Spotting session

The spotting session is a crucial step in the filmmusic creation process: This is where the director, possibly the editor and music editor (if there is one) and the composer develop the broad concept for the filmmusic as well as discuss the fine details.

This is the time of experimentation. It’s very exciting and there are no limits in this meeting. If everyone keeps an open mind it can be a fun process of trial and error to see what effect a certain type of music will have on a scene. I’m often surprised myself that something that I imagined would never work for a particular scene can turn out to be very complementary to the picture and add great depth.

Deciding on music and where it comes in and goes out is really something that can not be talked about but that has to happen on a personal level. It’s important to get a direct feel for a reaction to be able to refine the communication between all parties involved.

The quirks of the music subscription service model

I read this very noteworthy article recently on the sustainability of the music subscription services and here are my thoughts on it.

I’m sure Spotify can be very successful and profitable in just offering those all-time mega hit songs and the summer hit songs. Those songs tend to engage the audience throughout their lifetime.

But when you look at what kind of service that would make, it seems to me to be the model of the “oldies but goodies” radio stations. A very conservative form of both media “broadcast” (in the wider sense not the technical sense) and listener behavior.

I would like to ask a different question:

Would spotify as a service that focused only on those all-time-great songs and not on a catalogue as big as possible be an attractive place for the curious music lover?

I remember an instance in 2006 or 2007 when I visited my friends in Los Angeles and drove around in my rental car listening to the world famous KROQ. What happened was that I felt like every time I turned on the station and drove for about 45 minutes (the average drive time in LA) I would hear

* City of Angels, Red Hot Chilli Pepper
* Enter Sandman, Metallica
* The Pretender, Foo Fighters

This is all fine and dandy, they can play whatever they want and how often they want, that’s not my point and on top of that, I love those songs.

The curious music lover

But from a curious listener standpoint those forms of media are becoming less and less interesting to me. I would like to explore new songs, find voices I haven’t heard before, dive into the experimental, challenge my taste expand my horizon and so on. Which is where all the indie artists come into play that make up the bulk of Spotfiys catalogue and in my opinion, they make up the real attractiveness of the service.

Unfortunately for those artists, music subscription services will never amount to a reasonable or even noteworthy level of income stream as the calculations in the article reveal. But the calculations in the article make it abundantly clear that the royalty rate that the subscription services pay today are the only ones that are viable with the currently assumed listening behavior. I get that and I respect that. Please read the section on the promotional aspects in the article for consideration of that argument. Basically subscription based music consumption promotion will lead to more subscription based music consumption and as such to the lowest possible roaylty for the artist.

My conclusion:

Subscription services are great discovery tools if they actually work at presenting you things that you don’t know. But if you truly would like to support an artist, there is no other and no better way than to purchase the music from him or her directly. And hopefully the artists retained enough rights to the music to be able to sell on a distribution platform that has a fair revenue sharing model. I don’t want to advertise any, we can discuss them in the comments if you like.

 

A good initiative – no smartphones at concerts – philosophical context!

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs posted this sign on the outside of their show and I think it’s a great initiative.

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This goes hand in hand with our endless hunger to remember moments. Even though moments are supposed to be enjoyed and not chained down. For every time you relive a moment you miss another new moment.

And it reminds me of the classic verse from Faust, pretty much the only one that I’ve perfectly internalized:

Faust:
Und Schlag auf Schlag!
Werd’ ich zum Augenblicke sagen:
Verweile doch! Du bist so schön!
Dann magst du mich in Fesseln schlagen,
Dann will ich gern zugrunde gehn!
Dann mag die Totenglocke schallen,
Dann bist du deines Dienstes frei,
Die Uhr mag stehn, der Zeiger fallen,
Es sei die Zeit für mich vorbei!

Translation taken from Wikiquote:

If ever I to the moment shall say:
Beautiful moment, do not pass away!
Then you may forge your chains to bind me,
Then I will put my life behind me,
Then let them hear my death-knell toll,
Then from your labours you’ll be free,
The clock may stop, the clock-hands fall,
And time come to an end for me!

Artist concept – Hans Hafner

directionsHans Hafner creates mixed media artworks and films. With a subtle minimalistic approach, Hafner considers making art a craft which is executed using clear formal rules and which should always refer to social reality.

His mixed media artworks sometimes radiate a cold and latent violence. At times, disconcerting beauty emerges. The inherent visual seductiveness, along with the conciseness of the exhibitions, further complicates the reception of their manifold layers of meaning. By applying a poetic and often metaphorical language, he wants to amplify the astonishment of the spectator by creating compositions or settings that generate tranquil poetic images that leave traces and balances on the edge of recognition and alienation.

His works appear as dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, past and present fuse. Time and memory always play a key role. By focusing on techniques and materials, he seduces the viewer into a world of ongoing equilibrium and the interval that articulates the stream of daily events. Moments are depicted that only exist to punctuate the human drama in order to clarify our existence and to find poetic meaning in everyday life.

His works are characterised by the use of everyday objects in an atmosphere of middleclass mentality in which recognition plays an important role. By emphasising aesthetics, he creates work through labour-intensive processes which can be seen explicitly as a personal exorcism ritual. They are inspired by a nineteenth-century tradition of works, in which an ideal of ‘Fulfilled Absence’ was seen as the pinnacle.

His works are notable for their perfect finish and tactile nature. This is of great importance and bears witness to great craftsmanship. By taking daily life as subject matter while commenting on the everyday aesthetic of middle class values, he often creates work using creative game tactics, but these are never permissive. Play is a serious matter: during the game, different rules apply than in everyday life and even everyday objects undergo transubstantiation.

His practice provides a useful set of allegorical tools for manoeuvring with a pseudo-minimalist approach in the world of mixed media art: these meticulously planned works resound and resonate with images culled from the fantastical realm of imagination. By referencing romanticism, grand-guignolesque black humour and symbolism, he creates work in which a fascination with the clarity of content and an uncompromising attitude towards conceptual and minimal art can be found. The work is aloof and systematic and a cool and neutral imagery is used.

His works are often classified as part of the new romantic movement because of the desire for the local in the unfolding globalized world. However, this reference is not intentional, as this kind of art is part of the collective memory. Hans Hafner currently lives and works in Berlin.

I guess you figured it out by now, so  get yours here!