Jon Austin Tomlinson

Founder, JATMusic

About Jon Austin

Languages

English, Portuguese

An idea worth spreading

Music is more than a pass-time; it is incredibly powerful in uniting people around the world, raising awareness for issues, and raising funds to support them. Music is more than money or fame; let's use it for change.

I'm passionate about

Human rights, war on humanity, the end of nationalism and the conception of a separated mankind, music, writing, language, science, meditation, and the power of now.

Comments & conversations

208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
I love the idea that a song that can be created out of nothing in the mind of a musician and can be put towards practical change in the world. Honestly I think creativity can be put to use towards promoting and raising funds for social change by every human in any way. Creativity is our gift, and basically the whole point of this conversation is the idea that we can create things in our minds not for ourselves or our images but for our people as a whole.
208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
Thanks for the input. The idea is that we actually *continue* focusing our music towards solving some of our world's problems. John Lennon changed the world with his music and Bob Dylan did as well. SO WHY STOP THERE? I am very happy that music has helped in the past, and I am already well aware of it. That is not the point of the conversation. The point is that we keep going with it! Why should we allow music to regress to shitty pop and radio hits? Why should we feel okay that the world is going down while we "Keep calm and whatever" ? You have a very good point that music history shows music can change the world, so why aren't we still changing the world? Why are there as Greg mentioned a 1,000 albums for every 1 charity album?
208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
Personally, I'm just sick of beverly hills in general when there are 780 million people in the world without access to clean water. Why do I care? Because children die at a rate equivalent to a jumbo jet crashing every 4 hours, every single day. Thanks for your input, it has been very helpful. I don't see why I should not try on the off chance some musicians would not like to contribute. Have some faith! Anything we do, the musicians will be fully in on the plan, (including the possibility of giving their profits away.)
208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
A benefit from this would be that our organization helps artists build their potential audience, perhaps we could team up with university's like Full Sail (that already offers free studio recording for an educational experience for the students) and offer the musicians who are willing to donate and work with us for the cause a chance to have their songs recorded for free.
208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
Good points! What I meant was by I prefer the musicians not make profit was that I preferred the profits of the donations go straight to the cause. I too believe musicians deserve to profit off of their music and allow them to make a living, and I'm not talking about taking that away from them, but I am talking about just the donated music. When I said that it wasn't important exactly how much fundraising we were actually able to accomplish, I was still hoping that we would be able to contribute a significant amount towards projects. I agree with you that if we continually put out musicians' music and earned no returns, the organization would be a failure. The hope would be that if people wanted the music, or if people wanted to support the cause, we actually could earn some donations from our music alone (not to mention concert shows and perhaps musician meet and greets in the end.) The fact that we do only see the occasional charity album does, I agree, show that musicians need to support themselves with their music and keep the profits for themselves. But imagine, of the 1,000 albums, which is closer to 10,000 songs, if each artist donated 1 song. That's 1,000 songs, and maybe a good 100 albums. Yes I am in the music community, and one thing I can say for sure is that it is very difficult to make any money with your own music. Most professional musicians earn a living by playing for bars, restaurants, concerts, or other gigs. It takes a lot of time and marketing to get a large enough audience to be able to put out an album and make a profit off of it, due to recording costs. I also know that many musicians that make a living playing covers (and originals) in restaurants or bars or shows, usually do have their own original music, (and yes they may make some extra cash by selling CD's or merchandise at a show,) but most of the time unless the artist/group is very famous, it's difficult to profit.
208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
Thanks for the feedback! And If the organization could raise enough money to fund in-the-field training? I know that travel-volunteering is a popular business for people that want to travel and experience other cultures and also help people. I can find 10s or more of organizations that lobby trips to work in small communities around the world for small prices plus airfare, for a place to stay and the chance to work on a bigger project, for the experience, internship, language skills, etc. So, what if at the end of the day, our organization raised funds AND awareness with music, as well as raised money through the selling of these culture trips to our volunteers. Part of the solution to the water crisis for example is to build very cheap wells (sometimes more expensive depending on the size and population you are trying to sustain). Our volunteers would work teaching the communities the building process as well as *teaching* proper sanitation (as simple as washing their hands could save millions of childrens lives!!!!). Are you proposing that our organization could not raise any money because we are funding our own projects? Like Greg pointed out earlier, doing the work we do would ensure we team up with many individuals and contacts and organizations in the same field. Our funds would not only fund our efforts, but we would also be teaming up with organizations like for example where The Water Project in Western Kenya funds "a young NGO known as The Bridge Water Project" to get the work done, as well as teaming up with professional drilling companies. We can not train anybody without any funds or support or awareness from our people. Does any of this address what you have been concerned with, or am I missing the question?
