Monday, January 16, 2012

Will citizen composers emulate citizen journalists?

But if you just look at the history of images then it becomes much easier. For 500 years the church had social control because it was the main supplier of images. You can point to Darwin, but social control moved with the control of images in the early 19th century to what we now call the media: newspapers, then Hollywood and television. There is now another revolution and the images are moving to individuals.
David Hockney talks to Nicholas Wroe in Saturday's Guardian. There are also some interesting thoughts in the article on the relationship between visual perception and hearing. These are prompted by Hockney's declining hearing and are relevant to the thread on these pages about seeing the music. It is illuminating to apply Hockney's theory of the control of images to music. As with images, music was initially controlled by the church. But since the early 20th century that control has been in the hands of the now beleagured intermediary layer of record companies and music publishers and other assorted middle feeders. But what will replace them? As David Hockney tells us, web enabled citizen journalists are rapidly replacing traditional news media. Will web enabled citizen composers replace music publishers, record companies and other traditional intermediaries? It may sound fanciful, but one case study suggests citizen composers are a real possibility. Back in 2005 Jeff Harrington wrote that "the internet, in my opinion represents probably the greatest positive change in how independent artists communicate with audiences." Jeff has successfully reinvented himself as an internet composer and described to me how his business model works in a Future Radio programme in December 2010. Listen to the streamed interview here and the linked post is here.

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