I like to think. I like to know how things work. I also like music.
My entire career has been spent in the music business. Though I consider myself a musician, (I’m trained in performance, theory and history) handling the business has always been my passion. Whether at a record company or a not-for-profit performing arts organization, my role has been behind the scenes. My job is to help artists execute their creative vision. And while they do, I handle the details so that they don't have to. I’m also a scientist. My interest in physics stems from a desire to know how things work. I appreciate deep thinking and believe that through investigation and experimentation, the truth can be discovered.
It’s no secret that the music business is undergoing tremendous change. Every day, we hear stories of some business, company, artist or brand that is under siege. Long-standing business models are being disrupted. New technologies are emerging. Despite all this change, creativity remains a constant, and more and more people consume music.
My job is to handle the business of being creative, so I need to be well-versed in how this change impacts artists. I’ve started this blog to help sort out for myself the changes taking place and to serve as a way to think more deeply about them.
To me, art is ultimately a search for understanding, for greater insight into our thoughts, feelings and emotions. It takes place as a conversation, a dialog between the artist and his or her audience. Hopefully, this blog will do the same. By creating a conversation about the rampant changes in the music business, perhaps there are insights that can be learned.
The music business is incredibly complex. In an attempt to understand it, we oftentimes try to reduce it to formulaic conventions. However, these conventions are old: they represent the “old” business. It’s time to embrace that complexity, to break it down, to understand it, and then to reassemble a new model that looks toward the future.
I plan to talk broadly about the music business. I want to explore technology and its effects, rights, intellectual property and privacy issues, funding and marketing, performance practice, and recording technique. I want to pose questions and try to answer some. I want to think about the issues and share what I know. And maybe, just stumbling through this will give me a deeper understanding of the changes taking place.
I hope this will become a place for a lively discussion about the business of the music business. Please feel free to comment. I look forward to our conversation.
(With thanks to Mack Collier for his post on writing a first blog post.)