When Anais fell asleep in my arms this weekend, there was, luckily, an old New Yorker beside the recliner. I grabbed it with my free hand and greatly enjoyed David Brooks’s article, Social Animal. Here is a long lovely closing passage.
“I guess I used to think of myself as a lone agent, who made certain choices and established certain alliances with colleagues and friends,” he said. “Now, though, I see things differently. I believe we inherit a great river of knowledge, a flow of patterns coming from many sources. The information that comes from deep in the evolutionary past we call genetics. The information passed along from hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family, and the information offered months ago we call education. But it is all information that flows through us. The brain is adapted to the river of knowledge and exists only as a creature in that river. Our thoughts are profoundly molded by this long historic flow, and none of us exists, self-made, in isolation from it.
“And though history has made us self-conscious in order to enhance our survival prospects, we still have deep impulses to erase the skull lines in our head and become immersed directly in the river. I’ve come to think that flourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-consciousness and become fused with other people, experiences, or tasks. It happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool. It happens sometimes while you’re playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God’s love. And it happens most when we connect with other people. I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year.”
Roundup of quotes from interesting articles.
It’s about recognizing that the music itself can enhance the value of everything else, whether it’s shows, access or merchandise, and that letting fans share music can help increase the market and create more fans willing to buy compelling offerings. It’s about recognizing that even when the music is shared freely, there are business models that work wonders, without copyright or licensing issues even coming into play.
– The Future Of Music Business Models (And Those Who Are Already There)
The first “leveling” came with ProTools. Then came non-label distribution. Now social media has emerged and…
We now arrive at a place where musicians/artists are comparable to chefs. All chefs, within reason, have access to the same ingredients…
Being an “artist” today means coming to terms with this leveling. How will you put your ingredients together in a manner that creates attraction and retention. These ingredients go beyond the musical notes, obviously, and relate to all facets of your work: your relationship with your market, your “brand,” etc.
What I think I’m most looking forward to, beyond the emergence of music/art that never would have emerged prior to this Leveling, is the lack of excuses that will exist… Since forever the artists’ fingers have wagged at: the label, the distributor, the publicist, the radio person, the web designer, the booking agent, the management … pretty much everyone but themselves.
The future belongs to those like Thomas Keller, David Chang, Ferran Adrià, Chris Bianco. Artists who use the ingredients that are available to everyone else, but combine them – in an alchemical manner – to create something truly remarkable and unique.
So…no excuses, right?
– Coin a Phrase: The Leveling
George, of 9 Giant Steps also thinks VRM is where it’s at:
My hope is that content holders will make it even easier for their customers to engage with their content… VRM is that “Customers are born free and independent of vendors.” Another is, “Customers can assert their own terms of engagement and service.” It would behoove all of us on the supply-side to remember these things.
Tom Asacker warns against outdated concepts of branding:
So what’s next? Certainly not “branding;” at least not in the conventional sense. The notion that a marketplace offering is a static, transactional thing that needs the right injection of cosmetics and communication to bring it to life is flawed thinking in today’s environment…
Ours is an era of purpose and action. What’s next are ideas and creative execution.
– Branding Is A Dangerous Concept