A Massive Bundle of Game Music, the Magical Machinarium Score, and the Quiet Indie Music Revolution

As musical old-timers repeatedly sing the sad song of the supposed demise of the full-length album, a funny thing has happened. Lovers of games have taken up a growing passion for game music, and in particular the indie score for indie games. Independent game publishing and independent music composition – from truly unsigned, unknown artists – go hand in hand. Indeed, the download and purchase charts on Bandcamp are often dominated by game scores. Fueled by word-of-mouth, these go viral in enthusiast communities largely ignored by either music or game reportage. Far from the big-budget blockbuster war game, these scores …


Events: NYC Hosts Free Summit with Music Tech Makers, Production and Distribution Talks

I’ll be flying from Toronto to Amsterdam, so as the song goes, “remember me to Herald Sq– God, sorry. It isn’t the prettiest part of Manhattan, exactly. Go in there and talk about music and then go to one of New York’s nicer parts. High Line! Photo by/(C) Oliver Chesler from last year; see the whole set. CDM is a presenting sponsor of the IMSTA FESTA in New York on Saturday. It’s a completely free event, but registration is required. What’s notable about this sort of event is that it tends to be more directly musician-focused than big conferences like …


In Wake of London Fire, Organizers Answers Questions About Supporting Indie Labels

London’s Rough Trade Records shop is an anchor for the independent music scene in the UK. And they have an online presence, too — a good way to support your favorite label in the wake up what for many smaller outlets could be a devastating loss. Photo (CC-BY) Radio Saig√≥n. The first rule of giving is that you need to make sure that the entity to which you’re giving is actually asking for support. In the wake of a devastating fire started during London’s rioting that wiped out a Sony warehouse, indie labels are indeed asking for such support, says …


Not Quite Sibelius for iPad, but Avid Scorch Could Become an iTunes of Notation

Let’s get this out of the way first: if you’re looking for a tool for composing and editing scores on your iPad, Avid Scorch isn’t it — not yet, at least. But as a score reader, Scorch could be a glimpse of a future in which tablets create a new marketplace and exchange for notated music. Scorch is, first and foremost, a score reader. It shares the mature notational display engine of Sibelius, and makes use of Sibelius’ (and now Pro Tools’) scores. That includes Sibelius’ broad library of musical symbols, guitar tab features, and handwritten fonts, among other features. …


TuneCore: Apple iCloud will Transform Industry, Make Streaming the Norm (Wait, Really?)

This could be the biggest shock to the industry since the iPod, argues TuneCore. Photo (CC-BY-SA) strollers. Jeff Price, writing for TuneCore, has a different take on Apple’s iCloud. He thinks it will both transform the industry and shift consumer listening from downloaded files to streams. That would mean I’d have to substantially revise my knee-jerk take following Apple’s announcement – and his line of thinking would raise questions about whether dividing up a $25-a-year fee will leave much of a revenue stream for artists. Updated: Apple responded to NPR’s request for clarification. iCloud is not a streaming service. That …


How’d Apple’s Cloud Do? Four Questions, Answered

Earlier today, as indie music advocates expressed concern over Apple’s iCloud today, I asked a set of questions about what I thought was relevant about these services. Those were questions not just for Apple, but any new “cloud” service. I don’t want to leave those questions dangling, now that we know more about Apple’s upcoming entry. So here are some answers, now that we have some data (though not, importantly, a shipping product).


Flash Reaction: Apple’s Cloud Looks Useful, But Likely to Mean Little to Artists Initially

The Cloud is more than a hard drive in the sky. Photo (CC-BY) wheresmysocks. Indies, don’t fear the Apple. The world with Apple’s iCloud doesn’t appear to be that radically different than the one we had before. And that’s a good thing: the Web, not any one cloud sync service, is still the most revolutionary technology for connecting music to listeners. Updated: commenters online read this as complaining, so let me clarify: cloud sync has already had unfair expectations placed on it. It remains a no-brainer for Apple to implement. The question is, from an artist’s standpoint, what expectations should …


High Anxiety: Even Before Its Announcement, Indies Concerned About Apple Cloud

Seeing clouds on a sunny day. Photo (CC-BY) Kristine Paulus. We’ll be watching Apple’s developer conference closely to try to understand the implications of a likely announcement of an Apple cloud music service for artists. While Google and Amazon are already testing those waters, Apple’s dominance of the software player (iTunes) and mobile players (iPod, iPhone) give it arguably greater weight. We should know more after the official announcement, but early reports suggest independent labels (to say nothing of unsigned artists) may have reason for concern. I think it’ll make more sense to analyze this once some of the secrecy …


End of Train Device, New Album from Your Editor, and an Experiment in Releasing Music

A closer look at Richard Bailey’s artwork, made in paint, and not digital. Yes, I create digital music, too. One of the things I’ve loved about CDM is the chance to share music making, from the construction of the tools to the production of performances and recordings. If that’s all we ever get out of music – getting to share with someone else – that’s already more than enough for me. This week I’ve released my own End of Train Device, a full-length ambient / leftfield electronic album. You can listen to the record in its entirety streaming on SoundCloud, …


New Music Games+Tools for iPad, Xbox 360, in Circles and Tenori-On Grids

In the blurring areas between gaming and creation, toys and tools, there’s certainly a lot of action, spurred on by platforms for sharing software. Pulse is a new title for the iPad, an ambient rhythmic gaming experience with a unique interface centering around a series of concentric circles. The graphic design looks gorgeous in its abstraction, as much music visualization and animation as game UI. The developer, Cipher Prime, has done this kind of terrific work before – their work includes the ambient streams of colored particles in Auditorium, the Flash-based browser game, followed by the Mac + PC game …