Tagged: music

Canadian Music Industry Lobbying for More Rights and Freedoms Than You or I Have

As noted before on Fauna Corporation, Michael Geist is more or less The Man when it comes to Canadian copyright and online privacy legislation.

A post from Geist on BoingBoing today points out that the Canadian music industry is about to lobby the Canadian government for more control and rights over what people post through blogs, social networking sites, search engines and video sites – including things intended for parody and satire – while putting liability on the sites and networks that carry the content. They also want a tax on new iPods, because, you know, that’s why Canadian records don’t sell. Insert incredibly loud sigh and mega-eye-roll here.

It all reminds me of when Canada Post tried to levy a 5 cent tax on every email being sent because people were sending fewer letters as email became more common. The result? Laughter, then even fewer letters being sent.

I would be surprised if the Canadian record labels that I actively support (and I mean actively support; I buy a lot of music) are amongst those lobbying government (ie: smaller, more interesting labels with more lateral business models), but at this point I don’t know enough about it. So we’ll see what shakes down in Parliament.

Either way, this is the kind of thing that often involves asking for the moon because, with concessions, you’ll probably get the sky. So it seemed appropriate to point some traffic to Geist’s post (via Cory Doctorow) on BoingBoing to raise awareness that this is happening.

Have a read, have a think, and then buy some wicked Canadian music directly from the artists that create it, because they are keeping up with the times and the choices consumers are making. And generally speaking, they’re not trying to control what you share.

New Year, New Focus

detail of silk-screen by todd stewart of bree, ree

Happy new year to Fauna Corporation readers!

2012 is upon us and I’m going to be posting to Fauna Corporation again, albeit with a slightly different focus.

Going forward, I will be sharing the things that I create (text, photos, sketches, music), the things that inspire me — and hopefully, you — to create (others’ work, links, quotes, ideas, cool creative executions), and the tools I use to create (hardware, software, apps, etc).

The evolving digital narratives are all around us, and we participate in them each day with the smart phones, tablets, laptops and other digital hardware that have become seamless extensions of us.

Rather than focusing on digital advertising, multimedia journalism, or any other specific industry, this little blog will simply throw some light on the creativity that results from our ever-expanding, ever present, digital means.

I haven’t posted very much over the last long while because I’ve been reeling from a series of personal tragedies. A close friend, my brother, my father and my mother all passed away within the span of the last two years, and frankly, I’ve struggled to just hold it together. Blogging, and more expressly, sharing what I am thinking about, has been far from my mind.

But, as I have said, 2012 is upon us, and times have changed.

Hopefully this new Fauna Corporation focus offers something to you. And hopefully you’ll share the fruits of your own creative channels.

Take good care in 2012.

Three Things Digital Creatives Can Learn from Hip Hop Beatmakers

One of my biggest interests over the last couple of years has been building beats. For the uninitiated, “beats” in this context equals instrumental hip hop tracks, focused mostly on texture, juxtaposition and getting a good head nod going. You can hear my take on this art form here, but that’s not really what this post is about.

Damu the Fudgemunk is a musician who has been using YouTube to showcase his approach to making beats for a few years now. He’s garnered a solid reputation and landed production gigs by using YouTube to get his name and style out there. So that’s one reason why he should be interesting to the Fauna Corp faithful – he has brought his art and passion together and built a brand for himself via online video, and people keep tuning in because he’s got skills and charisma.

Damu’s latest video (filmed and edited by JNota) has him playing live drums and talking about his approach to rhythm. I thought this video was especially relevant for Fauna Corp because the production values are solid without being flashy (text overlays in capslock, san-serif fonts, video shot with slight vignette effect, nice saturation, and solid editing), and the subject matter is so particular.

If you are new to the world of beatmaking, the considerations that Damu discusses (poly-rhythms, tone and placement of hi-hats, different producers’ techniques for kick and snare textures, etc.) are the very same ones that beatmakers obsess over every day. For a musical form often referred to as “boom-bap”, It is a style filled with surprising subtlety, and reinterpreting / re-purposing the licks and riffs of  previous masters is part of the art.  So for Fauna Corp readers that means: learn from the best, lift what you can, make it all your own.

So Damu’s latest video is instructional to Digital Creatives in three ways:

  • It shows how being passionate and genuine in online video can be a way to further your craft, reach new audiences and establish your brand;
  • It shows how simple, tasteful production techniques can be used to make engaging videos that resonate with audiences both inside and outside your community;
  • And it shows how the minutiae of any interest or past-time – whether it is beatmaking,  visual art, weird sports, or even political upheaval in Sudan – can be studied and obsessed over so that your own output is a natural (but not unconscious) extension of what you’ve learned, hybridized and interpreted.

Check out Damu’s latest video, and see if you agree that there are things to learn from, regardless of what your digital output is about.

Get into what you are into, and you can get others into it too. And, as always, feel free to leave a comment here on Fauna Corp.

Music Posts on Urban Camouflage

sit on the artA great deal of my writing has been focused on music and the audio arts, so I thought I would put up a post here about Urban Camouflage – the blog that I’ve used to collect the majority of my music writing over the years.

There was a considerable gap between late 2007 and early 2009 as I was busy with other writing outlets, but as I’ll be updating Urban Camo more regularly, I thought I’d post here to draw your attention to the blog. Check it out, and let me know your thoughts.