Musing about music and opensource

Some years ago I confessed that my interest in opensource was driven more by Jerry Garcia than by a Stallman or a Raymond.

There’s something about music, and about food, that teaches me a lot. Which helps me understand that opensource is about culture and values; the economic benefits accrue as a consequence rather than as an objective.

Which is why I found this article about what Trent Reznor’s doing encouraging. Now I’m not a big fan of Nine Inch Nails; I have this sense that they’re loud and dark and negative and foreboding ….. see, I’m probably showing my age and biases. Actually I haven’t heard enough of Nine Inch Nails to have an opinion about them; when it comes to rock, I spend my time mainly listening to music made in the period 1964-1974, usually on the softer more melodious side. [And I have liked some of their stuff, thanks to Russ Goring.]

But I don’t have to like Nine Inch Nails in order to like what Trent Reznor is doing. Take a look. See what you think.

One thought on “Musing about music and opensource”

  1. NIN are cool. I’ve downloaded and remixed a few of their tunes. Like a number of post-Garcia musicians, they helped build a community around their music by validating the “fan” experience, especially when it comes to sharing music. Phish are also worth checking out on this.

    The more interesting trend is making available original tracks and stems for remixing (Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno and Kanye West have recently done the same). What’s very revealing is that even if you remix Gabriel or Reznor, what makes the final product compelling goes back to the artist’s original genius.

    Record companies have been slow (as usual) to exploit the potential of original stems. Apple might just be leading the way with their artist lessons, which as I understand will include original mixes. If they make that format open in the same way as iTunes it could be the most revolutionary move in commercial music publishing for a long time.

    Oh and yes, there is a market. Just see how many music instrument stores dedicate space to music books and transcriptions and how many specialist sheet music stores still exist in a world of declining physical music sales.

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