Thursday, May 20, 2010

Various - Despite the Downturn: An Answer Album

Various - Despite the Downturn: An Answer Album
Date: 2010-05-03
Style: Experimental, Avant-garde, Ambient

This is’s streaming-audio service. The interface immediately below will stream in sequence a series of tracks that I commissioned from the musicians. What they all have in common is that each is a response to — a non-verbal answer to — an article from the May 2010 issue of The Atlantic. The article, by an editor at the magazine, Megan McArdle, was titled “The Freeloaders.” It purported to assess the impact of file-sharing on the music industry, but it framed the argument in a manner that (in my mind) contributed little to the important ongoing discussion about the nature of copyright in the Internet Age; instead, it simplistically equated the “music industry” with the record industry, and pointed an accusatory finger. The article was accompanied by this beautiful illustration by Jeremy Traum. In a small irony, the illustration used to decorate the article interpolated a detail of a preexisting work that appears to not yet be in the public domain:

Since the purpose of this album is to respond musically to McArdle, I’ll now let the music speak for itself. Some contributors used the notes as a starting point, while others took the canvas as a picture to be interpreted:

1: “Adieu for Industry” by Sighup (aka Steve Hamann)
2: “StaffGrabbing” by C. Reider
3: “Discard” by Moldilox (aka Joseph Luster)
4: “Upend (Based On Traum)” by Mark Rushton
5: “Weight Mass Density” by NQ (aka Nils Quak)
6: “Atlantic Sickness (For Nomad Palace)” by He Can Jog (aka Erik Schoster)
7: “McArdle Minuet” by Tom Moody
8: “Freeloader’s Theme” by My Fun (aka Justin Hardison)
9: “Is It Theft?” by Jettatura (James Rotondi)
10: "That's a Traum! [Brontosaurus]" by Simon Lott and Beta Collide


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