One thing that never ceases to amaze me is the amount of talent represented online. Various social networks have been set up for years for independent musicians and bands to ‘cyberbusk’.  Many of these bands or solo musicians make their work available to the public free of charge, so it is possible to have a complete music library composed of sounds never heard on the radio, or very rarely on college or community radio stations. This is another sign that there is no more life left in the ‘music industry’ as we used to know it, and as I said in my first post, this is a good thing, especially for those who trust their own taste and are interested in exploring more adventurous forms of music.

Some artists think that this is a bad situation though, and that free music cheapens the art form. It’s not an easy thing to make money-making music, especially music that is a step or two away from the mainstream.  The most one can hope for is some film music, painfully slow CD sales, the odd ‘odd’ commercial, Performing Rights Organizations royalty cheques and paying gigs which are all too often, few and far between. If you release a work under a Creative Commons licence, you will probably never receive any money, although you may be contacted by someone who would like to remix or incorporate your work in their own, and so one’s creative life becomes interwoven, organically, with the sounds of the world.

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The ‘New Age’ of globalized music communities is the best thing to happen to individual and independent musicians since the middle ages.  Virtual busking is now possible, and goes on every second of every minute of every day, somewhere in the world.  Many of us who collaborate internationally will know this to be true that the value of being able to ‘meet’ another musician of similar tastes, halfway across the globe and exchange musical ideas and record tracks together is inestimable.   Interchanges of artistic ideas and collaborative technology are like international diplomacy in terms of goodwill and information flow.  It is possible to release the finished work globally, and simultaneously.

Concerts can likewise be effected in ‘real’ time online, by use of various ‘streaming’ technologies.  Recording, mixing, mastering, video production, graphics, websites, all can be done from one room, one computer and the appropriate software. There are many ‘archive’ sites where you can upload your finished album and if you decide to let anyone hear the tracks from the album for free, you can opt to release under a Creative Commons Licence.  If you want to sell physical copies there is always CD Baby who will stock a limited amount of product for you, and ship to your customers for a small fee. You can be your own Electra, EMI, or Warner Bros!