Music Technologist – Open Music Initiative

My aim is to prove I have strong credentials as an educational music technologist.  (i.e. my revised mission statement)

I have grown my written communication skills over the last 11 years as an amateur music journalist with the Music of Our Heart WordPress blog. My evolution continues to the next phase of exploration and accomplishment.

In essence, the focus is to merge the three passions that serve as daily motivation.

1) Music Avocation: Reading about, listening to, absorbing and sharing music information with readers and friends.

2) Technologist: Leverage 45 years of information technology industry and education knowledge.

Music Technology Research Project

I have begun in earnest an educational music technology research project. I am not at liberty to reveal the nature and purpose of this research just yet.

I am willing to share with my readers, various discoveries I make along the path of this journey.

Revelation #1: The Open Music Initiative Website

June of 2016, the Berklee College of Music founded the Open Music Initiative (OMI), to advance the way the industry administers music rights and help assure that all creators, performers and right holders of music are properly compensated.  OMI is developing open standards to enable the creation of platforms and applications that will simplify the way rights owners are identified and paid.

The initiative is led by Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship, along with MIT’s Media LabIDEO and Context Labs.  It already has over 200 members, including the three major labels, Sony, Universal, and Warner, as well as Spotify, Pandora, Netflix, SiriusXM, YouTube, Alibaba and many others.

I have come to appreciate how open source projects have benefitted civilization and revolutionized the computer technology industry. Several examples come to mind.  Google’s TensorFlow, Node.js React Native,  Audacity, and my favorite of all WordPress.

The Open Music Initiative coupled with David Byrne’s book, How Music Works shapes my iterative thought process.  Stay on board the flight deck as this research project readies for liftoff.  I caution you the Geek who lives inside of me is unleashed. He’s a friendly soul that I can assure you 😉

 

 

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American Utopia – David Byrne, Available March 9th, 2018

“I worked on American Utopia while collecting a lot of Reasons To Be Cheerful material, and I have a feeling this material informs this set of songs. Many of us, I suspect, are not satisfied with the world we have made for ourselves. We look around and we ask ourselves—well does it have to be like this? Is there another way? These songs are about that looking and that asking.” -David Byrne

utopia
Design by Ben Tousley. Photo ©2018 Estate of Purvis Young, Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY

 

“These songs don’t describe this imaginary and possibly impossible place, but rather they attempt to describe the world we live in now—and that world, when we look at it, as we live in it, as it impacts on us—immediately commands us to ask ourselves- is there another way? A better way? A different way?

This group of songs is indirectly about those questions. And what drives us to ask those questions. The songs are sincere—the title is not ironic. The title is not so much about a utopia, as it is about our longing, frustration, aspirations, fears, hopes regarding what could be, what is possible. How and what could we be. Surely, we ask ourselves, it doesn’t have to be like this. There is a longing for the possibility— and I have a feeling that is what these songs touch on.

America—or to be correct the United States—was founded as a Utopian Experiment. Though it never did succeed in all its aims enough were realized in the brief history to give hope to many. Now it seems we are seeing that hope, those possibilities, be withdrawn. The project seems on the verge of complete and utter failure. So, naturally, we all now ask ourselves—was it too much to ask? Are we wrong about how humans can be? Is there another way? Can we start over?

I am as mystified as any of us—I have no prescriptions or sure-fire answers—but I sense that I am not the only one asking, wondering and still willing to hold on to some tiny bit of hope, still willing to not succumb entirely to despair or cynicism. It’s not easy, but music helps.

DAVID BYRNE

American Utopia fits hand-in-hand with Byrne’s vision for his series “Reasons To Be Cheerful,” named for the song by the late Ian Dury. Over the last year, Byrne has been collecting stories, news, ideas, and other items that all either embody or identify examples of things that inspire optimism, such as a tech breakthrough, a musical act, a new idea in urban planning or transportation—something seen, heard, or tasted. Just as the album questions the current state of society while offering solace through song, the content of the series recognizes the darkness and complexity of today while showcasing alternatives to the despair that threatens us.