208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
I agree with you here that switching issues every two years could be inefficient. Well, imagine we got together with some of the popular local radio bands in my city, Houston. We inform them of the water crisis and ask if they'd be interested in contributing to the cause with a single song or more. We would put all of the songs together, release it as an album for water, mark each band that each song is contributed by, and open sales/fundraising/donations for the cause. Donors get the album and perhaps other band experiences (like meet and greets or even live shows for the cause.) The album itself would never go off sales, and even if we did perhaps release another album for a different issue, (or maybe the same issue with different popular musicians,) all of the albums would be available in the same place, and perhaps the larger we got, and the more fan bases we tapped into, the more people would stumble across the original albums. Perhaps it is not that we switch from issue to issue, just allow people to donate/contribute/buy albums for different issues at the same time. (Of course we would only start with a single issue, and if at any time we find the courage to step up for another issue and do a show for another issue, I think we could maybe get the support of an entire different crowd that may be passionate about the other issue.) So, exactly the way reverbnation allows for donations/support to up to 10 (or more) charities at the same time with the same site/organization, we would be doing the same. Although, I am still against the profit of the musicians.. When I dream of this organization I imagine it as a non-profit organization. I understand musicians time is valuable and maybe they don't have a lot of money and need to market their work for themselves, but the incentive for them to contribute with us would be that, 1) they will tap into a much larger fan base audience than just their own (every other bands' that contributes) and 2) for the world
208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
Appreciate the advice. The difference I can see here is that Musicforrelief is specifically for natural disaster relief, whereas what I am proposing would be to support the water crisis (the 780 million people with lack of access to clean water,) the aids crisis (and diseases that can be treated easily with simple over-the-counter medicine that kill more people than you would like to imagine,) the favela crisis (in places like brazil and south korea wherein the population is impoverished and often controlled by drug lords with no support from the governments to restructure or rebuild), and all other acts of war on humanity that only seem to occur because the world seems to turn a blind eye to it. Reverbnation does a good job of splitting profits between musicians and the issues of their choice, but it is less about the cause and more about the musicians, and allows them to each "pick a specific issue and split their profit half half with it," which as you may guess may not be as powerful or direct as an entire organization raising awareness and funds to fight a single issue at a time. What these organizations tell me is that it is possible. I like the devil's advocate you are playing, Greg, keep them coming.
208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
To combat the public brushing the organization off as just another charity act would be one of our biggest challenges. We would constantly be fighting to raise awareness about the incredible importance of some of the issues we would be fighting. It would take a lot of effort on our part, but I for one am happy to put in the effort, and I can only speak for myself, but I think that with the right combination of songs/musicians/albums/or shows, people might realize that the issues are real, and they can ignore us if they like, but we are not working to get them to like us, we are working to raise money for a cause. I also think that the fact we are fundraising through music allows for those people who want to contribute to the cause to donate/buy the music, but also those that don't care about the cause are able to still contribute if they just want to listen to the music alone.
208032
Jon Austin Tomlinson
Posted over 1 year ago
What if music was more than art? Could albums and musicians work together to promote the issues of the world and fund the volunteer work?
The video posted by Salim is an excellent example of how even world-famous musicians are willing to spare their time and effort for a worthy cause. I have also found in my personal experience that when you are writing music for a specific cause, you are more motivated and powerful in your delivery. I don't believe music should be about money or fame. Music is very powerful and I believe we should be utilizing it more often for the bettering of the world. To answer your questions with a few ideas, (which I as well can't say how strong they are yet,) I think that it doesn't matter, honestly, exactly how much money is raised for any cause. The fact that any money at all can be put together by the sheer creative effort alone of an individual is an incredible gift we own as humans, and with that comes incredible opportunity. If any musician likes to contribute on a "spot-by-spot basis," having a permanent charity label would not take away from their being special, because it would not work as a traditional record label. The organization I am proposing would allow musicians to contribute to the album and cause, (similar to the conglomeration of musicians put together for the show in Madison Square by Harrison except in an album and not a show (which isn't to say we couldn't put together live concerts one day),) and it would allow them to contribute on a spot-by-spot basis, if they desired. We could have musicians contributing one song, or maybe a full album, or maybe many albums and many shows, (seeing that the organization would attempt to raise awareness for multiple issues over a period of time.) This way even the poorest musician could muster up at least one song to contribute to the cause, and who's to say they wouldn't be even more widely appreciated for their contribution than if they had gone about releasing the same song solo for themselves. I appreciate the feedback, I am happy to bounce around these ideas with you guys from TED.