Musical Space

Crowdfunding Music

Jul 21, 2015
Bizking2u / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

Selling records has historically been a capital-intensive undertaking. This has always been a problem for new music, and record companies are less likely than ever to risk money on new artists in the post-Napster era.

So, I tried Plink the other day.

Plink is a free online multiplayer game that lets you make music in real time with other people. Pressing the “Start” button puts the player into an environment with two or three other players-- strangers-- and a four-on-the- floor bass drum pattern. All one does is cooperate with the others to make music.

addicted2candy.com / Creative Commons / Google Images

    

Advertising has become embedded into our digital lives--I suppose if people aren’t willing to pay for music anymore, then having ads interrupt your Spotify playlist is a unavoidable. But recently, some lines have been crossed, and I worry that it’s affecting the experience.

clownhousethethird / Flickr / Creative Commons

Science fiction is a place where art meets forward thinking, and African American music has its own science fiction thread, called Afrofuturism, which is populated by some of our most progressive musicians.

vansassa / flickr

When I think of songs that mention Wichita, I can’t help but try to find a common thread, some consensus from songwriters about what they think of us. Unfortunately, there’s a sadness that comes through, an image of Wichita as a distant locus of ordinariness.

Going To Extremes

May 12, 2015

A lot of talented musicians like to show off their technical skills, and sometimes it’s annoying. There’s the jazz tenor saxophonist who won’t stop after 10 choruses, the lead guitarist who has never heard the expression “less is more.”

A musician’s ego can get the best of them. “Higher, faster, louder” is sometimes the quickest way to kill the mood.

Anetode / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license

Blues guitarist Robert Johnson is said to have gotten his musical talent by selling his soul to the devil at the crossroads close to the famous Dockery Plantation in the Mississippi Delta. The same story was told earlier about another bluesman named Tommy Johnson.

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Congress changed copyright law in the 1970s with a provision that allows songwriters to get out of their contracts 35 years after they had signed away their rights to record companies.

Musicians Who Sing Along

Mar 31, 2015
Don Hunstein / Glenn Gould Foundation

This is Glenn Gould’s famous 1981 recording of Bach’s "Goldberg Variations." If you listen very carefully, you can hear him singing along. He sang so loudly that his recording engineers often couldn’t avoid it being picked up by the microphones.

bluesmuse / Flickr / Creative Commons

You may not be aware of this, but the last four decades of music have been heavily influenced by German underground rock from the 1970s.

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