Megan Ihnen is a Des Moines, IA-based mezzo-soprano and “tireless promoter of contemporary classical music for the voice.” For this week’s episode, we sat down to talk about building community, being generous, and writing for the voice.
Throughout the conversation we covered:
Thomas Deneuville is another musician whose friendship I owe to Twitter, which is only fitting considering his affinity to and facility with social media. Thomas is the founder of the online new music magazine I Care If You Listen, which he created in December 2010, and has since grown to includeICareIfYouListen.tv, a fully-fledged media platform dedicated to user-generated new music videos. A testament to his ingenuity and love of the world of new music, Thomas and I Care If You Listen won the 45th Annual ASCAP Foundation Deems Taylor Media Award in 2013.
Outside of ICIYL, Thomas teaches, consults, and speaks about web design, email marketing, social media, and analyzing online metrics, as they pertain to musicians and other artists. He is also the digital content manager for Cornell University.
During the course of this week’s episode, we talked about:
In November 2015, Dale Trumbore recommended that Kurt Knecht and I talk about me joining MusicSpoke, an online retailer of self-published scores run by Kurt and his wife Jennifer Rosenblatt. I've been a MusicSpoke composer ever since, and have a number of my scores available for sale there.
Because Kurt & Jennifer run MusicSpoke with such dedication, zeal, and transparency, I wanted to highlight their business, which does so much for the composers involved, and for the community in general, and to talk about digital distribution in general.
In the course of our conversation, we covered:
<li>The wall that traditional publishers represent between composers and score purchasers</li>
<li>The monetary difference between traditional publishing and distribution deals</li>
<li>Reading sessions at conferences</li>
<li>Curating lists of works</li>
<li>Making use of connections in your own state</li>
<li>Using physical scores to make digital sales</li>
<li>The rarely-considered middlemen in scores sales</li>
<li>Piracy, digital rights management, and copy licensing agreements</li>
<li>How people who have no intention of paying aren’t going to pay - either through piracy or not buying at all</li>
<li>How music schools inadvertently foster a culture of piracy</li>
<li>The future of score sales and digital distribution</li>
<li>The hyper-scrupulous honesty of many score purchasers</li>
<li>Fostering community among composers</li>
<a href="http://musicspoke.com/" target="_blank">MusicSpoke</a>
<a href="http://facebook.com/musicspoke" target="_blank">MusicSpoke on Facebook</a>
<a href="https://twitter.com/hearMusicSpoke" target="_blank">MusicSpoke on Twitter</a>
<a href="http://kurtknecht.com/" target="_blank">Kurt Knecht</a>
Composer & conductor Dominick DiOrio is a supremely talented musician, and we have many friends in common who have raved about him to me over the years. He's a widely-respected choral conductor, and a huge champion of new music, so I've been interested in getting him on the show from the word "go".
We have a few audio issues at the beginning of the episode, but everything smooths out nicely after a few minutes, and we have a really wonderful chat.
In the course of our conversation, we talk about:
<li>Wearing the dual hats of conductor and composer</li>
<li>How performative pursuits can inform your writing, and vice versa</li>
<li>Common score review practices for choral conductors</li>
<li>Composers who have (or don’t have) a vocal sensibility</li>
<li>Adjudicating competitions, and what disqualifies many entries in the first round</li>
<li>Recording requirements in competitions</li>
<li>The evolution of choral music in the US, and its effect on choral writing</li>
<li>The affinity toward new music in the choral world</li>
<li>Operatic vocal technique as the primary style taught to voice majors</li>
<li>Giving students compositional tools without pushing them into a particular style</li>
<li>Submitting works to conductors and ensembles</li>
<a href="http://www.dominickdiorio.com/" target="_blank">Dominick DiOrio</a>
<a href="http://music.indiana.edu/departments/ensembles/cve/index.shtml" target="_blank">NOTUS: IU Contemporary Vocal Ensemble</a>
<a href="http://www.graphitepublishing.com/" target="_blank">Graphite Press</a>
Alexandra Gardner is a great composer who, thanks in no small part to her time as an Associate Editor for NewMusicBox, knows a lot about the nuts and bolts workings of the concert music world. For this week, she and I sat down to talk about a wide range of practical considerations for composers.
After having never met Rob Deemer before in person, I had TWO conversations with him in less than a week for the podcast! Conversation No. 1 was marred by some unexpected audio issues, so we re-recorded less than a week later, and that's what you're getting this week.
