Times Are A Changing


Well – Bob Dylan sang about it decades ago, but the topic always rings true.  Over this past decade the Music Industry was turned upside down due to new technologies and distribution systems.  Pre-2000, a middle class of musicians was able to sell recordings and make a decent living with a mix of concert engagements, record sales, and possibly some teaching and related activities.  Then the digital age brought file sharing and a new value system that included free goods and a crippled club scene.  In the aftermath of Napster, a new generation of consumers expected music to be free or of little value and musicians to provide their goods cheaply while supplementing their hobby with real jobs.  This seems like a great consumer liberation except that music is not a commonly traded product but a basic human expression and a cultural good. The results of this change was the great demise of the musician middle class with a current system of a 1% class of extremely rich superstars and 99% of moonlighting musicians.  One solution to this dilemma is crowdfunding – an opportunity for audiences to support their favorite musicians by pre-ordering their goods and providing the resources needed to complete recording projects.  Initially, the concept proved to be quite successful – the example of Amanda Palmer raising beyond $ 1 million being a highlight.  Unfortunately, those success stories overshadow many struggling campaigns that can’t draw from a vast fan base created by a previous major label deal or resources provided by family members. Nevertheless, the production of cultural goods and musical expression now relies on direct support from fans and supporters.  I’m writing this post in the middle of my own crowdfunding campaign.  The concept is fantastic but it takes a big toll on the artist.  Asking friends for financial support is a difficult thing to do and feels a lot like begging.  In principle, it is not begging but rather selling as each supporter can choose their reward level and actually receives a specified good or experience as described in the campaign.  But what takes the toll on the artist is the amount of time and contact points it takes to get people’s attention.  Just tonight I watched a couple reaffirm their love dancing to my rendition of Misty.  Another lady came up complimenting my arrangement of You’ve Got a Friend and debating the pensive mood with a sparkle in her eyes.  These moments happen during every performance and I know my music makes a difference in many ways for many people.  So if you read this, please consider the impact that music has on your life and support the creators  – it could be the decision of ordering a CD rather than another pair of shoes or just sending the link and recommendation on to all your friends – and just click/paste http://igg.me/at/monika so I can focus on creating more beautiful music.  Thank you and you will absolutely love these recordings – they are incredible!!!