Putting a value on recorded music

I can’t change the fact that my paintings don’t sell. But the time will come when people will recognize that they are worth more than the value of the paints used in the picture.
— Vincent Van Gogh (Attributed)

There was a time when digital media was not so cheap as to be essentially free.  In 1979 my father brought home a Cromemco Z2D with a 10MB winchester hard disk. I believe that computer cost $10,000, which was quite a lot back then. Three years later I got a summer job writing assembly code for a new Cromemco graphics board, and my goal for the summer was use my employee privileges to purchase a brand-new 50MB SCSI hard disk at cost: $5000. It was in that context that I first heard about the join SONY/Philips project to develop a 700MB CD-ROM for digial audio music.

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Food For Thought

Physical construction has not yet begun, but the website is up and ready for business. The plan for this blog is to write and reflect on ideas that don’t have a proper home in the website proper–ideas that expand beyond “what is the one thing you want people to remember about your studio/site/project/etc.” So for ideas more complex than “I NEED TO BOOK TIME AT MANIFOLD RECORDING RIGHT NOW”, this might be a good place to start.

One idea that seems to have no place on a website about music and recording studios is food, specifically, slow food. The slow food movement is the brainchild of Carlo Petrini, a gregarious, optimistic Italian who believes that food should be good (authentic & delicious), clean (healthy to grow and healthy to eat), and fair (to the farmer and to the community). When I consider the lot of the average talented musician, one who struggles to realize their artistic vision in an authentic way, one who worries about the adverse effects that loud music is having on their own health and the health of those who listen to their performances, one who cannot afford to live by the practice of music alone, I wonder: where is the good, the clean, and the fair in music? How can we re-imagine music as Carlo Petrini has re-imagined food?

I won’t answer such a profound question right off the bat–there are too many interesting angles to consider to try to answer even the most basic in this first real post. (Carlo Petrini wrote Slow Food Nation, a 300 page book answering his questions–I hope I can do it in fewer.) But I will leave you with this provocative thought: evolution teaches us that the bones of the mamalian ear evolved from bones of the jaw. Might it therefore be literally true that music is indeed food for the soul? If so then I believe it should be good, clean, and fair!