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  • On An Overgrown Path: Classical music has a new audience but nobody noticed
    technology allowed newspaper content to be made available free online just as classical music is being streamed free online This precipitated a massive shift from print to online content Publishers have belatedly countered this by offering content for monthly online subscriptions that generate far less revenue than traditional printed papers Spotify and Apple Music are the classical equivalents But despite this newspapers are hemorrhaging cash Take the case of the Guardian the news media equivalent in status and quality of the Berlin Philharmonic or London Symphony Orchestra In its current financial year the Guardian will have burnt through almost 80 million in cash and as a result is being forced to cut its costs including staff by 20 And classical music please note success online does not compensate for failure elsewhere The Guardian is the world s second most popular English language news website This is an impressive achievement that has failed to solve the newspaper s financial woes because unless you are Google or Facebook it is very difficult to monetise Internet traffic Disruptive technology surplus capacity and faltering demand are facts of life in classical music Yet the response of the London Symphony Orchestra to which Simon Rattle is moving from the Berlin Philharmonic is simply to press for increased capacity in the form of an expensive new concert hall just yards from a perfectly serviceable alternative opened in 1982 Classical music is far from dead and if it is smart it will not be playing to empty halls in the future But it must adapt its business to appeal to the new self curating heterogeneous audience and those changes must be far more fundamental than allowing applause between movements boosting Facebook likes and building yet more concert halls At the root of the problem is the inequality between classical music s superstars and the rest The top 1 not only enjoy eye watering incomes but they are afforded a status by a sycophantic media that belittles the huge number of fine musicians working in the many other ensembles away from major metropolitan centres The result is that grassroot professional music making has become no more than a training ground for tomorrow s superstars an invidious process that simply raises financial expectations throughout a fiscally challenged industry Celebrity classical music is a dinosaur that is feeding off the carcass of the moribund traditional audience The spotlight needs to be shifted both in finance and status to the rump of non celebrity professional and amateur musicians and ensembles who are better positioned to weather the coming financial storm Flattening the supply pyramid will also bring the diversity that classical music needs to meet the demands of the new heterogeneous audience Classical music may not be dead but in its present form it is a car crash looking for a place to happen New hands are needed on the wheel to prevent endless rounds of 20 cuts mounting operating deficits and closures of grassroots ensembles Header photo from Blog Vegas

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2016/02/classical-music-has-new-audience-but.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Master musician who never performed in public
    on a career in the Persian judiciary under the reforming Reza Khan His career spanned almost three decades and he rose to the position of chief judge of the criminal court of appeal in Tehran the highest rank attainable in the judiciary In these roles he became celebrated for his resistance to the corruption in Persia s criminal justice system Throughout this high profile judicial career Ostad Elahi remained committed to spiritual and musical development and this led to his encounters with Yehudi Menuhin and Maurice Béjart during his time in Tehran His development took him to away from his spiritual and musical roots to develop a synthesis that was more relevant to the mid 20th century From Ahl e Hagg he moved on to advocate a syncretic approach to faith that reflected the perennialism of René Guénon but which retained its veneration for Alī bin Abī Ṭālib In the compilation of his teachings The Path of Perfection Ostad Elahi describes how Music is a divine creation Music was created to express and awaken spiritual emotions To achieve this awakening he advocates the Sufi practice of zekr or zikr the remembrance of God through music leading to ecstasy Although Ostad Elahi never gave a concert and made no commercial recordings numerous recordings were made by his disciples and for some of these the microphone was in the next room to avoid alerting the master to the presence of a tape recorder Many of these unofficial recordings have been released on the Chant du Monde label in acceptable sound despite their unusual provenance As an introduction The Sacred Lute The Art of Ostad Elahi a 2 CD overview compiled for the 2014 Metropolitan Museum New York exhibition celebrating his art and music is recommended Samples of his playing and an excellent documentary introduction can be found in a WNYC programme linked to the exhibition These archive recordings are a million miles from the fashionable world music that Ross Daly describes as an offshoot of the pop music industry with an emphasis on party music Instead they allow us to experience music that Yehudi Menuhin described as very sensitive very powerful and at the same time very precise and pure No review samples used in this post Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Also on Facebook and Twitter Posted by Pliable at Tuesday February 09 2016 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Ahl e Hagg cathars Estad Elahi gnosticism islam Kurdistan Maurice Béjart Metropolitan Museum New York Ross Daly sufism Yehudi Menuhin Zoroastrianism No comments Post a Comment Newer Post Older Post Home Subscribe to Post Comments Atom Chance headlines Loading Search On An Overgrown Path Loading Blog Archive 2016 19 February 5 Classical music has more than one glass ceiling Classical music has a new audience but nobody noti Master musician who never performed in public Wanted

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2016/02/master-musician-who-never-performed-in.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: What price classical music's celebrity culture?
