Okay. All you music people who read this? And other not-so-musical people? Go check out Nine Inch Nail’s Ghosts I-IV. It’s released under the Creative Commons license, so torrents of it are fully legal, or you can pay $5 for it via their website. Hell, Reznor, himself, put up a torrent of it.
Are you downloading it? No? I’ll wait until you’re done.
It’s absolutely stunning. (All instrumental, similar to the kinds of stuff I do with computer music.) Seriously it’s going to be the best five bucks you’ve ever spent. It’s music like this, which makes me wake up in the morning, swear at NPR, then thank my Maker that I’m a composer. The second track, I think, I’d recommend to any student who wants to learn about pacing and musical time.
Now is such a cool time to be alive, if you’re a composer. Sure, there aren’t the grants and public support for the arts that there was 20 years ago, but we have sole control over the distribution of our works. Got a computer? Got a Kinko’s? You can typeset and publish your own music. Got bandwith? Put up a torrent of your works. No more waiting around for publishing and recording contracts that aren’t coming. Even CD production is cheap. Anyone can make a master, and finding some place to press a run isn’t hard. Sure, it means hitting the pavement and getting it out there, but it also means not being enslaved to Sony, ECM, BMI, or the RIAA.