More Than Just A File

It feels like a miracle to me that so much music is available to me. If I read an article or listen to a podcast and hear a musician, band, or album reference, there’s a 99% chance that I can find it in less than two minutes. Instant horizon expansion.

One thing I don’t like is how music has largely disappeared from the physical world. I miss the interaction with an object. I miss the product. I don’t like that my digital releases are just files on a hard drive somewhere. I’ve experimented with making more complete digital liner notes (like the PDF that comes with my EP Death Under Rainbows when you download it from Bandcamp). But iTunes and Spotify don’t care.

And then there is vinyl, which I adore for the aesthetic experience, but is a bit of a chore to manufacture, especially for someone who wants to release music regularly. Not to mention the fact that it’s kind of crappy for the environment. Check out these two articles:

This is how bad your vinyl obsession is for the world.

Collecting vinyl is actually terribly for the environment.

So then, how can we inject some human connection into the process of releasing and consuming music? Kickstarter is an interesting avenue, but a campaign is a lot of work and there’s a good chance it won’t pay off. My current experiment is to make a personal ask “Hey, can we make a more personal connection around this music?”.

My next record, VESSEL, is a 45 minute improvisation. I like to joke that it took 45 minutes to make this record, but in reality there was 2-3 years of “pre-production” while I was developing the setup and skills to seamlessly improvise for long periods of time.

But the reality is: I could go to my studio and improvise something for you right now. “I’ll be right with you...just let me just turn on my gear and make a cup of coffee.” People can already pay what they want for my music on Bandcamp. So...pre-order my record for $100 and I’ll make you your very own improvisation. Special and unique. From me to you, a personal exchange.

Or maybe you are a musician who is interested in the process of making this kind of music? Pre-order VESSEL for $100 or more and I’ll give you a lesson over Skype. Or we can talk about the guitar. Or you can show me pictures of your kids. It’s your hour, we can do whatever, as long as no one gets hurt and I get to keep my clothes on!

The point is: let’s close the gap. I realize that this won’t appeal to everyone, but that’s ok. I am not trying to reach everyone. I’m trying to reach anyone who wants more connection from their art and music.

Do you have another idea or insight on how you’d like to connect? What are your favorite things that other artists have done to break the 4th wall? Write me and tell me about it!

Thanks for reading,