Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Free Downloads

In today's New York Times appears a thorough expose of the state of the income of independent artists because of the upsurge of free and almost free downloads.  I am heartened that the number of people who stream my CDs on-line grows all the time, but discouraged that it takes longer and longer to reap a royalties check from the distributor (cdbaby).

Us indies produced the CDs ourselves at some cost and we have cartons of unsold inventory awaiting a far off  market of antique CD collectors to pay top dollar for them.

In the meantime we collect either $0.000 or, on average, $0.006 for each streamed track.

My occasional remarks on the cost of "free" apply here as well.

Oh, by the way, you can figure out for yourself how the business works: www.cdbaby.com or just Google my name.  You can also purchase actual CDs at www.tonalrefraction.net.

Improvising, Inventing, and Bach

When I first learned Bach there was no kidding around.  A theme was fixed in the brain, repeated as is; if articulated, then without variation.

There was that one pesky articulation in the F-minor Two-Part Invention, written two different ways (horror!) in Bach's own hand.  The universe collapsed.

Now we learn that the guiding principle of the day was variation, not repetition.  With each seeming repetition the performer was invited to find a new way to put life into the motif.  This is so appealing primarily because it is so amusing to hear a single idea morph into the potential many ideas.

What will it take to realize that children respond to this idea, that it does not need to be reserved for PhDs in performance practice.