Posted in Industry Talk, tagged art, audio, audio compression, audio glithces, carnegie hall, classical music, classical scene, flutes, music, online orchestra, recordings, recruiting, symphony orchestra, tan dun, violas, violins, youtube, youtube symphony orchestra, yso on February 18, 2009 |
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I’m four days late on this, but better late then never: votes are on for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. They started on Feb 14th and will on go till the 22th. Over 3000 contestants applied and submitted their videos to youtube and now only 200 semi-finalists have been selected for the public voting phase. Absolutely anyone can cast a vote and play a role in the elaboration of the YouTube’s first ever orchestra that will perform a Tan Dun composition at the Carnegie Hall on April 16th.
Check it out here: www.youtube.com/symphony
When I did my first post on this event, I guess I didn’t really have an opinion besides the fact that it would probably be successful. I don’t see it failing, but I now ‘feel’ a certain level of absurdity behind the recruiting method. I’m listening to a pianist performing some Beethoven while I’m writing this post. Before that, I listened to some flutes, violas and violins, and all in all I’m having a pretty hard time voting down :)
I have been playing music for quite some years and know people who make a living out of it. I also know some people who are trying to make it in the classical scene. I have extensively worked as a sound engineer and composer on different projects and have been surrounded by musicians all my life (some of which I consider to be true geniuses and others average amateurs). Well even with my musical background and my understanding of the art, I find it hard to be properly subjective in the time frame I allow myself to spend on this Youtube orchestra thing. I don’t believe people that know nothing else about music than the top-40 charts will willingly spend time listening to these classical pieces, but some will, and I truly think many voters will be more influenced by the pretty face of a girl participant than by the quality and subtlety of her playing. And if there aren’t any pretty girls or young prodigy’s, people will tend to listen only to the videos that are on top of their list (the lists of vids hopefully mix-up everytime you refresh the page).
Speaking of misleading criteria, by the very nature if the recruiting process participants recorded their performances with whatever recording material they could get their hands on. Well some recordings are crappy and distorted. Now you have to truly be passionate and a real adept of classical music to feel the subtle differences between an orchestra directed by lets say Karajan and Furtwngler. Well the same basically applies for the musicians – how can one cast a proper vote with audio glitches, slow buffering and horrible audio compression? Well they can’t.
Maybe I’m a little too extreme here and maybe the large majority of the voters will be true musicians from the classical realm, and maybe this whole recruiting 2.0 process is all mighty and revolutionary (argh! again in the extremes). Ok, simply put, maybe the chosen artists will make up for a beautiful orchestra and their performances will be a true success. After all they all sound like frigin’ pros.
Actually I’m more confused about my opinion after having written this post than before. What’s your take on this?
I’ll leave you to the performance that impressed me the most:
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Posted in Music 2.0/Networking, tagged audition, classical music, community, google, micheal tilson thomas, music sheet, new york times, rock band, tan dun, youtube community, youtube symphony orchestra on December 2, 2008 |
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Google is everywhere, we all know that. Being the most important and used search engine was never enough. Now their latest idea (through their acquisition: Youtube) is to create the world’s very first collaborative online orchestra. The plan is simple: to get musicians from all over to audition for a classical music piece composed by Tan Dun by downloading the appropriate music sheets (corresponding to their instrument of choice), performing and recording themselves with a digital camera and uploading those recordings as submissions to participate in the orchestra.
Submissions opened yesterday and will go on up to the 28th on January. The youtube community will be asked to vote for the semi-finalists from the 14th to the 22th of February. The finalists will perform a concert at the Carnegie hall in April, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, the music director of the San Francisco Symphony. Tan Dun will release a compilation of all the audition-videos in a YouTube mashup. Apparently Google will arrange for visas and pay costs.
Classical music auditions usually involve months of preparation, very unhealthy doses of stress to finally play in front of a couple of musical geniuses and masters of musical theory and analysis. With this Google/Youtube method you’ll still have to deal with the prep, but with less stress.
If they get a big community on board, Tan Dun’s piece might get global attention leading to a very tight competition.
If this works, and it probably will (better than we think), I don’t see why it wouldn’t open up a new trend for professional classical musicians and orchestra managers.
Wonder if pre-recorded videos could work for a typical rock band’s audition…
(The New York Times has more).
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Posted in Industry Talk, tagged $150, $35, Andrew Vactor, bach, beethoven, Champaign County, classical music, creative sentence, fee, fine, hip-hop, Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott, jurassic 5, music, music genres, musically, ntm, outcast, public enemy, sentence, the roots on October 10, 2008 |
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Now here’s a funny story for ya. Took place back in July.
(worst photoshop cut-out ever)
A Hip-Hop fan by the name of Andrew Vactor was fined $150 for repeatedly listening to his music too loudly on his car-stereo. The Municipal Court Judge Susan Fornof-Lippencott from the Champaign County proposed to reduce the fine to $35 if the young-man were to listen to 20 hours of classical music. Andrew preferred to pay the whole amount stating he “didn’t have the time to deal with that” as he had some basket-ball training to attend to.
Now I have yet to figure out how the 20 hours were to be parceled-out because I sincerely hope they weren’t meant to have the dude spend two to three full time days listening to Beethoven and Chopin. If that were the case then what could’ve been a nicely thought-out creative sentence was soiled by the audacity of its own terms. I would’ve dropped the fine completely in exchange for an hour a day for two weeks. Disguise it as community service. Just a little annoying pinch everyday that could eventually make up for some new musical calling.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Hip-Hop in general. I’ll even go on to say I love certain artists: put on some Public Enemy, NTM, Outcast, NWA, Jurassic 5, The Roots etc and I’ll have my head boppin’ up and down in no time. But (and i’m not too sure how to phrase this properly): a certain proportion of Hip-Hop fans aren’t the most musically curious people out there.
The Judge declared that she thought a lot of people didn’t like to be forced to listen to music, so to expose the defendant to the same kind of experience he inflicts to others is, in this case, a pretty good call. But I’m guessing that beyond that, she intended to educate the rapper on what real music meant to her seeing that, due to his social and musical background, he would probably never give great composers like Beethoven or Bach a chance.
Pure speculation, but I’m ready to bet that the sentence had more to do with preachin’ than teachin’. Who has never tried to convince his friends, family, related and unrelated acquaintances that, what we love to listen to, they could (and should?) learn to love as well? I doubt I’m the only one. And when it comes to the narrow mindedness of some niches like Hip-Hop, Metal and Britney Spears fans, we musically inclined lot can’t help but advocate all the beauty and diversity that different music genres have to offer.
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