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DistroKid!

Okay, heard about DistroKid through TechCrunch…  Big kudos to Philip Kaplan for coming out with the easiest distribution system for songwriters/artists to get their music out there – and out there is where the people are listening to music nowadays – Google Music, Amazon, iTunes and Spotify…

I signed up and had Free Spirits online and selling within minutes…  Very easy to do… and only $19.99 to upload unlimited tracks for 1 year… Now, I’m publishing myself, recording myself and distributing myself (with DistroKid) as a tool…

If you’re thinking of signing up, please use this link if you found this helpful as it could mean an unlimited account for me…

Time to finish that album and get it online and see where the chips fall… May the Muse be with you…

Juno 2012 Songwriter’s Circle Part 2

From the Juno Awards site:

And here’s part 2 of the Juno Songwriters’ Circle courtesy of the CBC with Terri Clark, Max Kergan and Dan Mangan as host… May the Muse be with you as you listen and enjoy great Canadian (unsung) songsters!

 

Juno 2012 Songwriter’s Circle


From the Juno Awards site:

JUNO Songwriters’ Circle brings together some of today’s most talented Canadian singer/songwriters, sharing songs and stories on stage. Host Dan Mangan hosted the discussion, perform some of his hit songs and got up-close with audiences in this truly unique setting and not-to-be-missed event.
Participating Artists: Host Dan Mangan will be joined on stage by fellow 2012 JUNO Award nominees David Francey, Kiran Ahluwalia, Lindi Ortega, Max Kerman (Arkells) and Terri Clark.
CBC has a great podcast of the circle and here’s part 1… May the Muse be with you as you listen and enjoy great Canadian (unsung) songsters!
 

ScoreAHit Web App – The Hit Equation

Well, now we can take the guess-work out of wondering if the songs we write will be hits… The science behind the ScoreAHit web app can be found here.  It’s all mathematics and formulae and “I’ve got algorithms”… here’s a very brief overview from the site:

The underlying assumption is that popular songs are similar with respect to a set of features that make them appealing to a majority of people. These features could then be exploited by Machine Learning algorithms in order to predict whether a song will rise to a high peak position in the chart. Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence concerned with learning to perform a task based on examples — in this case learning to predict hit potential based on past hits and non-hits.

And here are the factors measured by the algorithm in a tag picture format:

Kudos to Dr. Tijl De Bie for his work on this… it looks like a lot of fun and I’m going to submit a song or two to the Songometer when I get the link by email invitation…

I’ll report back on whether I’ve got algorithm or not… May the Muse (and Math) be with me…

Daddy-Daughter Science Song

Check out this article from Real Science about a professional musician helping his 6th grade daughter with a science project by co-writing/producing/mixing a song about the Northern Lights – the good old Aurora Borealis – boy, probably broke the rhyming dictionary with that one! 

Here’s a sample lyric:

Blue and purple nitrogen
Aurora, you never know how much I adore yaʼ
My magnetic field of dreams
Making magic out of photon streams
Those endless nights in the northern lights
Aurora

Maggie, the 6th grader, talks about the song here:

 

I know that there’s math in song, but apparently there’s science too… May the Muse stay with this Daddy-Daughter team!

Tunited – Social Network for Songsmiths?

Caught this interview of Midge Ure on the Daily Record’s website that deals with his establishment of an online social network for songwriters, music creators…

The site is called… you guessed it… Tunited… (Tunes+United I presume)…  Here’s some of the interview:

A teenage Midge Ure sat – guitar in hand – in his bedroom at his family home in Cambuslang and decided the time had come to write his first pop song.

As he nervously strummed the chords of new composition The Bowie Trilogy, a tribute to his music idol David, he thought, ‘This is what I want to do for the rest of my life’. His ambition far outweighed his early ability.

More than 40 years on Midge, 57, laughed: "The song was rubbish. Trouble was, I only had one part. I never got round to writing the other two sections of the track so it didn’t turn out to be much of a trilogy.

"I was so passionate about music. I firmly believed I’d be walking home from school and The Beatles would be waiting at my door saying. ‘We’ve sacked John, you’re the guy we really want’. I lived in total fantasy land. That was my reality but it was exciting to me."

Midge has been looking back at the origins of his incredible 35-year pop career to coincide with the launch of Tunited, a new online social music network he’s developed to help aspiring artists get their first step on the ladder to rock stardom and introduce fans to new music.

Midge spent four years building Tunited from scratch. Its aim is to encourage people to make music and get paid for it – an alien concept in an age of online piracy and free downloading.

Midge said: "Tunited is a DIY onestop shop for aspiring musicians. I’ve compresssed all the elements you need to make a living as an artist into this site.

"I’ve opened the door to everybody who wants to have a crack at making music or listen to new music.  The cost implications of going into a studio and making a record just aren’t there any more. We give you software good enough to make an album in your bedroom and a business pack showing you how to sell it.

"You can press up 1000 singles or just 25 copies to give to your mates. We also arrange gig swaps where a band in Newcastle can invite a band in Glasgow to support them and vice versa.

"You also get 100 per cent profits from songs which are downloaded. The artists all get paid – it might not be an awful lot but on other sites you don’t see a penny for your music. The quality of the work by new acts on Tunited has blown me away."

He said: "Today, if The Beatles were a new band and knocked on the door of a major record company or radio station with the Sergeant Pepper album the response would be, ‘Thanks but no thanks’. They wouldn’t fit the bill of what the industry deems hip and trendy.

