When I embarked on this studio design and construction project, I was confident that the decision of which console to buy would be among the simplest, certainly easier than choosing the color scheme for the isolation booths and the control room, for example. Boy was I wrong!
Joi Ito invited me to be a speaker at the 2008 Ars Electronica Symposium and Festival, held each year in Linz, Austria. I chose to speak about Music, Software, and Sustainable Culture, tying together my free software and free culture sensibilities. But after discharging those responsibilities, and after meeting tons of new people and sharing lots of new information, it was time to come home.
This weekly update brings good news (the arrival of the 4″ polished blocks) and bad news (the senseless shredding of an important access path).
The following blog posting is an electronic version of the paper I presented at the Ars Electronica 2008 Symposium. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! You can also download the pdf file.
Music, Software, and Sustainable Culture
“A Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.”
—President Franklin D. Roosevelt
A letter sent to Governors on February 26, 1937
If we are to discuss the limits of intellectual property in the age of a new cultural economy (or vice-versa, the question of what new cultural economy can exist within the limits of modern-day intellectual property), we must first define the nature of these two subjects. Only then can we describe and then reason about their relationships and interactions with one another.
“If Hollywood could order intellectual property laws for Christmas, what would they look like? This is pretty close.”
ACTA is short for Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and, “that’s how David Fewer, staff counsel at the University of Ottawa’s Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), summed it up,” said p2pnet.
In another article, “America isn’t becoming a police state,” we said. “It’s turning into a massive entertainment division run by a handful of corporate dinosaurs fronted by groups of corrupt executive politicians.”
Page counts and advertising revenues may be down at our local newspaper, the News and Observer, but we still subscribe because it still brings us a lot of good news, reporting, and commentary. This morning I read a particularly inspiring article about John Heitzenrater, an expert in South Asian instruments.
The article begins by noting that Heitzenrater’s roots are Swedish, his accent American, “[but] when John Heitzenrater fiercely strums the sarod, the music resonates, transcending geographical and ideological boundaries.”
It turns out that Heitzenrater was inspired by one of the great boundary-trascendents, John McLaughlin…
20 pallets of RPG blocks arrived late last week, 12 pallets of 12″ blocks (which will become the frieze and the columns in the Music Room) and 8 pallets of 8″ blocks (which will provide diffusion below the soffits in the control room, booths A and B, and below the control room window in the Music Room).
Meanwhile, we’ve begun the concrete task of grading the blocks, which is a bit like playing a game of duplicate bridge…
There are a growing number   of stories lately about music studios opening up to a new way of doing things, namely the total integration of performance and experience that I call co-production. Here’s another story from the Music Producer’s Institute and their upcoming session with Radney Foster.
“Whether you are studying recording in school or on your own, let MPI show you the producer’s side of recording’s creative process, from start to finish: from pre-production to mastering. Founded by Grammy-winning producer Steve Fishell, MPI teaches you producing techniques that apply to all musical genres, from popular to fringe, indie to mainstream.
“Hear and see a real-world, master-level recording session as we track with world-class singers, musicians and engineers. Gain first-hand experience watching Grammy-winning industry pros at work at the Sound Emporium Studios, Nashville, TN.
“Hear daily special guest lecturers share their studio know-how, insights, tips and wisdom gained from decades of experience. Foster contacts with music industry pros and insiders.”
I think they’ve got an absolutely wonderful idea here…
This week saw the delivery of the 6″ blocks that will be used to build the garage. Here’s the before and after:
David Rose tipped me off to this story titled Peter Gabriel Considers Allowing Fans Into Recording Studio. The source for that story reports:
“The Incredible String Band wrote to their fans on their website and sold admission to their recordings… and that gave them the budget to purchase the studio time. They created a mini-economy based on 120 people.”
Props to Peter Gabriel for being able to manage the crush of 120 people in his studio (or at least be game to do so)!
Actually, I think this could be a significant turning point for the recording industry…