During Convo No. 2, we talked about:
<ul><li>How side projects can boost your career</li>
<li>Being able to talk about your music</li>
<li>Labels as specifiers & Labels as marketing</li>
<li>Drawing parallels between concert music and other fields</li>
<li>The ways we talk about “new music”</li>
<li>Music as an Experience</li>
<li>Social media as a serious form of professional communication</li>
<li>Interacting with musicians when you (or they) live outside of a major metropolitan area</li>
<li>Teaching inexperienced artists how to interact on social media</li>
<li>Forming deeper relationships online</li>
<li>Building community in different ways</li>
<li>Relating public professional interactions to professional didactic experiences</li>
<li>Operating as a professional online</li>
<li>Being human and approachable online</li>
<li>Teaching teachers to compose</li>
<li>Teaching entrepreneurship and business skills</li>
<li>The history of self publishing & the history of teaching music in universities</li>
<li>Short term gains vs. long term sacrifices in publishing</li>
<li>Making educated and thoughtful business decisions</li>
<li>Balancing your time between admin tasks and writing</li></ul>
Since we covered such vastly different material in each conversation (of course with not-insignificant overlap), we've decided to offer our first conversation as "bonus content" for this week's episode, if you don't mind listening to "the sexiest voice in classical music" through a slight haze of static. Download it <a href="http://traffic.libsyn.com/musicpubpod/MPP8.5_Rob_Deemer_Take_One.mp3" target="_blank">HERE</a>.
Dale is a composer whose career I’ve enjoyed following over the years. I’m always intrigued by the projects that she takes on, and I love the interesting and super-savvy ways that she tackles each one.
In the course of our conversation, we talked about:
Snow White Turns Sixty - Gillian Hollis & Dale Trumbore
Choral Arts Initiative: “How to Go On: The Choral Works of Dale Trumbore”
Dale Warland Choral Series
MusicSpoke: Choral Arts Initiative Series
For this week's episode, I sat down with San Jose-based composer and engraver Noah Luna to talk about the importance of having professional-quality scores and parts. He offered some great advice on some little things that composers can do to improve the look and - most importantly - the readability of their materials.
In the course of the hour, we chatted about:
Erin Rogers is a super-talented composer and saxophonist who I’ve known for a couple of years. We met for the first time over lunch many years ago while I was in the early stages of writing the Composer’s Guide, where we had a wonderful conversation about publishing and composer career issues that has always stuck with me. Our paths haven’t crossed much in the intervening years, so I was glad to have a reason to reconnect with Erin by inviting her on the show. And boy was I glad I did!
This is the first show that I’ve done not just live, but in-person, as well! We attempted to broadcast as per usual, but I discovered after the fact that Google Hangouts stopped actually broadcasting after the first 20 minutes…leaving another 70 that never went out to YouTube! Fortunately, as I’ve learned about doing this whole podcasting thing, I’ve started recording the audio on my own end (and asking my guests to record theirs, as well), so the entire conversation was captured on my laptop, and wasn’t lost due to the screw-ups of our Google Overlords.
After we stopped our broadcast, Erin and I hung out for several more hours, still talking along the same lines as on the show. We poured ourselves another drink and kept talking at my apartment, then went out for dinner, and kept the conversation going there. A part of me wishes we’d “kept the cameras rolling” as it were, because we covered lots of fertile ground.
During our recorded conversation, however, we managed to talk about:
Copyright is the bedrock of every artist’s career – it secures rights and offers protections that allow us to build careers on solid ground without undue worry of our works being stolen or exploited without our knowledge or consent. The Founding Fathers of the United Stated thought it so important that they wrote it into Article I of the Constitution. Every artist should have a working knowledge of current copyright law – they should know the basic rights and protections that they’re afforded, and how they can remedy any infringement on their rights.
It’s with this in mind that I invited my friend Marc Ostrow, an entertainment/IP lawyer and songwriter, to be on the show.
In our conversation, we talked about:
(* – these are important points!)
Marc is slated to come back in July to go into more depth with Fair Use and the seemingly endless misconceptions that people seem to have about it.
Composer Chris Cresswell and I have known each other for a couple of years, and we never fail to to have long, rambling, fun conversations. Today was no different in this trans-Atlantic chat about self-doubt, finding joy in composing, and mental health for artists.
In this episode:
Third time's a charm! After a sudden scheduling conflict and a Google Hangouts technological nightmare, Jenn Jolley and I finally sat down to talk about her music, her blog, and the opera company that she helped to found.
In this episode, we touched on:
To kick off the Music Publishing Podcast, I sat down to chat with Alex Shapiro, a fantastic composer and friend who writes and speaks regularly about composers’ career issues, and is a Writer Member of the ASCAP Board of Directors.
Appropriately enough, we sat down on April 15 – usually tax day, except that we got a reprieve this year to procrastinate for a few more days.
In our wide-ranging conversation, we talked about:
So you're in the concert music world, and you're looking to improve your career.
Maybe you're a composer who's heard a bit about self-publishing, but you're not totally sure what that fully means, or what you should be doing.
Maybe you're a performer who'e pretty good at getting gigs, and you're starting to think about making a recording, but aren't sure of where to start.
Or maybe you're thinking of starting your own concert series or putting together an ensemble or getting a little opera company off the ground, but feel daunted by the logistics of it.
Enter the Music Publishing Podcast.
In Ep. 0, meet composer, vocalist, and MPP host Dennis Tobenski, and learn what the show is about.