"It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if 100,000 people turn up for an X Factor audition and only two are chosen that’s an awful lot of other people who’d like to have a crack at making music.

"It all comes down to whether you fit the demographic. If you don’t look right – if you’re too old, too thin or too fat, whatever – you’re going to be excluded, not given the opportunity to show what you can do.

"Tunited is saying, if you’ve got a skill – whether it’s singing, songwriting or as a musician – barter that skill. There is talent out there and we’ll give it a platform.

"Tunited is saying it’s time we did the job ourselves. If you’ve got the desire to do it have a crack at it, the tools are there."

Wow!  Very interesting concept… Best of luck Midge and may the Muse be with all Tunited users…  Look for me there…

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Songwriting Strategies

isw.netTom Slatter of Indiesongwriter.net is putting together a series of “songwriting strategy podcasts”.  Episode One was delivered by Tom himself and dealt with key changes, while Episode Two covered Nadia Cripps’ process to compose a new piano instrumental in one of her songs.

Check out the Songwriting Strategies podcasts and may the Muse be with you…

Win a Songwriting Session with Rivers Cuomo

Weezer have launched a contest allowing fans the ability to remix their song, "Love Is The Answer," from the band’s latest full-length, Raditude. The individual instrumental and vocal tracks are separated here, and a public vote will determine the top 10 entrants–each of whom will be featured on Weezer’s homepage and MySpace page and receive a signed copy of Raditude. The grand prize winner will be given the opportunity to participate in a one-on-one collaboration to create a new song with frontman Rivers Cuomo.

For more information and to enter, go here and may the Muse be with you…

Songpitch.ca To Launch Soon

songpitch[1]

The Songwriters Association of Canada and Astral Media Inc. recently announced the launch of a brand new Web portal for songwriters and composers across Canada.

The portal will revolutionize the music industry. It enables songwriters across the country to share their compositions, receive advice from industry professionals and offer their creations for sale to music buyers for television, film and other media. The new portal will also make it possible to replace the traditional practice of mailing CD demos to songwriters, musicians, agents and distributors.

Songwriters Eddie Schwartz, Jim Vallance, Greg Johnston and Marc Jordan, known for their songs performed by artists such as Pat Benatar, Diana Ross, Hilary Duff, Backstreet Boys, Bryan Adams and Olivia Newton John, are just some of the prominent industry members who will provide free, personalized feedback to songwriters who upload their songs to the platform.

"The launch of this new portal is in keeping with Astral Media’s creative and innovative spirit. Thanks to our work over the past few years with the Songwriters Association of Canada, we can have an immediate and significant impact on the careers of thousands of songwriters, aspiring and emerging artists and music program students across the country," said Jacques Parisien, Group President, Astral Media Radio and Astral Media Outdoor.

"When aiming to have a significant and immediate impact on emerging talent, aspiring and established artists, you must start at the bottom of the Canadian radio industry’s food chain. That is, to start with the songwriters. The Songwriters Association of Canada and Astral Media both know that it all starts with a song. Thanks to this partnership with Astral Media, a songwriter from any region of the country will have access to the industry’s senior decision makers as well as the advice of Canada’s most prolific songwriters," added Don Quarles, Executive Director of the Songwriters Association of Canada.

To learn more about the new portal and how it works, visit www.songpitch.ca.

The Songwriters Association of Canada is dedicated to the advocacy and education of Canadian songwriters and devoted to developing and nurturing songwriting communities across the country. Astral Media is one of Canada’s leading media companies, active in specialty and pay television, radio, outdoor advertising and interactive media.

When it’s live and I try it… I’ll let you know how the Muse works within this site, but I am looking forward to it… may the Muse be with you.

The Musical Brain

I read an article in our local weekly about producer Vanessa Dylyn (pictured left with Sting at McGill University) and her latest project, “which mixes neuroscience and music [and] examines what music can tell us about the human brain and the what the brain can tell us about music.”

Dylyn came across the book This is Your Brain on Music by Dr. Daniel Levitin (see my previous posts). She knew it would make the basis for a wonderful documentary straight away and I have to agree (and can’t wait to watch it).

CTV will be airing the documentary, The Musical Brain, this weekend (January 31, 2009 at 7 p.m.). Here is CTV’s description:

Using the research findings of leading medical experts, including Dr. Daniel Levitin (This is Your Brain on Music), the documentary examines the physical, psychological and emotional responses to music through a variety of tests on children and adults. ‘The Musical Brain’ also features candid interviews with Michael Bublé, Feist, Wyclef Jean and Sting who share what they have learned about the power of music in their lives.

In addition to discussing his passion for music, Sting puts his own musical mind to the test when he enters an fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine to have his brain scanned. Inspired by Dr. Daniel Levitin’s book, Sting undergoes tests to find out how music affects him on a physical and emotional level. Using state-of-the-art technology, ‘The Musical Brain’ demonstrates how Sting responds to various types of music – complex and simple – and what his musical brain reveals about him.

“Music is a gateway to emotion and memory, pleasure and intellectual stimulation throughout our lives,” says writer and director Christina Pochmursky. “‘The Musical Brain’follows Sting on his journey of discovery into his own musical brain, and also explores how music can define each stage of our lives.”

“This riveting documentary sheds light on the human musical experience and how science is teaching us more about it,” says Bob Culbert, Vice-President of CTV Documentaries. “The stories shared by the participating artists will resonate with viewers who understand the power of music in their own lives.”

May the Muse (and your brain) be with you…

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