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Subject: Article about AI   31/3/23
There has been much said about AI, on Twitter, on Facebook, but I am yet to see anywhere my view on it.

So here goes....

Music has, for years now, become more and more automated.  Whether in moving a Garageband drum track with a mouse or pressing a preset drum rhythm
on a synth.  There has always been elements of instrumentation pre packaged and then manipulated.  So you might think that I would welcome the great overlord
computer brain and the music it will bring.

That could not be further from the truth.  I have a huge difficulty with the idea of pressing a button called "music."  I object to  sidelining the experiences of a lifetime, the hurt, the joys, the disasters.  And I think it degrades music when what has gone before is fed into synapses and programmes designed to bring some brief illumination from a law of no doubt diminishing returns.

Humans have always advanced music hugely in every century. Otherwise, we would still be singing Gregorian Chants.  But putting things into a computer does not bring you anything new,  because of what the computer will be fed with.    What about expression?  What about using fingers, not dragging along a cursor to a prepaid point? Do you think a computer can play something "dolce" (sweetly) or  passionata (passionately)  What experience does Mr Computer have of sex, lies or indeed videotape?

And what of the people behind AI?  Many  faceless businessman seeing a way to make money from music, without having any musical talent or interpretation ability  themselves. Do we think that they deserve to win in the music market place?  Spotify get us musicians 0.003 cents a time. So could artists be more adulterated and potentially obliterated than they are already?  This is a way to make music for the masses without examination, or critique, of the whole idea in the first place. Who gave them blanket approval of AI anyway other than a business decision?

So what I would like to say, in the same way as GM foods should be labelled on your cereal, is an AI designation has to be clearly shown on all AI music.  Then we can choose.  I personally think we need to oppose this.  Let the AI kids shout at the "Real" Kids.  Mods and Rockers would seem nothing in comparision.  Let the realists be  the ones that want to see real people, musicians, prosper and invent new music, based upon life experience.  And live experience may well save many "real" musicians who want to show they can play instruments and engage with the hearts of people.   The resolution of live music being better than the hapless low quality downloads in any case.  Have a CD and you have over 1000 kbps rather than 324 or 128.  Have an LP and have the additional warmth of sound.  In other words, how have megabytes been anything than the opposite of mega for overall bought music quality?

And we should recognise that this whole malarkey  will damage real musicians,  whether it is good, or bad.  If bad, it will degrade the quality of music.  if it is good, it will degrade the living of those real people who live from music.

Now I realise I could be out on a limb here.  My dad never forgave the company he worked for who "replaced him with a computer"  Times change and all that.

But for as long as I am about, I want music from the heart of a human, not a  clone of something from the past.  And I want to identify with the warmth of personal experience that makes music so magical and so exciting.  I cannot get that from bits in a a bot.

26/3/21   ON THE RADIO!

The difference with my music in the past year has been plays on radio stations.  
Synth City leads by far and I'm grateful to Rob Harvey who is one of the best
promoters of great new artists.  To the extent that sometimes I wondered if I
should be on there, so good is the music that is not me!    But I got great and
positive feedback from listeners and other musicians and that was really
great for me on a personal level.  

Radio Dark Tunnel in the guise of Martin has been great too, streaming various
tracks from my album, even the eight minute behemoth, "Black Dog" and I like
the quality of his stream a lot.

Not everything goes without a hitch though.  I listened to one radio station who
decided to slow down one of my songs by a whole tone.   This felt weird, l mean,
I don't mind if you don't like my voice, but  if you detune it, its not gonna turn
me into Barry White, more like Barry Shite...

One other station compressed my tune and it ended up sounding so distorted,
I seriously wondered if it was
the mp3 I sent (no)  I checked
or  my computer ( no) I checked

with the conclusion that of course files can be  manipulated and changed.  Whilst
I tried to get back with that station, the emails came back at me, so maybe I burnt
my bridges there by saying "it was distorted".  But um, I spent two years on that
music,  I don't want it to sound like I was frying eggs in the studio, apart from the
one track when I was frying eggs in the studio..

Good Music Radio has also played my tunes and its great they also play pop.
And to be on "Good Music Radio" is a compliment in itself.

