Questions from Tech News World
– What’s prompted you to take the independent route?
Quite honestly, I got tired of having to wait around for someone else’s decision about what I could or could not do. And I think that the changes in technology have made that process obsolete. Everything is changing, and while of course there are still remnants of the old system in place, the relationship of artists to listeners is now closer than ever–I can reach a large audience directly. And it’s just getting started. As a music artist, it is incredibly exciting to be a part of that wave.
– How has new digital music technology facilitated the transition as well as possibly contributing to the decision itself?
I’m still learning, and almost every day I see another musician with a new do-it-yourself idea that I’ve never seen before. Technology also affects the making of music: doing a Subscription Series with one unique track a month is really fun and satisfying for me as a musician. Creating a Paperback Series, inspired by book publishing, also gives another kind of outlet for musicians. Ideas like that couldn’t be conceived, much less achieved, under any other system.
– Please briefly explain your choice of digital tools and technology, for the Greenleaf label and for the upcoming Jazz Standard recording.
There is still a lot of fluidity in that regard. My instinct is to go with the most standard technology possible. There still is a barrier in this area of music in that a significant percentage of listeners do not have quick, reliable connections to the network. Also there are varying degrees of familiarity with the technology. That is changing fast. We simply look for technologies that are likely to reach people, and that people want. Having direct contact with the audience of listeners is a new part of that equation because they let us know what they want.
Downloading is growing quickly. Now that you can download the artwork and liner notes another barrier is falling. We’re curious to see what the interest will be for this box set of twelve one-hour sets. It’s not just a full run of concerts, it’s also a whole book of discreet compositions and improvisations. This means: my latest book of pieces for this group, which in the old system would have been recorded in a studio and then toured, have already been toured, will be recorded live, and collected into sets of new music along with sets from previous studio releases.
In regards to DRM (Digital Rights Management): I get angry as a consumer when I realize the limited uses to which I can put the music files I have purchased on line. So I don’t believe the future lies in selling intentionally hobbled merchandise. We use no DRM at all. That said, as an artist and business-owner it breaks your heart when you see someone selling your stuff and not giving you anything. I’m flattered that the bootleggers are out there–it means people want the music—I also feel that in the area Greenleaf Music is in, it is a relatively minor problem. I have faith that if people like the music, they will visit us at www.GreenleafMusic.com and check out everything that’s going on: my records, Delmark Catalog, Marcus Strickland, and more.