Archive for June, 2011

Music in the cloud

June 22, 2011

Everybody’s talking about putting music in the cloud. Apple, Amazon and Google are all in the game, as are Pandora, Rdio, Napster and Spotify, among many others.

The New York Times’ Jon Pareles talks about the pros and cons from his perspective as a music critic, as well as what to expect as a music consumer and a musician. One consequence of all this easily accessible music has been the trivialization of music. A song is disposable. He says “The tricky part, more now than ever, is to make any new release feel like an occasion: to give a song more impact than a single droplet out of the cloud.”

The tricky part…is to make any new release feel like an occasion.

One way to do that is to have your album take advantage of the new technologies, make it interactive. He mentions a cutting edge project by Bjork (Biophilia) that has a smartphone app built around every song. I’m not sure whether that is something a small indie musician can do.

Read the entire New York Times article at The cloud that ate your music.

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low tech

June 10, 2011

I’m a big proponent of low tech songwriting, which I define as using only a pencil and your voice (no instruments, computer, recording device, beat box, rhyming dictionary or thesaurus), at least in the early stages. I like to think I can be hiking in the woods and write a song on the spot when inspiration strikes.

I also find that my guitar playing technique or lack thereof, influences the melodies. So if I write the melody first, before I pick up the guitar, I often get more interesting results.

Later, in the editing process, I pull out all available devices to help hone it further. Try this method sometime.