Thursday, May 31, 2007

holy tension batman

oh man...
so I did it.
I have a few loose ends to pick up, but I'm essentially done with college.
So after dinner I think that I will sleep for 14 hours or something.
if my body lets me.
Then! I'm making muffins!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Love is not a rational act in itself, yet we all do it at one point or another. As soon as love is rationalized, it becomes something else that is not as pure or powerful as love.

I'm writing a paper on The Idiot by Dostoevsky. That is all I could find of it to write about without expecting everyone to have some knowledge of this novel.

The paper's pretty sweet so far, though I now understand why all the critics we've been reading make up their own example of embly's vocab:

It is here that we struggle with the manner in which the Prince loves Natasia. He describes it at one point as pity, and others around him perceive it as pity, however I would argue that the Prince does not know how to pity. In order to pity someone you must deem yourself as better or as more full of worth than the other individual, and the Prince certainly does not consider him self of more worth than others around him, in fact it could be argued that he considers himself lower than his counterparts. His love is certainly a lateral love at the very least if not an “ascending” love, it is definitely not a “descending” love that could be redefined as pity. This is certainly a Christ-like type of love, I would argue that Christ loves only laterally and not “ascendingly” or descendingly”.

I talk about Christ a lot in this if I had a clue:

Especially Christ’s love and love of Christ are an irrational love. Christ loves with out any reservations, nor any expectations, and as such love of Christ equally must be without reservation nor expectation. Yet of course love of Christ is ridden with expectations of some sort of return that cannot be defined.

Dostoevsky said that if he had to choose between Christ and the Truth, that he would choose Christ. This appears to be a completely irrational decision, if one had access to the Truth, the what need would one have of Christ? It would seem that the love of Christ is indicative of more than finding ultimate Truth

The Idiot has something of a Christ complex....he is a beautiful man...but just a man not a god or a saint or a martyr.

I currently have six pages and change...sorry this is so distinctly not about music, but my mind is currently dominated by this and only this...mostly

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

ownership of music

The ownership of a temporal artwork is a tricky matter that really has only come to prevalence with the advent of recording technology. Previously composers had been attempting to control their work more and more by adding more precise directions regarding tempo, dynamics and other pertinent performance markings. Despite these composers best efforts however, each performance will be unique, unless of course we have a recording of the performance. Here begins the tricky question of, to whom does this performance belong? Does it belong to the composer, to the performers, or to the hall in which it was performed? Does it matter who payed for the recording? Who deserves to be payed for future performances of this piece?


The way in which artists are compensated for their work comes in several different ways now. The first and most immediately comprehensible is for live performances of their work. It is clear that they own that temporal performance, they are there for the entirety of its existence and once they are gone it no longer exists. Patrons are paying for the experience. The second way that artists are payed is by selling recordings of their performances. If their live performance is really good people will want to hear it again and will buy either studio recordings or live recordings. This is a one time flat fee, similar to buying a ticket to a show, but now you have the artist's work at your finger-tips. It does not matter after you make that purchase if you listen to the CD five times a day or never. The only advantage that the artist gains by your multiple listenings is that you might recommend the CD to a friend who might in turn buy the CD. The third and most unique mode of compensation that an artist receives is through the royalties of a piece being played on the radio. One the radio now (as seen in the last post) the composer receives a flat amount of royalties for a piece to be played on the radio. So in this way the station buying royalties is much like a library buying a CD, costs them more than a normal person, but it is still one flat rate. Thus the popularity of the song only helps the artist sell more CDs. The new royalty structure for internet radio directly rewards the artist for how popular their song is, as they (or their label) get paid for every "performance" of the piece. So in a certain way it makes the most sense of all the fee structures, because an artist is rewarded directly for the popularity of their piece.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

internet radio

We live in exciting and changing times when it comes to the dissemination of music. I don't know how many of you use internet radio stations like pandora but they and similar internet web stations have recently been going through a bit of legal trouble, specifically artists and recording companies are concerned as how exactly they will be compensated for the plays that their music gets. The new law passed in march increases the royalties and the types of royalties that all of these stations have to pay
(from here)
"RAIN has learned the rates that the Board has decided on, effective retroactively through the beginning of 2006. They are as follows:

2006 - $.0008 per performance

2007 - $.0011 per performance

2008 - $.0014 per performance

2009 - $.0018 per performance

2010 - $.0019 per performance
A "performance" is defined as the streaming of one song to one listener; thus a station that has an average audience of 500 listeners racks up 500 "performances" for each song it plays.