Copyright 2018 David Byrne

David Byrne Presents: The How Music Works Playlist

To celebrate the 2017 edition of How Music Works published by Three Rivers Press, this month’s radio is a mix of songs referenced throughout the book. The edition includes a new chapter on curation that explores four ways we discover music in the digital age: recommendation by experts, by the music itself, by social and cultural forces, and by narrative and context.

Bonus: Pop Conference 2017 Keynote

Let’s All Help The Master of Funk, Bernie Worrell

I was crushed to learn of Bernie Worrell‘s stage four terminal cancer condition. His contribution to music has been so meaningful and pervasive. I wish him healing remission.

It was beautiful to see fellow musicians, specifically members of Parliament-Funkadelic and the Talking Heads amongst other celebrities coming to his aid to help offset his medical costs. The benefit concert that was held at Webster Hall on Monday April 4th raised our awareness for Bernie’s plight.

David Byrne has remixed “How Does the Brain Wave,” his 2007 collaboration with Baby Elephant — the project of DJ Prince Paul and Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell — to help raise funds for Worrell.

The former Talking Head has also tapped Jamie Lidell to remix the song, both of which are available to stream and purchase. Fans can choose how much they give for the two songs, though there is a $1.99 minimum. I went with the $10 option to help.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/hear-david-byrnes-remix-to-support-ailing-p-funk-great-bernie-worrell-20160405#ixzz453BLEYBy
Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

David Byrne did the cover art sketch and the original artwork will be auctioned off, as well. Click here to bid

Bernie is classically trained (as well as having perfect pitch—I’ve heard him improvise with the sounds of traffic), so he brought those skills to the Afro-Futurism of the P Funk universe… a bit of keyboard cosmos into the funk chants and beats of that world that made it what it was. I learned a lot from that music, and of course from the time spent travelling and playing with Bernie—wordplay, musical attitude and lot more. He informed the musician and composer I was to become.

If you just want to make a donation—it can be made directly to the Bernie Worrell Sweet Relief fund here.

Stay strong Bernie, we love you Woo Man.

Ernie Ball Music Man – St. Vincent Guitar Signature Model

I get such a kick out of St. Vincent. She is an eclectic, innovative artist. I have seen her live twice at The Beacon Theatre (9/26/12) and The Shubert Theatre (6/20/13 performing with David Byrne and the Brass Band ensemble on the Love This Giant tour.

Ernie Ball Music Man and St. Vincent have collaborated on a signature guitar.

It’s totally rad like Annie Clark and I love that about her artistry.

Photo by Dana (distortion) Yavin

Atomic Bomb! The Music of William Onyeabar, David Byrne and Others ;)

The world of music is infinite and that’s a positive vibration for the planet. Speaking of positive vibrations have you heard of William Onyeabar? I just learned about his unique rhythmic music this morning . William Onyeabar was a funk musician from Nigeria. According to the Luaka Bop record label, Onyeabor “self-released 8 albums between 1978 and 1985 and then became a born-again Christian, refusing ever to speak about himself or his music again.

Onyeabar’s music speaks volumes by itself and more explosively through the interpretation  of others. David Byrne who knows how music works has assembled the Atomic Bomb Band. They made their major network debut on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Put on your ten-gallon hat and groove to “Fantastic Man“.

David Byrne, the Atomic Bomb Band and other fervent Onyeabar stalwarts are performing in Los Angeles and San Francisco this week.

The US Premiere took place on May 2 & 3 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House.

Give them a listen, you will be happily astonished at how good a groove they generate.

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St. Vincent, You Rule!

Ever since we saw St. Vincent perform with David Byrne and their Brass Band on the Love This Giant tour I have become enraptured  by Annie Clark‘s musical genius. She captivates her audiences with riveting guitar playing combined with sheer bravado and energy.

I discovered today from Pitchfork that St. Vincent will be releasing a new album, St. Vincent on February 25th in the US.

St_ Vincent - Album Art

You can stream the first track, “Birth In Reverse” by simply joining the St. Vincent mailing list.

Or if you’d like here is the SoundCloud edition.

Congratulations Annie for being named recipient of the 2013 Smithsonian Magazine American Ingenuity Awards in Performing Arts.

David Byrne presented a heartfelt ad-lib speech for Annie Clark’s award.

