Publishing music as a living eco system

As a member of Barefoot Records, I am fortunate to be part of a vibrant and inspiring environment of excellent improvisers and composers. This is an environment of people, who – as improvisors – see music as something that is susceptible to immediate changes in the surroundings; these are artists that are challenging the mainstream understanding of music, both from within, – in the internal logic of musical forms – and from without, – in the way music is presented and the way it interacts with its audience.

Being part of this collective of musicians, with their steady production of albums and concerts, has given me a strong impulse – and a forum – to question the way music is published and distributed.

The fact is that although in these time we have an ocean of new opportunities to create interaction and context dependency in the digital media, the record industry is still stuck in a linear, closed format when publishing music. Whether we are talking downloads or streaming, the end result is still the same kind of linear, black boxed product that we have seen since the first recording technologies in the beginning of the 20th century.

Since when did we accept the idea about music as a static product, immune to the context in which it is experienced? We want to challenge that! We want to develop a new form of publication which is taking the vibrant liveliness of music, that we know from the concert, and bring it to the everyday experience of music, – in the headphones, the living room, and wherever people choose to listen to music.

This project unfolds in three stages:

  1. A living work
    This is a pilot phase, where the goal is to create a work which, depending on the time, place and other variables at the moment, will sound different every time you listen to it. It is a collaboration between composers and musicians from Barefoot Records.
    The work developed in MaxMSP and published and distributed to the desktop.
    Read about the living album here, and join us in its development
  2. Naked Toe (working title)
    Following the evaluation of feedback from users and creators the project continues in an operational phase, where we develop a series of living works
    This phase opens up  for a number of collaborations where we can curate works by other composers and musicians. It is a platform which also allows for the (re) release of music that has never been suitable for the linear formats – there is a treasure of open form works waiting to find the right format of publishing.
    This phase will involve visual artists and designers, and we can collaborate on releasing works in the form of living sound sculptures.
  3. The big picture
    We want to challenge the way people listen and relate to music. In this phase, the task is to develop an app and / or browser-based platform, where users can experience the live plants and record “live” versions which they can comment and share with other users

The first two phases of the project will unfold within the format of artistic research, and the funding will most likely come from national art funds and private funding .

The third phase will need a good deal of financialisation, and the model for this phase is the tech startup. A lot of funding is possible for this format, and the success of the phase is depending on the results and experiences in the first two steps.

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