative commons, EFF’s $5/month, mediAgora, WebJay

This is mostly just links to good, recent, things out there:

Just out: Lawrence Lessig's new book, Free Culture (which is available for free download, licensed under Creative Commons license allowing derivative works) and, which now features, as a derrivative work, a free audio version read by volunteers. That's both free as in free markets and free as in free beer. (This is what I am listening to now.)

I am releasing my music here under Creative Commons license, and the recent CC Moving Image Contest produced great, short movies about why CC is so important.

Wired News recently featured an article, The Answer to Piracy: Five Bucks?, about the Electronic Frontier Foundation's proposal on how to fairly license online file sharing (i.e., rather than trying to prevent it, make it illegal, or sue people who do it). The EFF's proposal is A Better Way Forward: Voluntary Collective Licensing of Music File Sharing.

Kevin Marks is a really smart and nice guy whom I have had the pleasure to meet, and I really like his mediAgora: defining a new marketplace for media concept. He recently gave a nice example of how mediAgora could work in his Black, White, Grey and mediAgora post, which comments on the case of the Grey Album.

A few weeks ago, I was looking at my webserver logs here and found a reference to Lucas Gonze's weblog, which has lot's of great stuff and which I'm now reading regularly. One of the finds there is Lucas' project WebJay, which is a great site that allows people to share their mp3 music playlists. Very great!

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nearby posts:




. . . the new music player is very coming soon and such . . .