We ask the question ‘What is music for?’ and then go off in many “well, it’s complicated…” tangents – in our usual way, as you’d expect.
I spent last week at Vallekilde, about an hour outside of Copenhagen, at an annual event called Summer Session.
It’s an intensive retreat for jazz musicians hosted by national agency Jazz Danmark. They invite world-class artists to come along and work with the musicians, do workshops, stage concerts and jam together. It’s a fantastic week for all concerned.
With my New Music Strategies hat on, my role at the event was simply to try and be helpful where possible, talk to the musicians about their own digital strategies, and help them think through what they’re doing online and how that could be refined.
I thought I’d share some of the advice I gave and my answers to the most common questions and problems I encountered.
I’ve taken what you might call a professional interest in the writing of ‘new music industry’ bloggers and pundits over the past decade, and while there is a great deal of disagreement among them, they all have certain similarities about their approach.
Or rather – their approaches, as there seem to be three main ones.
It’s useful to break these approaches down so that you can recognise them when you see them – but also in order to get a sense of how these kinds of information sources can be interpreted and used in a practical way in your own music industry practice.
You can probably think of other ways to slice this, but here are the three main ways in which I interpret the approaches of music industry bloggers.
In which Dubber and Steve go to great lengths (55 minutes, to be precise) in order to attempt to explain the internet, how it works for musicians, and how to make sense of it.
In which Dubber and Steve talk at length about their own record labels from the past, record labels in general, the idea of signed versus unsigned artists, their motivations for starting a record label that will sign absolutely anyone, and the surprising consequences of that.
Also, here’s Steve’s blogpost about “unsigned artists”.