The death of CD sales + Why am I here?

What brought me to SAE and enrol in a degree of Studio Production, is a belief that I can create and record my own music but also eventually offer a service to others.

I’m at the stage of my life now where I’ve done everything I think I should have done, so now it’s time for me to do what I’ve always wanted to do after quite a few previous attempts. I’ve also discovered that I sit around all day with headphones on, listening to as music that I’ve recorded in an attempt to re-create what I hear in my mind or, what I imagine others would like to hear.

I’ve finally starting to get regular work as a musician and this has been a long held goal of mine, to either be a semi-professional musician or professional musician. In today’s economic climate, I think it’s very important for me to adopt a business – like approach to making music and eventually offer a service to others to assist in the very important process of creative expression.

Music is most likely a very important part of every culture and in some cultures it’s more important than others. What drives me forward is a desire to be creative and share the results with others through live music performance, studio recording for myself and eventually for others. I’d like to improve and refine the results of my creative endeavour to the point where it is widely accepted as ‘broadcast quality’ and is well written enough for people to want to own it or, download it or more than likely, rip it off You Tube for free.

My decision to enter into formal study at SAE in a degree of studio production, comes at a time when the recording industry and revenue from recordings is undergoing major changes such as You Tube, iTunes and Spotify. Artists must now find new and creative ways to not only raise the money necessary to pay for the creation and recording of music within a studio environment but also to receive some form of payment for the all the hard work that goes into a recorded piece of music. Some of these concerns are expressed in the article below:

The CD is not dead, yet! – The Economist


What’s interesting is that artists are now finding that social media can not only assist in the promotion of their work but also:

“about finding new ways to explore social media and turn it into a medium of expression…the same with a painting, or films, it’s sort of like social art in real time.”

This was a quote from David Menzel, the guitarist, from a Vancouver-based progressive-rock trio ‘We Are The City’, who streamed the entire process of recording the making of their latest album. He goes on to state that the stream:

“was a success because we did it and enjoyed it…as far as selling records, or thinking like the industry, no one cares about that stuff. How our album does is totally relative. Are you looking at it from what Drake does, or small indie bands from Canada?”

So, while there are valid concerns that I have regarding how profitable will this venture be within an economy on the downturn and major changes in the traditional ways that revenue has been collected from the sales of recording on either CD or vinyl. I take some encouragement from very established rock musicians such as Iggy Pop, who offer their opinions on the current state of the music industry, the ability of artists to collect royalties from recordings and also, the nature of creative process and what makes some recorded works, more powerful and relevant than others.

Iggy Pop’s, BBC – John Peel Lecture: Free Music In A Capitalist Society

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Iggy Pop talks not only about the nature of freedom in the creative process and applies that label to recorded works various other forms of art and the media. He identifies two types of in relation to art and the media. The freedom to create without restraint and the importance of the artist or musician staying true to their artistic integrity by suggesting that:

“Capital investment, for all it’s posturing, never really leads, it always follows. They follow the action. So if it’s money you’re after, be yourself, in a consistent way…”

He identifies a second kind of freedom that is related to the intended audience of a recorded work which he states is the idea of ‘giving freely’, where the artist is not primarily concerned with receiving a profit from their work but is more interested in the act of creating something of importance to themselves. That type of creative endeavour is identified as having lasting value because of the palpable energy that the recorded work is endowed with.

So with this in mind, I start this new chapter of my life where my desire for self-expression within music and the recording process are given emphasis despite the obvious financial pitfalls and trust that whatever I have to offer will be worthwhile.

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