Sabrina Young


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How do you use music technology to reach a wider diverse audience?

How do you use music technology to reach a wider diverse audience in your chosen artistic medium (ex. jazz, classical, celtic, rock, reggae, etc.). Do you find that technology helps or hurts your artistic expression?

For example, I write complex electronic music often mixed with experimental classical music. Through technology I am able to reach thousands of music "fans" through social media, collaborative works (like my recent virtual opera that was produced entirely online) and other projects, and my writing projects. Audiovisual technology allows me to create large scale works for a fraction of the cost and share them with the public immediately.

On the flip side, reaching out to the "mainstream" is almost impossible through more traditional forms of media like TV and radio for independent artists, and online popularity does not always translate into a viable income.

How do you personally combine technology and music in your artistic and creative endeavors, or in your business? Is there a way for an independent artist to soar above the wave of sound?

Would like to hear your thoughts....

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    Nov 29 2013: Sabrina, what is the "secret" of people who have successfully reached out to the mainstream via TV and radio? Is their music better?
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    Nov 29 2013: I really Don't know about the music technology.I need to find and search more about this.
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    Nov 25 2013: @Scott I think you are right about the difference between music lovers/listeners and music consumers. As it is right now, everyone is listening to some type of music at almost any given moment because of the oversaturation of music, whether you are an active listener enjoying a favorite band or a passive listener at the mall (or dentist or your office). I think you are right that many of these sites don't really create real fans, but instead are just virtual popularity contests. The people that care the most about my music are the people that I have met personally or have a personal connection to them, or even a professional connection if we met at a music conference. It still holds that the most successful musicians are those that connect with their fans one on one and then enhance that relationship with social media than those who work the LIKE system to get a lot of thumbs up.

    @Ludmil Are you talking within the commercial setting or as an artist? In many ways the marketers are way ahead of the artists in using specific musical styles, beats, tempos, etc. to create an ambience that is conducive to product-selling or creating the right "mood" for a commercial endeavor. It is when musicians find out how to support the audience by creating these feelings that they may find more financial and popular success...maybe?
  • Nov 25 2013: It is not simply about the impact of music, but also ... how to use the music as communication strategy to influence the audience (pace, accent, rhythm, melody harmonizing a social strategy to communicate with others) ... and this could be called a social networking mechanism to connect ... or support an ambience.
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    Nov 7 2013: the internet has created the music-consumer which is not the same as the music-lover or the music-listener and they are the worst kind of audience.

    'reaching an audience' is backwards to me. in my band, we are 5 good friends that have managed to keep playing together for well over 5 years now. we perform original music and don't really do much in the way of marketing - mostly because we find marketing to be annoying (ads) and gimmicky. so we do our thing and wait for an audience to come to us. like a glacier, it's a slow but irresistible process.

    we use fb and youtube as well as a website as landing points for people to connect with after they've seen us live. the million other networking sites (eg reverbnation) don't do much for me. like i said above, they're not about music (as I see it) they are music consumption sites where people aren't listening to each other, they are just vying for more thumbs ups, likes and what not.
  • Nov 6 2013: Youtube is a massive audience.
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    Nov 6 2013: @Uday. You present an interesting point. In some ways, as a corollary to your idea, there are already mathematical algorithms developed that help "predict" the next big thing in mainstream music, which in essence, uses specific notes, rhythms, melodies, etc. to determine the masses' purchasing behavior regarding a very mathematically specific musical style. So in some ways, there are some researchers already exploring behavior (at least purchasing behavior) in regards to "hit" music tunes.

    @Whisky. I tend to be more optimistic regarding the state of music. If we take out the micropercentage of superstars, the reality is that it is very feasible for a musician to earn a living in our current market. The key is to ignore the outliers that have McMansions and a dozen limos, and to look at the great swath of musicians that are now able to reach their audiences through social media and smart marketing tactics. If we ignore the "Pop Superstar" that was invented in the last century and look at musician careers over time, at least in Western society where music is more of a career path than a communal idea, then being able to multitask is integral to any artist's success. An old example - Bach was a church organist, composer, teacher, and music director. The combination allowed him to be successful and provide for his family (20 kids!!). True, he didn't have the million dollar push that allows "entertainers" like Miley Cyrus to twerk herself to album sales, but in reality, today's musicians don't need to rely only "being discovered" by middle men to succeed.

    Whiskey, it sounds like you might have the best of both worlds - still being a live performer and being able to promote yourself online. Musicians that are seen are much more successful with online promotion than those who stay locked in their studios. Anyway....those are my thoughts...would love to hear more!
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      Nov 7 2013: Hey! Beck is not old you little S.Spring Young chicken :P, I kid.

      Yep, I'm very pessimistic about the state of money, we shall save that for the music at the bottom of the ocean of a sunk boat that many of us missed :)
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        Nov 7 2013: :) I think in general that the economy stinks. I was lucky in that I chose Music Technology for my master's instead of classical composition or music education like most of my friends. So while I still performed and composed, I also learned new media, video editing, web design, photoshop, mixing, recording, and mastering. There are a lot of options for those that have those skills. Like this year I will have written two different albums for a client, written a ton, finished an animated opera, and also taught online courses. I play sometimes, too (I'm a percussionist), but unfortunately while I love performing, a band gig doesn't fit with my schedule right now, although there is nothing I like more than a 3am jam session. :)
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    Nov 6 2013: If Cognitive science and research will devote some of their energy and time, then we should be able to interpret a persons interest and liking of specific tunes, notes and perhaps genres of music to be somewhat indicative of a mindset, a suitability, or adaptability, or likely interest. This in some way must make it a better to select and profile individuals, youngsters better than evaluation based on reading an academic CV. With intangibles increasingly creating our commercial added value and controlling our individual successes; music must play a more tangible role by creating easier forms of cognitive segmentation.
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    Nov 5 2013: I'd like to start by saying I appreciate all music. What matters is whether I'd like to continue lessoning to it or not. I believe Technology can both help and harm music creativity. If it is used too much most of the time it sounds too "digital" and lacks an alive vibe and human expression. I don't know, maybe my age it just starting to show, lol. Most club dance music today (and even 15 years ago) I can't continue lessoning to for more than 5 minutes.

    I use today's (maybe yesterday's now?) technology to effect the music I have created. This is only my personal taste though. The door is wide open for anything.

    Playing live is most likely your best way to make an income playing music today unless you sell it to someone else to use I guess. As far as getting into the mainstream takes time and luck. Alot of luck. There are many talented that should get recognized more than what they do. Not an easy industry if ever was but what is today, eh? Just keep pushing the speakers and keep the ideas and enjoyment flowing is what really matters. To reach a diverse audience, eh?.....almost impossible, join a cover band would be my best guess OR sing about what EVERYONE feels in one way or another. Leave it up to interpretation but really hit home in each and every way to soar above the sound waves. Make everyone able to relate to it in mean something. That's the million dollar question and I think it's all in what the message is. Politics "used" to do it.