    funding it needs to be far more transparent as to how that money is spent Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material is included as fair use for critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Posted by Pliable at Tuesday October 13 2015 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels andrew clements arts council england gustavo dudamel london symphony orchestra Rolex valery gergiev 6 comments Pliable said More hard information on the balance or imbalance in the distribution of funding within classical music is provided by Drew McManus orchestra compensation reports http www adaptistration com the orchestra compensation reports 1 55 pm Pliable said While on this thread I find it disappointing that the London Symphony Orchestra still has British American Tobacco as a corporate sponsor In the UK tobacco companies are allowed to sponsor cultural and sporting events on the condition that they use their company name rather than a brand of cigarettes So the LSO is within the letter of the law But it does not help foster an ethically responsible image for classical music http www overgrownpath com 2011 12 classical musics ethically compromised html http lso co uk support us thank you 2 49 pm Graeme said This is a hard one The conjunction of ethics and music Should I deplore the music of Duke Ellington in the 1920s because he developed it at the Cotton Club funded by thugs and bootleggers Should I deplore the music of Earl Hines and his band in Chicago because he was employed by Al Capone Without the gangsters bootleggers etc what we know as classic jazz might just have withered on the vine no recordings no airtime Obviously we are living in different times If you are outside the mainstream you can use youtube facebook and internet radio to gain exposure in a way that would have been impossible in the 1920s and 30s But orchestral uses of web media are odd and clumsy the streaming the control they want to keep why not put the music out there and gamble that the public might want to hear it live in a real acoustic 12 02 am Pliable said Graeme I agree with your comment But it only applies to my thoughts on the LSO and BAT which were an aside rather than part of the main thrust of the post The main thrust was non judgemental This debate is not about whether celebrity conductors are paid too much it is about transparency If fees that represented a material part of an orchestra s outgoings were disclosed everyone could come to their own conclusions on important questions such as whether classical music s limited funding is distributed unequally 11 09 am Graeme said I just ventured into the LSO accounts for 2014 filed at the Charity Commission and as a qualified accountant I find them rather opaque in a way that the accounts of Facebook

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2015/10/what-price-classical-musics-celebrity.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: This digital fixation is damaging live classical music
    the charkha the spinning wheel which represents self sufficiency underpinned by mutual co operation In the frantic search for new audiences classical music has lost the balance between digital solutions and analogue reality between virtual concert halls and the human interplay of experiential live music Schadenfreude needs to be indulged in very sparingly But Halldor s comment did remind me of my 2010 heretical re working of Britten s celebrated Aspen Award acceptance speech Anyone anywhere at any time can listen to the B minor Mass upon one condition only that they possess a computer No qualification is required of any sort faith virtue education experience age Thanks to the internet music is now free for all If I say the computer is the principal enemy of music I don t mean that I am not grateful to it as a means of education or study But it is not part of true musical experience Regarded as such it is simply a substitute and dangerous because deluding Music demands more from a listener than simply the possession of a computer It demands some preparation some effort a journey to a special place saving up for a ticket some homework on the programme perhaps some clarification of the ears and sharpening of the instincts It demands as much effort on the listener s part as the other two corners of the triangle this holy triangle of composer performer and listener Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Posted by Pliable at Monday September 08 2014 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels arts council england benjamin britten Berlin Philharmoniker digital concert hall Halldor India Mahatma Gandhi naxos music library Sudheendra Kulkarni 1 comment Callum Hackett said There are two things that come to my mind on this issue which may make me sound as though I am playing devil s advocate to myself a sign that there is no reasonable answer that declares digital listening emphatically good or bad The first is that there is a false equivocation in our perception of the internet which touches everything not just music We 1 observe that the internet connects more people than ever before and 2 assume that this means more people than ever before have the ability to form their own audiences In fact because of the way our attentions are focused particularly through mass social media the internet has become a massive force for centralisation Even digitally fame still begets fame and the American Dream version of internet communication that you can reach the people you need to reach if only you try hard enough is a myth except for the lucky At the same time we have to remember to not be concrete in our conception of what music is and what musical experiences

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2014/09/this-digital-fixation-is-damaging-live.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Do classical music's big new ideas have real substance?
