✖ How do you discover new music?

And: Metaverse insights; Library Music; Web3 for musicians; On impairment; Radiohead x Epic: Kid A Mnesia exhibition; Inclusive virtual events; NFTs and classical music

In various conversations this past week I’ve been struck by the different ways people discover music. Subsequently I’ve started asking others about their preferred methods and preferred gatekeepers. At GÂRDEN, for example, we use the Smarter Playlists tool that Bas wrote about back in February. The list we distil from the tool gets filtered by our founder and CEO and then finds its way to our listening team. They say whether they like a track or not and whether they think it fits the GÂRDEN artistic profile. The songs that make it through all of these stages can be found in our GÂRDEN Seeds playlist.

In our personal lives, we maybe don’t want to set up an elaborate playlist tool and certainly don’t have the luxury of a listening team. I came across many other ways to discover new music and have my own recommendations as well.

Discover it all


TECH

🤸‍♀️ Women In MusicTech #4: Anne McKinnon, Overview Ark Cofounder (Believe)

“We’re really just setting the foundations of the metaverse and no one knows exactly what it’s going to look like, and the technology is also evolving very rapidly. But by going in and doing lots of these types of events we’re figuring out what works and what doesn’t.”

👛 Supporting Web 3.0 Explorations For Musicians (Austin Robey)

“This means our [ed. note: Ampled’s] first step is helping members understand the compelling possibilities and opportunities — first by guiding the group through setting up a wallet and sending enough ETH, provided by this post’s crowdfund, to cover initial transaction costs and get members started.”

🎼 NFTs and Classical Music (Audrey Bergauer)

Classical music used to be a frontrunner when it came to new technological developments and innovations, from TV to CD. They haven’t been able to replicate this in the 21st Century developments of streaming and Web3. Therefore, it’s good to see panels like this one discuss everything from vocabulary to practice.

😶‍🌫️ Radiohead teams up with Epic Games for Kid A Mnesia: Exhibition (Chaim Gartenberg)

“According to the announcement, the Kid A Mnesia: Exhibition for PlayStation will be an “upside-down digital / analogue universe created from original artwork and recordings” to accompany the rerelease. Given Epic’s recent taste for interactive musical experiences, it’s likely that Kid A Mnesia: Exhibition will offer some sort of experiential new lens into Radiohead’s music, but we’ll find out for sure in November.”

💫 We’re about to enter a new era of virtual concerts. And it is going to get very, very weird (Alan Cross)

ABBA has no problem with any of this, largely because the members are all still alive and have complete control over their images. Instead of hitting the road as a bunch of septuagenarians in non-age-appropriate costumes, they’re working with a staff of 850 people at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic to create something beyond holograms. Using 160 cameras focused on the members as they wore motion-capture suits over a five-week shoot, ILM “captur[ed] every mannerism, emotion and the soul of their beings,” resulting in something that’s not “a version or a copy of ABBA, but actually them.”

X

📚 Library Music: In the age of streaming, public libraries offer small-scale alternatives for local archiving (Liz Pelly)

The ever excellent Liz Pelly has written a fantastic article about the role local public libraries play, and can play, in the US. One particular focus is on how these institutions help shape what she calls ‘digital public space.’

“Several librarians who I spoke with for this piece referred to their local music streaming project as more than just a collection, but as a “digital public space,” a phrase that says as much about contemporary digital norms as it does about potential futures they’re helping to build. To these librarians, creating a digital public space is as much about public-minded ownership (offering a space outside the incentives of multinational corporations and advertising businesses that define our digital lives today) as it is also about the governance of the space, and working in collaboration with local musicians and patrons to shape how it functions.”

🧏 Diminished Faculties: A Political Phenomenology of Impairment (Jonathan Sterne)

So this is a book and the first chapter is available for free. Jonathan Sterne is a media scholar who has written The Audible Past and a 100-year history of the MP3, the latter basically a history of compression. Both excellent books, and his new book has a strong social element in that it focuses in the loss-of-hearing and loss-of-voice.

“In life, impairment works in a shady place between function and nonfunction. Nowhere is this clearer than in the theory and practice of communication: a mobile phone or a videoconference connection is glitchy; a spam filter lets through some spam, or filters out correspondence the recipient desires; radio waves come with static and noise; an online video never stops buffering; books and photos age and change color; the meaning you take from these written words never perfectly lines up with my authorial intent; what you heard or read on my lips is not what I said … Impairment may be a blockage, a failure, a defect, but it is also a supplement, rich with texture and potential meaning. If impairment is at the center of communication, then it is already at the center of experience.”

🏳️‍🌈 The Benefits of Hosting Inclusive Virtual Events (Folk Alliance International)

“Virtual events can also create inclusivity around financial accessibility. Consider having a suggested ticket price or tiered pricing instead of a set fee; this way anyone can attend, regardless of financial restrictions, and viewers who are able to can support the event financially.”

💲 US record industry scores 27% growth in first half of 2021 (Chris Cooke)

“Needless to say, that growth is still being fuelled by premium streaming, with a little bit of vinyl revival on top. Subscription revenues from streaming services were up 26% year-on-year. All streaming services combined now account for 84% of US record industry revenues, 78% of which comes from subscriptions. Which, maths fans will be pleased to know, means premium subscriptions account for nearly two thirds of total US recorded music revenues.”

✔️ How To Do A Revenue Completeness Check (Randi Zimmerman)

“This checklist is meant to help you make sure that you are monetizing your music in every way you can. Go down the list and check off what you’ve done and what you haven’t. Then, make sure you’re taking steps to complete everything you’re missing.”

MUSIC

Since the article is full of recommendations, or at least places to get recommendations, I invite you to send me something to listen to. You can do so on Twitter or LinkedIn.