Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The day I downloaded myself

A day much like any other...

It’s a peculiar life being a minor musician or a songwriter in these digital times. The market is flooded with home made, self penned, desk top designed and published up material that each hopeful musician sees as his or her finest work. Most of it remains out there, undiscovered on the web, in dusty CD piles or trotted out occasionally for a live performance in the back room of some good humoured pub or community centre. Once in a while there will be a solitary sale, some feedback or a blog comment before the continued pursuit of vigorous anonymity resumes. If, as we are, you are content with this fate then really it’s ok, your small mark has been made, your time bomb has been planted and the fevered act of creation has now cooled into something substantial and complete though naturally now framed in obscurity. So if you want more how do you console yourself, how do you justify the effort, possible expenditure and the slow realisation that your works in a long queue to be heard and discovered? The still, small voice tells you that the odds of them being heard or appreciated by any kind of reasonable audience are lottery sized or worse.

One answer is to give it away, forget the prices, the costs, the penny a play sites and the rip-off merchants who charge you $100 to be stigmatized on some compilation that may or may not make the earshot of some mobile phone advertising exec. Just give it away, again and again. Life is too short to wait on the ting of the cash register and the lengthy delays from third party provider payouts or for some drunken punter to argue over £3 for a CD - and you don’t really need that pointless anxiety. In the last few months we’ve had over 3000 free listens and 100 free downloads compared to no CD sales, 1 itunes sale and a few cents of streaming money. Relax and give it away and enjoy the vicarious pleasure of having multitudes of unseen, singleton listeners – and even if things get tough you'll never ever feel you need to explain or justify another CD spectacle to friends or family.

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