✘ Community is a dirty word
And: Resilient music ecosystems; The non-effort eating music alive; The myth of self-sustaining communities; Legend of Zelda and video game concerts; Why web3
Earlier this year, I spent a few months working on a collaborative research project over at Protein. They regularly publish reports about ‘dirty words,’ that we’ve also featured in the Links section here at MUSIC x. Protein is an interesting case when it comes to digital, DAO-like, communities. First and foremost, it’s a creative agency. Some of the folks working there were interested in blockchains and how they could make those work for communities, brands, etc. They set up the Protein community, went through the Seed Club Accelerator, and launched their ‘DAO.’ But DAOs are hard. What’s their purpose? How do they live next to a regular, thriving business that doesn’t necessarily operate in the Web3?
They decided to bring the agency and the community more closely together. Basically, this meant that they put their money where their mouths were and allowed shared perspectives between the agency and the community to establish and flourish. What we found is that it’s hard to do collaborative research across time zones and with various people with a variety of time commitments. Looking at myself, I could only commit a couple of hours per week to this project. This made it hard for my chapter lead to figure out when she could count on me, for example. Both the leadership of the chapter leads, and the core team at Protein made it work though.
So, what’s the report about? It’ll tell you how community became a dirty word - how it lost its meaning by overuse and misuse. Moreover, it intends:
to provide tangible advice and resources for building healthier communities and how to actively support them;
to suggest a new (and evolving) definition of community that prioritises belonging and co-ownership;
to create a space for members to share mutual perspectives and learnings between different communities.
It does this through four chapters on Foundations, Spaces, Identities, and Economies.
I encourage you all to read it, but it’s not free. A lot of work went into this so if you’re able to support the community - and, yes, that includes me - the current price is $30. You get access to the full 136 page report, and some other perks.
🌻 A resilient music sector is prepared for the future (Frank Kimenai)
“The music sector is not adequately prepared for changes and developments from outside. As a result, the sector is forced to primarily take a reactive approach when such a situation arises. The "seven principles for resilience" offer the sector tools to turn this around: the sector is better prepared for what may come its way and can act on it proactively. They also offer tools to anchor the sector firmer in society.”
✘ I love this research and there’s hardly a better way to put it out into the world than this video animation. We simply need to think and act better to create a plurality in the music industry that will mean it can deal with outside forces outside of its direct control.
🍴 Frank Ocean, ChatGPT, & The Non-Effort Eating Music Alive (Danny Dwyer, Alex Siber)
“And built everything off of that abstraction. On the other end of the spectrum you have the artists breaking down every nanosecond of what they did in 15-second clips. I don’t know if that’s the answer, but I do think the artist-fan relationship is more two-sided than it’s often discussed. Artists don’t owe us shit. I don’t owe you shit as an artist. But you don’t owe me shit either. Investors don’t owe artists financial support without anything in return. Fans don’t have a sworn responsibility to show up for you forever. It’s for the artist to try and find a way to game that paradox in their favor.”
✘ It’s a free-flowing interview that touches on a lot of issues, but the highlighted part above is so important. I wish I could underline it twice over. All these relationships that we see, that we talk about, that we expect - they don’t actually exist a priori, they exist because we agree on them. When that agreement isn’t there, nobody owes anyone anything.
👩🌾 Five things community builders can do to battle the myth of self-sustaining communities (Rosie Sherry)
“Just because community has a more natural and effective growth engine potential, it does not mean it doesn't need investment. In fact, to show you mean business to the community, truly investing into the community is perhaps the most powerful act you can show. Of course, this doesn't just mean throwing money at a community. It means being able to act on the things the community needs to thrive.”
✘ The balance between community and brands is precarious in any situation, but it’s even harder when the brand thinks the community should be self-sustaining. Of course, it’s an ideal state, but it takes a lot of effort to make that happen and then to keep it in place.
🔗 The Legend of Zelda didn’t just make video game history - it put video game concerts on the map (Nina Corcoran)
“How do you get one of the most notoriously strict video game companies to license the music for an entire franchise? You recreate the magic of their own game right before their eyes. For the 2006 launch of Play!: A Video Game Symphony—Paul’s multi-title symphony project featuring music from Halo, World of Warcraft, Super Mario Bros., and The Legend of Zelda—the games’ composers and a handful of Nintendo higher-ups flew out to watch. Dazzled by the performance, they greenlit the pitch from Paul, composer Chad Seiter, and co-producer Jeron Moore: three shows to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda.”
✘ There’s multiple things happening here: 1) it’s about how Nintendo licensed its music, which it rarely does; 2) it’s about the impact of hosting these concerts for the credibility of video game music; 3) it’s about how classical music needs this type of variety in its offering to keep people coming to the concert halls.
3️ why web3? part 1 (simmerdown)
“and whilst i'm only at the beginning of my deep dive into this landscape, i've already had countless moments, messages and connections with people that have reached out and told me the connections they've had with my music.”
✘ I love artists sharing their why. And like simmerdown, I wholeheartedly feel that music in the Web3 is all about the connections and making the digital as real as anything that happens away from the keyboard.
Since I shared the winter mix by Perc in this very place a few months ago, it’s only pertinent to also share the master’s summer mix. I’m telling you, it’s vibey.