Warsaw Autumn 2006 – Music on Internet Conference – II

Today was the second and final day of the “Music on Internet” conference. The presentations today started off with artist’s perspective (composer, sound artist, performer), followed by different Polish music people (a representative of POLMIC, one of the founders of merlin.pl, the head of onet-plejer, and one of the founders of DUX records), then the last session was one of people discussing the Internet as a means to reach people (a general presentation on the state of music business and how the Internet is playing a role now, a presentation on podcasting, and one on a music site to sell/promote music).

There was a lot of concern over digital sales, and by the end of the conference I think the discussion really came to point out the generational differences on the perception of music and how it is consumed (something to buy and physically own versus something to listen to and have access to). I felt that a some of the presenters really weren’t aware of all the things going on the Internet except by what they heard (didn’t use themselves), though I was very much impressed with Scott Cohen’s presentation on “The Orchard” where he is a VP at in London (I think a VP, but regardless, a high up player there). He seemed to me the guy who most “got it” and was really discussing the developing issues on music promotion and the change of business and how marketing and sales of music is fundamentally changing, as well as how we discover new music today.

How we discover music today became a really interesting topic in my mind as I was constantly thinking about how does art music separate itself from all the other music out there (and it’s really all out there) and that while those involved with art music may seem to think that it is a cultural given that it is of value that I think it really is not a given. The social aspect of sharing recommendations with friends as well as viewing listening trends to find other music one would like became very fascinating to me, as things like getting published on a label or even being mentioned in a journal become less factors in bringing attention to one’s music.

In the end, one of the things I took away from all this was that I am not really interested in making a financial profit for my music as I write it for the purpose of art and not money. However, I am interested in my music reaching others and that perhaps one of the things to help others give my music a chance if they have never heard any art music is to explain some of my intentions on what it is I am interested in and how music plays a part in that and in my life.

The conference was a really neat collection of viewpoints on music on the Internet and was really glad to have been able to attend, as I felt it would have been appreciated by just about anyone involved with music. There was a lot of really great practical information and I hope that in the coming weeks I can take some of the ideas that were brought up and work with them in my ways of working with music on the Internet.

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