medium

Framing the project

w3

Music is no longer in the power of the musician, and neither is it in the power of the listener. It is nor in the power of the explorer. The reason for this is the accessibility of music is completely connected to a series of centralised mediums, primarily platforms. These mediums curate whatever music is relevant, why and when.

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w3

On-demand music gives the listener the opportunity to listen to music whenever and wherever. This was the case for the ipod, although as soon as music moved into the cloud, and we no longer own music, but lease the experience of music, we partially gave away our own ability to decide what we personally appreciate and the ability to raise certain artistic expressions above others for ourselves. Music is increasingly becoming a complete service, like ordering a massage, a motivational coach, a mind wandering journey, a playlist for running. We take the massive supply of music for granted, as it is always and ever accessible in any given situation.

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w3

We see the acceleration of the current direction to being formalized as utilitarian music, that currently is in the gray zone between caring for musical preferences towards a type of modernized muzak (moodsic?). We believe that platforms such as Spotify will eventually be placed under a certain type of music, and that other types of listening through other platforms will be feasible in the future. This means that the creative musician does not necessarily just provide new musical pieces any longer. The new musical practice could be to create music that stands on its own ground, and that new music is coherent with new mediums.

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w3

We aim to start explicitly with what we see as the three main categorizations of modern music; Listening, Creating and Exploring. Our project is about exemplifying what new mediums do to either one of these three categorizations, and how it makes the interdependence of all three change. Conclusively, the purpose of music is the music itself, and the surrounding forces that make it come to life. Musical mediums are driven towards very specific types of music, which means that music in alternative mediums don’t undermine the experience of music, but rather expand on it.

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w3

So far we’ve dipped our toes into the frameworks of currently used platforms, and we see that many attempts at alternative platforms are emerging. An especially interesting example is the relatively new platform Audius which you may have heard of. It takes the shape of a Spotify clone on the fronstage, however backstage it provides an insanely vast system of musical metadata, APIs, and a cryptocurrency that gives users partial ownership of the platform, which means that users both own the music and the medium through which the music is published..

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w3

What concerns us with all of these new and innovative platforms, is that yes, it gives the musician more power over their own music from the ability to control the medium, but platforms such as Audius requires the musicians to be exceeding in doing a lot more than just making music. We do think it is plausible that musicians take on an extended role, but we think this requires -

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w3

- a middle step towards that direction, which is where we come in. As we design new mediums and look at the potential of alternative mediums,

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w3

- we aim to shed light on what would be an inspiration bank, a call to arms, a selection of pathways that conveys distinctive examples to how new mediums lead to new ways of creating, exploring and listening to music. We aim to design a series of different ways that musicians can take on both the role of making and publishing music, and possibly even identify a few headlines to encourage musicians and listeners to follow in the future. Our design proposal is packaged as a gift bag to everyone engaged with music.

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w3

100% artist empowerment

If a platform gave an artist 100% empowerment over the sonic delivery system, what would the implications and possibilities be? We want to set examples of how far one can stretch the formula of streaming music, and why the receiving end of music is as important as the music itself. In such a scenario, an artist can exclude people that earn a certain income to listen to their music, or limit the number of plays a piece can have before it disappears forever. Music could also be specific to a certain human pulse range, or a minimum altitude.

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w3

100% Listener empowerment

In the same way, we want to explore the possibilities of 100% listener empowerment. One of the aspects of giving power to the listener lies in strengthening the music reviewer side of enthusiasts. The ability of not just listening, but being listened to as a listener opens up for communications between musicians to request multiple versions of the same song as an endless manipulation, or other means, like boycotting pieces of music, hiding it for yourself and overwriting a song. …. The effects can be seen either as a publicity stunt, or a changing factor for subcultural evolution and birth.

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w3

Communal music program/restrictions

Expanding on the nordic model for subsidizing culture, a restrictive music program follows the regional need for self-identification. Music shall sound to fit it’s environment at all costs, based on a model fixed by Lydrådet (The Norwegian Council of Sound). The council is a collective of musicians, producers, reviewers, theorists and designers.

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w3

Expanding on the nordic model for subsidizing culture, a restrictive music program follows the regional need for self-identification. Music shall sound to fit it’s environment at all costs, based on a model fixed by Lydrådet (The Norwegian Council of Sound). The council is a collective of musicians, producers, reviewers, theorists and designers.

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