Hi all, just wanted you let you know that my new “album”, Cloud Computing has just been released as of today. It’s available for digital download at iTunes and Google Play — and should be available in Amazon Mp3, Spotify and a dozen other stores by the end of the week.
I put “album” in quotes mostly because this project isn’t your usual ambient (or post-ambient) album — it’s an ongoing research project in search of a new business model for independent and aspiring musicians in the post-internet world. Every track I made is accompanied by a journal entry that documents the concepts, motivations, and approaches that went into the making of each recording that hopefully gives an idea of how musical styles may (or may not) evolve over time as it comes into contact with outside feedback. I’ve used ideas from traditional entrepreneurial theories as well as “Lean Startup” principals that heavily borrow from the culture and methodologies developed in the tech sector. (Reference: Steve Blank’s Four Steps to the Ephiphany, Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup, and Brant Cooper/Patrick Vlaskovits’ The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Customer Development.)
In line with the speed and abundance that technology has given society over the last few decades, the album contains 2.5 hours of music that was made within a time-span of 2 months, from beginning to finish. Cloud Computing can basically be thought of as the Freemium model model of music, applied from the very beginning of its conception all the way into its execution and promotional stages. You can hear the entire album as a YouTube playlist or read/listen to each track on the website for free. The “premium” service of the uninterrupted, ad-less experience lies in the purchasing of the album itself or doing a live performance. Similar things have been attempted by musicians before (including myself), but this was the first time I felt that I was able to create something where I was able to cover all of the angles all at once.
To plug the project a bit more, here’s a few nice comments I got from an anonymous reviewer on SoundOut.com:
Cloud Computing No.5:
I thought that the piano track was really out of this world, unlike anything I can ever recall hearing. The song was evocative, transportive, and immersive, and really captivated me from the opening bars. This song was ineffable in its sublimity, and really created a sonic dreamscape on the walls of my imagination. The song had a reverberant resonance and an exhilarating sonority to it that really made the hairs on my arms stand up.
I marveled at the originality of the sound, and the majestic, symphonic aesthetic that the song created. I had a hard time placing any one particular instrument, with the possible exception of the piano playing which was clearly the work of a true virtuoso. The musicianship was just astonishing on this track, and I think it really takes a true craftsman to create an instrumental piece of music as lush as this one.
This was definitely a deviation for the norm for a rock and roll enthusiast like myself, but it was a most welcome one. While this kind of music might not be for everyone, those with more cultured, refined, and eclectic tastes will be mightily impressed by what they hear here. It was quite a trip, and I thank the band for taking me on it.
Every track made for this project was “pure” improvisation (nothing pre-written, pre-planned) and the part numbers (1,2,3, etc.) are sequenced according to the date that it was created. There have been no cuts, edits or splices done on any of the recordings because everything was played straight through from beginning to end, including the ones that I’ve played with Melinda, our violinist-in-residence. I felt that it was important to do this in order to preserve the “realism” and authenticity of the process, regardless if the individual tracks themselves could be considered a success or failure by market (or artistic) standards.
To improv is to improve — the project and process of Cloud Computing attempts to encapsulate the idea that truth and honesty can drive ideas toward greater heights. It’s a glimpse into the artistic and creative process, story-told from the perspective of an entrepreneur. If you’ve enjoyed the experience of it, send me some feedback or consider becoming a supporter of the project! Music entrepreneurship is likely to become a big thing — or even the norm — in the next few years, so it’s an opportunity to get in early and make an impact on the movement’s direction.
As always, thanks goes out to Melinda Rice for playing the violin and putting up with my crazy ideas. Hire her if you’re in LA and need a good violin or viola player/teacher.