    of successful implementation Which means his recommendations are no more than personal hunches that need testing So by all means let s do A B testing of concert dress versus undress let s experiment with concerts in alternative venues and track what proportion of the new audience is retained and let s do in depth research of the profile of Sinfini website visitors etc etc But let s do it in a controlled and limited way until we have objective evidence that there is a net gain in audience Only then should we suggest that every British orchestra adopts these big new ideas My final concern is that Max Hole ignores opportunity cost the loss from the existing core classical audience of implementing his recommended changes and also fails to differentiate between net and gross audience gain It has become fashionable to despise the older and loyal audience for classical music and this presentation to the Association of British Orchestras is typical of the like it or lump it approach to change Of course we must innovate but as BBC Radio 3 has discovered at great cost if you change things some of those that don t like the change leave you That loss of audience is the opportunity cost of change and in an inherently conservative activity such as classical music it can be surprisingly in fact disastrously high And unless there is a long term net gain new audience gain exceeding loss the whole exercise is an expensive zero sum gain exercise Change driven audience loss needs to be understood and managed by orchestras and there is no recognition of that at all in Max Hole s presentation My headline poses the question Do classical music s big ideas have real substance As explained above I am becoming less optimistic about the efficacy of many suggested changes But classical music definitely needs big new ideas whether they come from Max Hole or someone else However we must differentiate between personal hunches and facts and we need to test big new ideas before they are widely implemented because only then can we understand if they have real substance We also need to show more respect for classical music s loyal core audience and need to understand the opportunity cost of alienating that audience But most importantly we must recognize that the biggest and best new idea is the music itself As T S Eliot tells us in Little Gidding We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Report broken links missing images and errors to overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Posted by Pliable at Sunday January 27 2013 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Association of British Orchestras bbc proms BBC Radio 3 classical music Colin Currie max hole universal music 7 comments Mike said With respect to orchestral dress and presentation I look forward to reacquainting myself with the Australian Chamber Orchestra back in Sydney who retain older aficionados as much as they attract the new with their non stuffy sensibility and interesting photo kinetic themed concerts As Max Hole acknowledges in his reference to iTunes sound quality matters in classical music and CD delivers superior sound to the mass market downloads There are certainly places to purchase CD Studio quality downloads but the music producers have to address availability Buyers are scattered around the globe and the digital market is as fragmented as the CD LP supply chain ever was I m a fan of a number of central eastern Europe composers but obtaining even contemporary recordings is so messy I find myself writing to the actual musicians in Googlified Czech or Polish and trying to work out to transfer money iTunes is lowest common denominator in terms of both sound quality and tagging so it s a terrible terrible benchmark for the classical music industry Unless music producers step up the delivery and presentation they will remain victims of circumstance 5 40 pm Pliable said Mike thanks for that In fairness to Max Hole he says in his presentation that Universal Music is in discussion with iTunes about improving the sound quality of classical downloads 5 43 pm Mike said I hope that search tagging is also on the agenda At the moment it seems that Apple is focused on Mastered for iTunes which some musicians have been lead to believe means 24bit lossless music but is actually lossy music optimised for Apple devices The masters may have improved but it doesn t necessarily translate to a better purchase Treating all other digital distributors as also rans doesn t help either especially when many of them are willing to present classical music more attractively eg Qobuz Also that Universal chooses NOT to make its catalog universally available across iTunes stores means that musicians lose on potential sales Sitting here in France I have no easier access to English sourced online music than I will in Australia in a few months time I can read music reviews from Sinfini Gramophone musicOMH and the Guardian my interest is grabbed but the iTunes Spotify links are invariably useless across national borders so why bother Perhaps they could rename themselves Parochial 6 01 pm Rameau said The basic idea behind all those empty theories is that classical music is declining and that nothing has changing since insert random date in the classical world This is what should be demonstrated before some Justin Bieber manager should tell us what we all people from classical music management and us from the audience do wrong OK classical music lovers are not always young that s true but

