Monthly Archives: April 2013

John Mayer

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I am a huge John Mayer fan so I’ve decided to write about his journey in the music industry. Mayer grew up in Fairfield, Connecticut and is the second of three children. He learned guitar at the age of thirteen. He was obsessed with playing music and began playing in local cafes and bars. Mayer’s first album was only available online from Aware records but he was soon picked up Columbia records and rereleased his first album Room for Squares. Since the beginning of his journey John Mayer has been nominated for nineteen Grammy’s and has won seven of them. I would consider him to be one of the greatest artists in my lifetime. He has only released five albums between 2001 and 2012, besides live albums, but he continues to keep his fan base. The internet and the accessibility of the internet has been essential in Mayer’s career. In 2012 he faced a health problem that could have ended his career. Mayer went through surgery to remove a granuloma from his throat, after he was put on vocal rest and given Botox injections to help heal. During the writing on his latest album Born and Raised he spent several months in Montana away from the spotlight and continued to stay there to heal. His Born and Raised tour in the spring of 2012 had to be postponed due to the vocal rest, leaving fans disappointed. However, the Born and Raised tour has been rescheduled for this summer. If it had not been for the internet and his music being widely spread he may have lost a lot of fans due to the lack of his presence in the spotlight. He seems to be doing well on the charts too with Born and Raised moving from number 193 to 135 on the Billboard charts in just a few weeks. John says he is now ready to tour and he is ready to move forward in his life and career.

Twitter #Music

Twitter is one of the most popular apps in the world, especially with iPhone users. We know Twitter to be a type of social networking site where we can express feelings or follow celebrities. But now Twitter is taking it a step further, they just introduced a new app on Thursday for iPhone users called Twitter #Music, hence the hash tag. This new app is designed solely for music lovers and musicians. Twitter says this new app is to help Twitter users to discover new music and artists.

Here’s how the app works, based on your twitter followers the app recommends songs and artists based on whom you follow and what musicians they follow. Twitter hopes this app leads to sharing new music and purchasing the music you like on iTunes. Some people are skeptical whether or not this app will help artists make more of a profit but I think it’s a really cool idea. This app seems like a great way for new and up coming artists to get their music out there.

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The design of the app is also very cool and unique. Just like the trending topics on the original Twitter app the Twitter #Music app has a popular page for music. There is a suggestion tab which suggests new artists to you and also a now playing tab which shows you who your friends and followers are listening to. The app has a really simple yet sleek design that many people will  find interesting. I am interested in seeing how long this app stays popular and whether or not it will benefit the music industry.

Film Scores

At about the age of eleven, I began to consider becoming a film score composer. I had bought my very first CD: the score for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. My parents having pronounced the movie too “dark” for me to watch at my age, I grasped the nearest thing possible that would bring to life the trilogy I had so determinedly read. When the friend who had introduced the books was scheduled to came over one day soon after, I queued up “Concerning Hobbits” so that it would be playing as I answered the door. I still remember the shy audacity with which I stood still and waited for her to recognize the track, to acknowledge that I had some slight participation in this movie realm.

I think that listening to the score before I saw the film allowed me to appreciate the music on its own terms. Howard Shore’s scores are enthralling to listen to. But film scores must be more than just pleasant listening (though beauty is certainly a feature of the best scores). Shore would win Oscars in the “Best Score” category for both The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King not just because the music he composed was beautiful aurally, but because it was beautiful within a cinematic context. The score is integral to the construction of the Middle Earth of the movies, giving special auras to Rohan and Mordor and the Shire, guiding the audience through the emotions of each scene. Film music is an art that is essential to the hugely collaborative filmmaking process.

Even the earliest films utilized music. Because the technology of the time did not allow for recorded sound, this music had to be supplied live. For many musicians, playing for film showings was a source of income. Pianists played often from classical repertoire and sometimes improvised accompaniment to what was happening on-screen. The chief goal (as it still stands today) was to supply mood and provide emotional cues for the audience. Soon, composers began writing music specifically for films, and larger theatres often had musical ensembles or organists to provide music and sometimes even sound effects.

