'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Digital World

I came across this article, 'Diving into the digital', by George Varga of 'The San Diego Union Tribune'.

It's an interesting read for us, particularly today, as I have been preparing a new CD, of Robin with his jazz quartet, to be released on CD Baby very soon. More details will follow shortly.

The article discusses the changing face of music distribution, for both the industry itself, and for musicians.
There has been such a change over the last few years that at times it's hard to keep up with it all.
Sites such as CD Baby, iTunes, YouTube, MySpace, and many others, have resulted in a lifestyle change for listeners, and for the artists.

Musicians can no longer rely on record companies to distribute their music, and have to nurture their fan base in a very different way.

The article has many interesting points and it's worth having a look, plus, there are a few thoughts from Sir Paul McCartney.

In some ways digital downloads make life easier for the musician, but, caution is required.
Radiohead's recent experience is rather frightening.
1 million fans ordered their new album in the 10 days prior to release, but paid nothing. Whilst 500 000 fans downloaded it for free from illegal sites, even though they could get it free from Radiohead's own site.
This is a disturbing situation.

Maybe this is a reflection of society.
Everyone wants something for nothing, but we should beware.
Musicians need to make a living.
If their music continues to be 'stolen' in this way, then how are they supposed to survive?

We have had this conversation with many people over the years. It's surprising how frequently people really don't think they are doing anything wrong.
When we have tried to explain, they often reply, "Well, I'm a student, I don't have much money", to which our response is, "Is that what you would say in a shop as you helped yourself to their wares?"

Whatever their reasoning, the general public need to realise that the music they listen to, is created by someone, who needs to pay the bills in just the same way that they do...


Anonymous said...

It's tough, as I can see both sides of the picture. As a musician, I feel that we don't get paid enough for the amount of work that needs to be done. For example, by the time I get a permanent Orchestral job, I may well have been playing the violin for 20 years. However, I could quit right now, and switch to something like IT or Web design, and be making more than I'd make in an orchestra in 4 years.
But it's not all about money.

On the other hand, I am a student, and often I feel that downloading music and more often computer programs, isn't so bad, because so little of the money goes to the artist anyway. It all gets eaten up by Managers fees, distro fees, label fees, producers, writers copyrights, etc. Sometimes I feel like I want to download the CD, and then just post the money I would've spent on the cd directly to the artist.

Anna said...

Hi Ben,
Yes it is a difficult situation but I don't think musicians go into the job for the money! The fact is, they do it because they love it, and wouldn't consider anything else.
As far as downloading, in some ways we are now in a better situation as the artist can promote their work through various sites, and aren't left to hope the record company does something with it.
It would be very nice to think that people would pay directly to the artist, but, I suspect they wouldn't.
My point really is that people need to be aware of the rights of musicians, and not take their music for granted, or for free...(unless that has been pre arranged by the artist of course).