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2013/01/do-classical-musics-big-new-ideas-have.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Confused by music streaming? So is the record industry
    measured by royalty revenue streaming is considerably less important than CD sales on their own 165 million units yet alone CDs plus downloads 289 million This surprising finding that in royalty terms the CD download format is still the dominant for all genres should be read in conjunction with the fact that classical music takes a significantly lower share in digital formats which means that in royalty generation ie money terms the CD is still by far the dominant player in the classical music industry If you are still confused you are not the only one But what this discussion does highlight is that any attempt to compare the consumption of streamed music with purchases of CD downloads is meaningless Because streamed music and collected music CD downloads are different commodities serving different markets and meeting different needs There are very important lessons to be learnt from this conclusion First despite received wisdom in the music industry streamed music is not a replacement for collected formats it is a complement The low level of royalties on streamed music reflects in part financial opportunism on the part of the music industry but it is also an admission that streamed music has considerably less impact and longevity than a purchased album Secondly again despite received wisdom CDs are still the most important classical music format in fiscal SEA terms Thirdly every classical musician should be alarmed at the admission that streamed music generates a fraction 0 5 in 2013 of the royalties generated by an equivalent CD download Fourthly at a time when financial pressures dominate the classical music agenda record companies orchestras and opera house should reflect on the vastly different royalties generated by streaming and CD downloads before jumping on the streaming bandwagon and helping to kill collected music formats Finally anyone suffering from digital fixation should take on board Dave MacDonald s revelation that vinyl sales increased by the same percentage 40 in the first half of 2014 as streaming Which means vinyl presses are currently at maximum capacity to keep up with demand however nobody is setting up new presses because it is uncertain how long the vinyl trend will last Which at least gives me an excuse to reprise that header photo from my 2007 post Move over iPhone here comes vinyl Thanks go to Dave MacDonald for providing light rather than heat As I said in my previous post I am just a retired guy with an insomniac cat living in rural Norfolk if the professionals know better please tell me and I will publish corrections Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Posted by Pliable at Tuesday September 09 2014 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels classical music Dave MacDonald Nielsen SoundScan Spotify vinyl No comments Post a

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2014/09/confused-by-music-streaming-so-is.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: Classical music and the mass market fallacy
    on Facebook and Twitter Dawn of Midi s CD First was supplied as a requested sample after a heads up from a reader Report broken links missing images and errors to overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Posted by Pliable at Thursday November 11 2010 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels aakaash israni amino belyamani BBC Radio 3 classic fm classical music dawn of midi Jazz qasim naqvi rajar 3 comments Joe Shelby said By mentioning jazz and improvisational world music you ve definitely invited an apples to oranges comparison What makes the other worlds of music different from classical is the that in the other worlds and this includes rock and pop the recording comes first Robert Fripp has even expressed this in discussing recent King Crimson releases the CD is the score which is then performed live In order to compete in this market the contemporary composer and the label itself needs to stop thinking about the score and prioritize getting premiere