In an age of electronic music, composers can be far more precise in writing scores and, arguably, more creative. Synthesized sounds can be used, as by the famous film composer Hans Zimmer. His music for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl which he created with Klaus Badelt was, due to time restraints, filled largely with synthesized instruments. Although this and a tight schedule unfortunately detracted from the quality of the score, it is nevertheless widely popular for is catchy themes.

Zimmer, along with most composers, can employ electronic features more intentionally and to great effect.

The purpose of film music has always been chiefly to trigger emotional response or involvement in the audience. For any given scene, there are endless possibilities as to what this emotion could be, and the choice is a collaboration between director, producer(s), and composer. Director Ed Fraiman discusses his “massive musical decision” for a scene from an episode of Merlin in which Lancelot faces off an enormous griffin: “You could have scored the jeopardy, you could have the obvious danger that he’s in, but we’ve actually scored the heroism, the emotion…” Producer Johnny Caps adds that, “At the end of the day, it’s about loyalty and love.”

(And yes, you will watch this, and you will enjoy it, cheesy monsters, magic spells, Colin Morgan’s ears, and all.)

I no longer desire to be a film composer myself, but I still admire them. They have a massive job to pull off; and though it is a collaborative project, in the end it is the responsibility of the composer to portray the emotion and the mood that carries the scene—and the film.

Soundcloud, a Place for your Sounds

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Picture taken from Google Images

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This picture is of a song being played on Soundcloud. Picture was taken from Google Image search engine.

To start off I just want to go into what soundcould is, and is not. Soundcloud is not a place to watch videos, music videos or other wise.  Soundcloud is solely about the sound.  SoundCloud is an online audio distribution platform that allows  promotion and distribution of  recordings by the people who make them up.  It is also considered to be social networking website, that focuses on music.  Soundcloud was first started in 2007 in Sweden, but established a year later in Germany by Artist Eric Wahlforss and Sound Designer Alex Ljung. Not long after the official start did Soundcloud start to dominate over MySpace with more artists posting and distributing their music. The Reason that Soundcloud is able to dominate over MySpace is because Soundcloud is solely for music, and is not for other things such as pictures and videos.

Today Soundcloud has over twenty million users, and is reportedly growing by over one and a half million users a month. When at the Soundcloud website it gives you different choices, and one of the choices is that you can upload your own music, as well as you can go and listen to others music and enjoy the compositions that they are sharing with you.   Soundcloud has also expanded to be able to link up with a persons FaceBook page, and that can be how you access and share music with your friends.  It has also expanded to become an app for smart phones as well.  Soundcloud is a good option for you if you are interested in posting and sharing your music with others.

Below I have posted a tutorial of how to use Soundcloud.

iHeart Radio was  founded in April 2008 by Clear Channel Broadcasting Inc. as the website Imageiheartradio.com. It is now a radio network, and a music recommender system. iHeart Radio offers free music in a free digital internet radio service that lets you stream from live radio stations.

iHeart Radio was made available to cell phones through an app on October 7, 2008. It was only release for iPhones and iPod touches through the App store. In 2009 it was made available to BlackBerrys and Android phones.

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Soon after these apps where opened iHeart Radio begin to offer artist interviews, and live performances. In 2010 it expanded to Sonos platforms. in 2011 iHeart Radio expanded to Xbox 360 consoles. in 2012 iHeart launched on iPads and made a deal to power Yahoo Music Radio.

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iHeart Radio is used all over the United States. It is just as popular as Spotify, Pandora, and other online and on the go radio stations. iHeart radio lets you customize your own radio station and even lets you set alarms, so that  you can wake up to your favorite radio stations, and helps you start off your day. I personally think that iHeart Radio is really cool. It lets me listen to my favorite radio stations and allows me to skip thorough songs i don’t like. I also like because they interview artist which lets the artist fans get to know them better. I think its a great radio station.

iHeart Radio