The minimum fee is $500 per channel per year. There is no clear definition of what a 'channel' is for services that make up individualized play lists for listeners."

so for a site like Pandora that allows each user up to 100 stations for free, this could be a tremendous problem. Starting July 15 not only will sites have to start paying these fees, but they will have to retroactively pay for 2006.

The general outcry is "unfair!" for me it begged the question well how do conventional radio stations pay, and would it not behoove companies to simply charge internet stations the same way?

So I continued my research, apparently "Terrestrial radio stations pay composer royalties, but they don't pay performance royalties, under the long-established rationale that record label benefit from the promotional value of songs played on the radio. So if a Clear Channel radio station plays that new Fergie song over the air, it doesn't pay a performance royalty--but if it streams Fergie over the net (or satellite radio), it does. Make sense to you?" (Wall street journal March 12, 2007 Jason Fry)

well no...not really. Lets quickly for the sake of argument decide why it could make sense. I guess that the argument would potentially be that by streaming it on the internet they are assuming the extra risk of people using magical software to rip the streaming file and steal it. Just like when a library buys a CD they pay almost $90 for it because they are lending it out and thus need the rights because it is not merely for personal use. However it is perfectly possible to record music from the radio, even if it is something as archaic as putting in a cassette tape and pushing record (man I did that so much as a kid, sometimes I would record NPR, and play week old news at my parents to see if would catch it) I also imagine that there are more advanced ways to do this...(question: how does Tivo factor into this dilemma if at all?)

so why not say that radio is radio and charge all in the same way? I think that this stands to a great deal of reason, yet those who are advocating for a more equivalent means of paying royalties themselves find internet radio and terrestrial radio to be different genres.

"The internet has changed radio in a profound way. Instead of a business that required investments so huge (millions of dollars for even a small-market FM station) that a programming focus on the lowest common denominator and an extreme aversion to risk or experimentation was an unavoidable consequence, a radio station with a global reach was now within the grasp of anyone with talent and determination to make it happen" again

honestly you listen to terrestrial radio and the options that you have are NPR (some places now only news and no longer a classical music station) clear channel stations (Kiss FM et al) and perhaps an indie station...though that's probably owned by someone like clear channel as well. So while you have tons of stations to choose from (especially if you live in a city like I do) you have classical, classical/news, R & B, hip-hop for white people, hip-hop for black people, hard rock, oldies, soft rock, country, and oh god sooo many commercial and the DJs. Honestly folks just because you're hired to speak on the air does not mean that you are actually funny, or have interesting opinions.

I look at all of this and think to my self, well wouldn't Adorno have a veritable hay day. He was livid at the comodization of music in the 60's. He thought that recordings were in fact destroying music. perhaps I'll save this so that this post is not too epic...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


I realize I've been a bit negligent.....I will fix this soon.

but not today...or at least not right now....(study study study study)

Friday, May 04, 2007


I think that we do a lot of things in life to have a sense of power and control. This can manifest itself in big or little ways, whether it is putting on that pair of really tall sexy shoes or manipulating situations to your advantage, I think that we all in some way seek to control the situations that we place ourselves in.

I think that a lot of behavior that really disgusts us from the outside is the result of someone attempting to remain in control of their situation, more or less successfully as the case may be.

I know that I have a control issue when it comes to my life. I always like to be in control of my actions. The good results of this are things like very moderate drinking habits.

However I notice that this limits my singing sometimes. I won't just reach for something if I don't know exactly it will come out. I've made leaps and bounds in this department. Every time I let go I think that my sound becomes richer and freer. It's hard for me to ascertain this from in my head, but it does feel better. I remember the first time I let go to sing the top whistle notes in my range. It was scary, I had no idea what would come out of my mouth...and goodness all sorts of crazy things came out (it sort of clicks into place sometime). I can sing many of those notes by bringing my head voice up, but it is much healthier to just let go.

so apply to life? I think so. Sometimes I just have to let go of all the strands that I am trying to hold and ride whatever current for a moment. Life generally works out well, we just have to decide that we're going to let it.