recordings out the door Nobody talks about a score because nobody can read a score except those few whose training it is to bring that score into life through performance The layman world can t discuss debate and enjoy orchestral music so long as it only exists on paper The rest of the music world works by 1 artist writes the material 2 artist records the material 3 artist releases the recording for feedback 4 artist performs the material The classical especially orchestral world has this backwards the performances come first and then nothing it may take years after a premiere for a work to finally be released by which time it is forgotten or there s really no momentum to promote it by the artists involved except maybe the conductor maybe because they ve gone on to different things It is too late to ride that momentum that the rest of the industry rides when that CD is able to get in the hands of the public So THAT is to my mind what needs to change to rebuild a market for contemporary classical getting the music released as music that people can listen to and enjoy and build up a buzz about and not just as a piece of paper nobody can read and a rare concert in some obscure town nobody can get to 4 07 pm Pliable said Comment received via Facebook Great just downloaded it from iTunes I never heard of the group or engineer I thought it was an electronic cd Dawn of Midi Yes brilliant sound and playing http www louthcms org 5 40 pm Guy said Hi Joe Your argument is excellent except for one thing even finding a score of a new composition can be very difficult If a young composer writes an orchestral work his publisher may not even commit to print a study score of it I suspect classical music now works more like the Robert Fripp

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2010/11/classical-music-and-mass-market-fallacy.html (2016-02-11)
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  • On An Overgrown Path: What do composer anniversaries achieve?
    to wait for another post Meanwhile would any reader like to make an informed guess via the comments who the trending composer is Also on Facebook and Twitter Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as fair use for the purpose of study review or critical analysis only and will be removed at the request of copyright owner s Report broken links missing images and errors to overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk Posted by Pliable at Thursday October 18 2012 Email This BlogThis Share to Twitter Share to Facebook Share to Pinterest Labels Albion Media bbc proms benjamin britten franz liszt Giuseppe Verdi Google Trends gustav mahler john cage percy grainger richard wagner 6 comments Dave MacD said Great post I am getting a little weary of all these anniversaries To me it just seems like a lazy way to brand a festival or subscription series or whatnot Wouldn t it be better to make more thoughtful connections about what the music actually sounds like Additionally I would like to guess your mystery composer graph I think it s Thomas Tallis who is surging in search results thanks to E L James for mentioning his work in her smutty romance novel the one about a certain number of hues and subsequently including him in the novel branded album 1 56 pm Pliable said I did like the retweet of this post by SoundNotion which was headed Hooray for numbers that end in zero http twitter com SoundNotion status 258912462777229312 And thanks for the informed guess Dave McD There will be no further comment from me as to who the composer is or isn t until the fat lady sings in another post 2 02 pm Jorge Birrueta said Conlon Nancarrow 4 33 pm mahlerman said Well Percy had a very disappointing Christmas the very time when you might expect interest to hold up Dave McD may be on the right track as interest starts to increase at around the time the book rolled off the presses I would go for Martinu or Nielsen but you use the word established I m not sure they are I ll go with Sibelius great music for a damp summer 5 27 pm Philip Amos said This is one of those questions that makes it hard not to sound like Professor Cyril Joad It all depends upon what you mean by but I think the continuing climb in October may be key Paul Mealor was voted into Classic FM s Hall of Fame as the nation s favourite living composer sometime earlier in the year and was then in September handed the Classical Brit Awards no wonder I grind my teeth for Composer of the Year and for Best Single of the Year When I once saw Billy Joel Sarah Brightman and Kathleen Jenkins on the list of best selling classical recordings it occurred to me that the Big Boys faced with the results of their incompetence in the field of

    Original URL path: http://www.overgrownpath.com/2012/10/what-do-composer-anniversaries-achieve.html (2016-02-11)
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