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New Delia Derbyshire tapes discovered

Read the full article (with audio!) on the BBC website

A hidden hoard of recordings made by the electronic music pioneer behind the Doctor Who theme has been revealed – including a dance track 20 years ahead of its time.

Delia Derbyshire was working in the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop in 1963 when she was given the score for a theme tune to a new science fiction series.

She turned those dots on a page into the swirling, shimmering Doctor Who title music – although it is the score’s author, Ron Grainer, who is credited as the composer.

Doctor Who title sequence

Now David Butler, of Manchester University’s School of Arts, Histories and Cultures has revealed for the first time the existence of 267 tapes found in Ms Derbyshire’s attic when she died in 2001.

They were, until last March, in the safekeeping of Mark Ayres, archivist for the Radiophonic Workshop – and have lain unheard for more than 30 years.

[via Create Digital Music]

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Trent Reznor Walks the Walk

After his previous experiment with Saul Williams was not quite a rousing success, I figured that Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor was done toying with the music business model. Turns out that he was just getting started. The new Nine Inch Nails album is now available in multiple forms. The first part is available for free in high quality on bit torrent sites. The whole thing is available for download for $5 off the Nine Inch Nails site with a killer booklet in PDF. You can buy the 2 CDs for $10, and then there are two limited edition packages for $75 and $300.

I think this is just brilliant. Basically, he gives his fans choices at reasonable price points and makes it hard for them to not do the right thing.

As other high-profile artists emerge from their traditional contracts, I expect that we’ll see a lot more movement towards self-distribution. Especially, with artists like NIN and Radiohead who have a large percentage of their audience on-line already and can do better without the overhead of a large record label.

via Mashable

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Karlheinz Stockhausen R.I.P.

Create Digital Music » Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pioneering Composer, Dies

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Radiohead and the future of the music industry

a couple references:

We’re entering a new phase of the industry and it seems like things are starting to take shape where things were very unclear before. The writing has been on the wall for a long time for the CD. Download is just easier. The CD itself spelled its own doom by downplaying the fetishism of the original vinyl albums: people used to stare at 12″ album covers, if people look at CD booklets once, they almost never look at them twice.

The question has been more about DRM and pricing since iTunes, and it still is, but the future is written on the wall. The bigger question is about the eventual structure of the music business.

Are record companies still relevant? Sure, as promotions vehicles. As talent identification agencies, not so much anymore. That is something they brought onto themselves, though. The way forward for the record labels could have been as the talent scouts. They could have taken advantage of the lowered barriers to entry and lower costs and let a lot of artists bloom. Some of these artists would become mega-stars, some would be marginally profitable and some would lose money (but less money that they would in the old days). Overall, the labels would have probably ended up more profitable and more relevant. Instead, they went the other way. They circled wagons around their big money makers and only signed artists that sounded exactly like their big money makers. Now their money makers are wondering why they have these leeches attached to their earnings when they can do it themselves and the labels are in a true pickle.

The piece of information I’m desperate for as various artists do these experiments around digital pricing is the question that isn’t asked. “Why did you chose to pay what you did?” We can all speculate, but getting the average amount someone willingly paid for a download is one thing, but knowing why they paid that is just (if not more) interesting.  Some more data points not collected: did people download the InRainbows record off bittorrent because they didn’t like giving personal information to the Radiohead store, or did the store not work for them, or was it too slow, or was it just easier since they already used bittorrent all the time anyway?

I hope that future experiments along these lines will ask some questions and tell all of us the answers.

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oh the beauty and the insanity

So, Van Halen’s backing synth tracks were played back at the wrong sample rate during their biggest hit, and then it all goes horribly, beautifully wrong.

[via CreateDigitalMusic]

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Nice little profile of Bjork’s musical technical director

Apple – Pro – Profiles – Alan Pollard

These Apple profiles are usually interesting reads, even if they are the web equivalent of infomercials. I’m always a fan of reading about some of the interesting setups that the big-time musicians use. Bjork’s set-up isn’t too goofy, but it is interesting that she is integrating the more abstract UIs from the various tools that her band is using to make the electronic stuff more compelling to her audience. Also, it must be nice to be able to borrow one of the two react-tables in extistance and then bring it on a tour.

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Dick Dale’s advice to young musicians

Change this to independant media creators and it still makes sense in these days when you can do it all yourself if you are willing to do the work.

[via This Week In Media]

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Music business panel videos on

Branding the music artist
The long tail of Music
Music Marketing 2.0
The Future of Music
All of these are related to the article: Way Behind The Music

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Tom Waits / Elvis Costello conversation

I hadn’t seen this one in a while, but discovered it again. It’s got some meat in there about their approaches to music.

Tom Waits – in conversation with Elvis Costello Interview
Option magazine, July/Aug 1989

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truly innovative approach to music/social networking…

Amie Street

These guys are doing something really smart. All songs are free to start with, and increase in price as they increase in popularity. This is insanely smart for musicians and for music fans. It makes trying out a new band nearly painless. It is also DRM-free, which I have to admit I like as a music fan (but am a bit more dubious about as a content creator).

If these guys can get some traction, this would be a great site for new bands to build an audience. My one complaint is that actually finding music on the site wasn’t as easy as I’d like it to be. I had to search for a band before I could find charts, but even then, I wouldn’t mind some sort of flat list of bands by genre or something so that I could really explore. That is a major nit for this kind of site, but is easily fixed.

One other thing I like about these guys from their for-artists page:
# Amie Street takes no ownership of your music, nor do we ask that you sell exclusively on Amie Street. There is no digital rights management software (DRM) on Amie Street.
# Amie Street does not charge a monthly fee or a sign up fee.

Something that is very cool about all these new web 2.0 music sites is that they are blazing the trail for the indie film sites of tomorrow. Pandora or could just as easily be customized video channels. Amie Street could sell video downloads just as simply…

Courtesy of TechCrunch

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