Bundle Update

I’ve been lost in opera/thesis land for a while, hiding out in my parents’ jungle-like garden home. I haven’t been keeping up with the outside world all that well (the vegetation is thick!), but I bring you a few updates on older stuff and a peek at a new initiative to promote experimental music.

A couple of weeks ago, in The Power of Bundles, I talked about a nifty site selling indie music as a pay-what-you-want bundle. With only 10 hours left to go, I went to check out its progress. It seems the sales slowed down a little after the initial spurt and the total now sits around $400,000. It’s a healthy $66,000 per album minus charity and the website’s share. More importantly, this music reached an audience of almost 50,000 people. Definitely an idea worth exploring for contemporary art music.

I’d like to point out a new experimental music company braving the web frontier. Soundcarrier Music Network* is a new site founded by Halifax musicians Norman Adams and Alex Kall active in the Atlantic improv scene. The site distributes “improvised, experimental, new and free music” selling both studio albums and high quality live recordings. The approach recognizes the value of distributing rougher concert recordings, which is especially appropriate for the more improv-based scene they cater to. The site also charges more for individual tracks longer than 10 minutes. Soundcarrier’s catalogue is still quite small and I’m not sure how they are promoting themselves, but it’s worth keeping an eye on them if you are into that sort of thing.

In Explores of New Frontiers I talked about a somewhat misguided use of crowdfunding platforms. I hoped to be wrong because they seem like a lovely organization, but a month in, that particular campaign is sitting at only $380. But they still have 27 days to go. Maybe their fans will come through in the end.

In other news, I finally bought my plane tickets to Kyiv (Kiev) and will have the pleasure of spending the night on a bench at the Frederic Chopin airport in Warsaw. I am expecting a piano at every gate featuring skillful renditions of mazurkas and nocturnes by the flight attendants. It should set me up nicely for my work in Ukraine (see Village Crawl in Ukraine).

* University-trained musicians love long names and ‘networks.’ Perhaps they felt the need to expand it out because there are already quite a few things named ‘soundcarrier’ floating around on the web, including a maker of amplifiers and a band.

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