By the time I was to introduce Annie (the last award as she’d be performing right after), I realized that everyone probably had had enough talks, as wonderful as they were. So I abandoned my notes, ignored the teleprompter and winged it. I talked about what I said above: what a wonderful world was represented here where the arts can mix with science and with social activism. I also said some nice things about Annie, but there was no need to explain what she does, as she was going to demonstrate that herself.

Building an Ethical, Sustainable Economy for Artists & Creative Industries

David Byrne speaking at the 2006 Future of Mus...

Jaron Lanier

If you are concerned with how the InterWeb is flattening artists and creative industries I urge you to get involved. I plan to write more about this very important issue in an upcoming blog post.

My friend, Will Buckley will be pleased that I finally “see the light” ;). Will, Jaron Lanier raised my consciousness substantially this past Wednesday night at a lecture he led at Sacred Heart University. (more on how this will integrate with this blog post topic in that future blog post I am cultivating)

1) Read David Byrne‘s extensive essay in The Guardian‘The internet will suck all creative content out of the world’

2) Read and follow this Website, The TriChordist,  Artists For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet#StopArtistExploitation

3) Sign This Important Petition – http://www.contentcreatorscoalition.org/

Who We Are

A dedicated group of artists, creators, and stakeholders are forming a new and unprecedented coalition. This coalition will allow the people who create the content that powers the web — recording artists, songwriters, journalists, filmmakers, producers, photographers, visual artists, and performers — to join together and exercise their collective voice in shaping the future of their industries.

If you are a professional artist, manager, or creator of what is often described as ‘content’, please join us. Sign up on our email list and we will contact you soon with details on how you can get involved.

Why We Are Organizing

Creators of all content have the right to a collective voice. We are joining together to represent the interests of participating creators in order to reshape our industries into fair and sustainable environments.

How We Function

We are presently developing the legal, organizational, and technical infrastructure to create a unique organization for creators: one that harnesses the advantages of a representational and participatory structure and provides a platform for members to suggest actions, provide feedback, and vote directly in coalition campaigns.

CCC Mission Statement

We believe that individual artists cannot be expected to negotiate with corporations the economic size of nation-states. As professional creators of cultural content we join together to aggregate our power and to represent our interests in discussions and decisions that not only impact our ability to thrive from our work but, also enrich society with the benefits of a flourishing creative economy.

David Byrne’s How Music Works Is Now Available in Paperback

David Byrne
David Byrne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How Music Works by David Byrne – Paperback Edition

David Byrne is a cognoscenti of the arts, specifically music and technology, but other arts and sciences as well.

His brilliantly articulate book about music has been updated with 30 new pages and many new photos.

You can win a free copy by entering McSweeney’s Fall How Music Works Contest

According to the author David Byrne,  “It’s been updated and amended considerably, as times change and so do we all.

it’s essentially a book with one idea: that context shapes music. Music isn’t an autonomous thing; what we hear is shaped by many extra-musical factors. Some chapters are autobiographical and anecdotal—as I can use my recording and performing experience to talk about how those mediums have affected my own musical output. Other chapters delve into (amongst other things) the economics of the music business, the acoustics of venues, music education and the idea of support for the arts… and whether or not musical structures are hard-wired in us.”

Scratch My Back / And I’ll Scratch Yours

Peter Gabriel will release the reciprocal “response” to the original covers recording he did called Scratch My Back (February, 2010) . The album, And I’ll Scratch Yours is the concluding part of a series of song exchanges in which he and other leading artists reinterpret each other’s songs. It will drop on September 23rd.

Scratch My Back / And I’ll Scratch Yours offers both sides of Peter’s song-swap project in one place, as was originally conceived. The album cover is shown below.

1. “I Don’t Remember” David Byrne
2. “Come Talk to Me” Bon Iver
3. “Blood of Eden” Regina Spektor
4. “Not One of Us” Stephin Merritt
5. “Shock the Monkey” Joseph Arthur
6. “Big Time” Randy Newman
7. “Games Without Frontiers” Arcade Fire
8. “Mercy Street” Elbow
9. “Mother of Violence” Brian Eno
10. “Don’t Give Up” Feist feat. Timber Timbre
11. “Solsbury Hill” Lou Reed
12. “Biko” Paul Simon