Advice for Danish jazz musicians

The Fringe's combo

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.


Mind the furniture

access remodeling 2.jpg
Photo by theothegrey

We’re doing a bit of remodelling around here at New Music Strategies.

In fact, remodelling is the wrong word. This is the online equivalent of moving into new premises, getting new desks and phones, ordering new stationery, and setting up for business.

It’s all a bit new: we’ve just expanded from a sole trader operation to a five-person team – and completely redefined what it is we do here.

But don’t worry – all the old blog posts are still here, and you can still download the old ’20 Things’ e-book– but there are lots of new and exciting things to come.

So – add us to your RSS feed reader, follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook – and stay tuned for interesting, helpful and above all musical projects.

Who's doing this stuff well?


This might actually be the question I get asked most often. At the end of a seminar, a lecture or a guest talk at some event, somebody will raise their hand, and ask the question. I kind of dread it, because I can only really disappoint every time I answer it, but almost every time I speak, it comes up again.

“Hi, that was interesting and I can see that I’m going to have to pay more attention to the web / put an RSS feed on my site / get my own URL / use innovative strategies to promote my music, etc. I’ve read your 20 Things e-book, and I want to implement all that stuff…

“But can you please point me to an example of someone who is doing all of the things you suggest really well, so I can model my site after theirs?”


Technical difficulties

Wow – that was frustrating.

A week or more of the site being offline, and more than a week before that of some teething issues as we tried (with varying degrees of success) to carry off The Great Hosting Migration of 2008.

As far as we can tell, everything is pretty much as it should be now. Links should lead to places they are meant to go, pictures should display where pictures should display, and by and large, we can return you to your irregularly scheduled programme.

Please let me know if you spot any problems. Thanks very much.

Good news / bad news

Well, the good news is, I have wrested ownership of back from my old webhosts. They were not nearly as evil as they could have been about it, and my only problems with them are:

1) the ruthless efficiency with which they turn off the switch and seize control of your assets if you hit the end of the contract, regardless of what the circumstances are; and

2) their shockingly poor communication and dire customer service unless you make a huge fuss.

They didn’t do anything really wrong by the letter of the law, but they were pretty unpleasant to deal with for the most part.

So anyway. That’s the good news – and the site should be operational again in all its glory in no time at all. Thanks so much for all your advice, help, support and good wishes.

And on the flip side…
The bad news is I left my phone and wallet in a taxi last night, and so I’ve spent today cancelling stuff and trying to get some sort of response out of the taxi company other than just ‘nobody’s handed it in’. Other than that, it was an excellent night out.