Friday, January 16, 2009

Behance has an interesting competition for artists to contribute ideas for the future of mobile music.

So far, though, I find the entries incredibly depressing. It's not exactly that they're bad or that some of the ideas don't seem "cool".

It's that the idea of music that they convey is 100% the one of "music as personal cocoon from the world". The personal devices are all about escaping from the social space into a world of ... well, if it was a world of "art" maybe that would be OK.

But there's no apparent love of music in the proposals. Industrial suppliers of musical escapism talk about "the music you love" ... thereby sidestepping the issue of what aesthetic vision *they* are trying to sell. Rock, soul, hip-hop, dubstep. They don't care. Music is the means, not the end. Their product is isolation.

In contrast, despite my pro-pirate tendencies, I just cracked open my PayPal piggybank and bought a real CD : Moon Wiring Club's Shoes Off And Chairs Away directly from the Blank Workshop site. Because of a Paypal mishap I had to mail him / them / the strange inhabitants of Clinkskell and ask for the CD to be sent to my UK address and not Brazil.

It arrived promptly yesterday, and I am ecstatically happy. Not so much with the music itself - the last Moon Wiring album grew on me rather than grabbed me immediately; for this new one, the atmosphere and weird juxtapositions are there, but the melodies haven't hooked into my brain yet I'm sure they will.) - but with the act of buying and getting a real CD from an artist who is so self evidently in love with the world he has created.. This is what makes it great music for me.

Update : semi-related. Over on the comments in SmartDisorganized, Albert gave me a nice compliment :
As I said before, what I liked the most about SDIdesk is that you actually use it yourself as opposed to being just the creator of an application. I personally am looking forward to starting with features that you would like to use yourself. Why? So then they will be implemented in a way that you would find convenient to use.

Of course, "build for yourself", like "scratch your itch" is a great heuristic for a programmer. Some of the best software is built like this.

Also some of the worst, of course. :-)

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