I  can't expect everyone to like or play my music, but it can't be too  bad,
Radio stations would not be even looking at it if it wasn't good. This, after another
difficult week, has made me feel much better about things!  So this afternoon,
I'll be approaching just a few more select radio stations, with the hope of
getting a bit more radio play for my album.  Fingers crossed and wish me

07/03/21 HARD WORK

I've never been under any illusions.  Trying to establish as an independent musician
is incredibly difficult.   I do most of my promotion via Twitter which like all social
media is both a blessing and a curse.

The positives?  I have met some truly wonderful and lovely people who have
shown such kindness and support for my music.  Some of my followers give
great feedback about how they like what I do.  There is a lot, artistically,
to be inspired by on Twitter.  I know that what I post is appreciated.
I have found several radio stations recently who have played my music and
I'm so grateful to them for this.

The Negatives?  I have 3900 followers as I write this and it really seems like I
only see, what, about 20 of them on a regular basis??  I really hoped that more
would be really interested in me.  And perhaps they are, but it is a shame
as I reckoned that 39 out of 3900 would buy my music.  I really thought it
wasn't a self important or unreasonable stat to hope for. It is yet to happen.

Perhaps we all exist in a group of enclosed circles, not being able to break
free of the "algorithm" which keeps sharing our information within previously
stipulated confines?  I do hope not!

But I know that the most important word for any creative person is patience.
Rome was not built in a day. But I could have provided instructions on how to
build Rome in the time I have been writing and composing music!

Let me revisit todays musings in October, perhaps all will be ok by then.

12/02/21  BANDCAMP

I've come to realise that I should be less surprised when people like (and even buy!)
my music.  There is a good reason behind it, before my more recent songs, I wasn't
getting that much attention for my music. I had got to thinking that maybe the
brick wall I was beating my head against should have a rest from my constant
attention before the sound of it collapsing became my next release.

I listened to my album "In Recovery"  again today on Bandcamp and was so, so
happy with it.  This is unusual for me!  Yes there are minor things that could be
improved. But there is also that thing that it has deliberate rough edges. Would it lack
character without some of the sonic quirks that it possesses?  Unlike previous albums
glitches are small (well I think so)  and passing  and I'm comfortable with that.
I'm very proud of my previous albums but there was always at least  one track that
simply didn't work the way I wanted it.   And that is always so annoying, to listen
to something and think " I could have done better on that one"  is a peculiar type
of torture for a musician, a reminder that "on that day, and on that song,  you were
really rubbish"

So today I have learned that I am a bit  "Gothic"  and I'm delighted.  I wanted the
album to lurk in shadowy corners as its roots are mostly darker electronica.  Certainly
the whole concept of Lockdown here in the UK is somewhat gothic.  Unshaven
creatures in dark clothing walking about in darkness and dazed as they emerge into
the light.  Well thats just me actually, before I shave off my lockdown
beard and put on posh clothes for the next Zoom meeting.   

Finally today,  I had a great reaction to my epic interview with Revival Synth,  and
when other musicians say hi on Twitter as a result  it really makes my day!

You can read all about it on this link here and find out lots about me!!

03/02/21  An Eventful Week!

I started reworking my website this week,  it isn't really doing much, so I hope you will like the updates coming over the next few months!

Today I completed uploading of my album to Bandcamp.  I'm a new Bandcamp Member!    I must say I like the way it looks and how easy it is to use.  I didn't find it glitchy or difficult like some.  
When it is all up and running, I will post on here.  Does anyone have any tips on how to do well on Bandcamp for a newbie like me?

There were a few decisions to take.  These days it is so hard to earn anything from streaming and I wanted to have a physical product, my CD version of the album.

So I took the decision to have 4 tracks that you can only hear on the CD and two full versions of tracks in addition that are only on the CD.  The four tracks are not
B' sides either  ( oh ok, one is!)  but three are songs that I love as much as all the others on the album.

Time will tell if it works, but I like the idea that those of you who are so kind to buy my music to have something unique, that only they have. Its like in the old days when you
could buy versions of 12 inch singles and know others would not hear the exclusive remixes. If I sell enough to break even I'll definitely offer more unique content in the future

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