New Song: Apis Azuli

I made a last minute submission to the Forever Now project, which promises to “work with the international community to research, curate and create a contemporary golden record” to launch into space. My music video is dedicated to the vanishing bees.

View the Apis Azuli video on Forever Now and feel free to add a comment encouraging a launch.

New Song: Molten Glass Factory

Check out my new instrumental song, which was completely inspired by the new Korg MS-20 synth I recently added to my arsenal.

The synth came in as a DIY kit, so I decided to film a time-lapse of the assembly process.

As ever, I welcome comments and feedback. Interested in picking up a copy of the tune for yourself? Buy “Molten Glass Factory” as a digital download.

Presenting: Wonderland

Wonderland is here. What an effort it’s been!

While Wonderland is a solo album, it is unmistakably a collaborative effort. Featured on the album are twenty-six other musicians, most of whom I’ve worked with in other groups. These performers are: Carlos Adames (cajon, percussion), Glenn Asch (viola), Kaita Bliffert (vocals), Michael “Bootz” Bootzin (guitar), David Burda (hurdy-gurdy), Stuart Dove (guitar), Jahmes Finlayson (claps), Aaron Gardner (sax, flute), “Doc” Jeff Green (guitar), Emily Jansen (vocals), Kirsten Jermé (cello), Matan Koplin-Green (drum kit), Jeremy Kuzniar (drum kit), Marie Kuzniar (violin), Annan Lomotey (organ), Augustin Magdinier (drum kit), Colin O’Brien (banjo, shoe-clad feet), Julio Pabon (percussion), Dumah Saafir (claps), Oumar Sagna (percussion), David Stocker (throat voice, percussion), Kristin Urban (vocals), David Wake (organ), Holly Wake (vocals), Jodi Westmore (vocals), and Matthew Wilson (guitar).

Give it a listen below!

New Album: Wonderland

Roman Rising - Wonderland Album Cover ArtMy new album, Wonderland, will be out on September 4, 2012. You’ll be able to pick it up on iTunes, Amazon, and a bunch of other online retailers (not Spotify, so don’t even ask).

The only place you’re going to be able to buy the album with the companion digital booklet (a 29-page PDF chock-full of lyrics and original art) is on Rambutan Records.


The Value of Music

I’ve gotten myself all wound up over the discovery that there are bookmarklets available to enable otherwise disabled downloads on Soundcloud tracks. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t most Soundcloud users independent artists? If they choose to disable downloads, but enable streaming, aren’t they doing that for a reason? Isn’t it worthwhile respecting that, especially since they’re not getting major label funding?

According to some of the comments posted after mine, apparently not. The general gist seems to be that people don’t care – they want a marriage of convenience and not having to pay for something. I never thought I’d get sucked into the recent debate provoked by the honest post by NPR intern Emily White (about her 11,000 song library and how she only paid for 15 CDs in her entire life), but I inadvertently did. The conversation over the Soundcloud bookmarklet is but a microcosm of a greater discussion. Have you taken the time to read any of it? Cracker’s David Lowery provided what was probably the most thoughtful response. Many others followed, ad nauseam: 1 | 2 | 3 | etc.

There’s no point in sugarcoating this. I’ve seen my own enthusiasm about being a musician start off a raging torrent, and dwindle down to a nearly dry stream. Years of gigging with One Drum, De La Buena, Sindoolaa, and Urban Empress & the Urbanites took their toll. I no longer want to play for an audience, and instead long for long hours spent working on songs in the studio. Flip side? I need to pay the bills. Independent musicians typically only make residual income on recorded music, unless they get lucky and sign a sync licensing agreement to get their songs into TV or films. Thankfully, I have skills above and beyond being a musician. Had I put all of my eggs in one basket, I would be in a terrible place. I consider myself lucky.

As for the debate about the Soundcloud bookmarklet, I’ve copied the dialogue below, for the reader’s convenience. Click through to Github to chime in.

Continue reading “The Value of Music”