Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
pluspunkt on 01/04/2013 at 07:00AM
My name is Moritz Grünke. I am an artist based in Berlin, working with riso printing and design. I am very into artzines, which is why I write a blog about self-publishing artists, and I am one half of the small press called Gloria Glitzer (with Franiska Brandt). I also support the Free Music Archive as a community curator.
Nice Cover is my collection of great sounds and beautiful cover artworks that I really enjoy. It's a blog dedicated to free music, mostly under Creative Commons, and I also encourage supporting the artists via flattr, donations, purchases and other means.
Favorite Creative Commons Albums of 2012:
Favorite Creative Commons Tracks of 2012:
Nainen farina by Violeta Päivänkakkara — »Kuu« (La Gramola)
Time Bending by Phonotrash — »Elsewhere« (Headphonica)
Big Up by Grace et Volupte — »Van Van« (Dogmazic)
Slow Burning Bliss by Dead Times – »S/T« (Bad Panda)
Old Time Primitives by Big Blood — »Old Time Primitives« (Dontrustheruin)
Steps, Stairs, Mountains & Valleys by The Plastic Jazz Orchestra — »39°« (Headphonica / 2419)
natalieee on 01/03/2013 at 02:26PM
That's right! 2012 is over! We've had another amazing ride this year: we've reviewed a new free & legal album download for you every day [yes, weekends too!] and promoted 23 hand picked artists with our sister software FrostWire. With thisFrostWire Creative Commons Mixtape Volume 3 we would like to celebrate over 2,1 million free and legal downloads [and still counting!] generated only in 2012 by our promotions and the many additional ones that came from all FrostClick readers who fell in love with new artists found though our site.
If we would have been distributing our promotions still on CDs and lined them up by the shorter end side by side, we would need 162 miles [or 260 kilometers] of road to do so!!!
If we would have been distributing our promotions still on CDs and had to manufacture them all, we would have ended up with over 290 thousand pounds [or 131 thousand kilograms] of plastic!
If one download would equal one fan and all our artists would do a concert together, they would fill more than 118 Madison Square Gardens to accomodate them all!!!
badpandarecords on 01/01/2013 at 07:00AM
Leeds ambient-electronic producer Stuart Thomas is the man behind Mountain Range and “It’s Lonely Around People, Too” is his new instrumental single. Fans of Sigur Ros, Four Tet, Eluvium, The Album Leaf, Baths, welcome home.
ken on 01/01/2013 at 03:15AM
The song Happy Birthday to You (HBTY) has a story to tell, and it’s not wishing you to have a good one on this, the anniversary of your birth. The most recognizable song in the English language – a simple six notes and words - is owned by Time Warner, who will charge you ten grand to legally sing the four verses in a public place like a school or restaurant. But the history of how HBTY turned into a two million dollar a year corporate earner is the interesting part. It’s a case study in the copyright-by-fiat strategy that has recently proven so popular with corporate minions and robots. They allege intellectual ownership where none exists, and they often get away with it.
There are many ways to right this wrong. You could challenge HBTY’s dubious copyright in court, as long as you’re prepared for a foe like Time Warner. Or you could try to shame Time Warner by urging innocent birthday revelers to request permission for every innocent public “performance” of the song. Both are worthy endeavors, but neither one sounds like much fun.
No, for our purposes here, we’ll encourage you to unseat (or at least unsettle) “Happy Birthday to You” from it’s cultural throne by composing possible replacements. The Free Music Archive Happy Birthday contest seeks a few new Happy Birthday songs that are simple and catchy, with great earworm potential (remember: HBTY uses only six notes!) that can be sung in restaurants, bowling alleys, even in TV shows and movies – free of charge. Together, let us shake “Happy Birthday” from it’s fortified cultural throne, and replace it with a melody that the children can sing without fear of being served.
The three top entries will be all dressed up and distributed to the most powerful media companies on earth with colorful, Ross Perot-style financial incentive charts encouraging the recipients to better their bottom line by using one of these shiny new Happy Birthday replacement tracks. WFMU will organize and pay for the digital and physical mailings of the three winning tracks to the luckiest people on earth- any media or public organization who might have need for new birthday songs - movie studios; theater troupes, restaurant chains; sport leagues, scouting associations, youth groups; minor league baseball teams, major league Jai Alai squads, bowling alleys and we’ll also send the track to music journalists, bloggers and radio stations to help get the word out and cement the new songs into the cultural subconscious.
And here’s more background, if you hanker for more historical details on the very shaky copyright in question. The familiar melody for “Happy Birthday to You” was borrowed from other mid-19th century songs such as Horace Waters' "Happy Greetings to All" and "Good Night to You All," (published 1858) and also "A Happy New Year to All" and "A Happy Greeting to All" (published 1888). All four of these songs had that same six-note melody, and from the 1850’s to the 1880’s those six notes were reapplied to any number of greetings songs, some of which made it into published songbooks of the day.
Two esteemed Kentucky Kindergarten teachers named the Hill Sisters use this same melody with the lyrics “Good Morning to All” and used that version in their classes to greet their students, even publishing it in their own 1893 pamphlet. But over the years, somebody – who, we will never know – modified the lyrics to now public domain “Good Morning to All” with the present birthday lyrics. Were these 19th century wordsmiths The Hill Sisters themselves? Their students? A class parent? The school janitor? We will never know. But the modified “Good Morning to All” caught on.
If fact, it caught on so much that Western Union used the song for their first singing telegram in 1933. But when the Irving Berlin musical “As Thousands Cheer” made use of the song later that same year, the forgotten Hill sister Jessica sprang into gear like a depression-era Gloria Allred. Jessica got legal assistance from the Summy Company, who registered for copyright in 1935, crediting the song’s authors as Preston Ware Orem and Mrs. R.R. Forman, whoever they were. Time Warner purchased the Summy Company in 1998, and Edgar Bronfman Jr and friends purchased Warner Music Group in 2004. The song has been scheduled to enter the public domain a few times, but copyright term extensions have now delayed that date to 2030 at the earliest.
Which is how we got to where we are now – living in a world in which restaurant chains invent their own replacement birthday songs, rather than break the law or pay thousands of dollars in licensing. A world that’s more like a dystopian hellscape, frankly, in which countless movies and TV shows sing “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” rather than fork over the estimated ten grand in licensing fees. Take a look at the video to see just how bad the problem really is. And then create your own Happy Birthday song, either with a melody of your own creation, or a reworked public domain melody with new lyrics. Keep it simple. And let’s put the Happy back into Birthdays, and take the Cease and Desist out of ‘em.
ange on 12/31/2012 at 07:00AM
Since the classic New Years Eve toasting tune Auld Lang Syne is in the public domain (unlike a certain other celebratory song), many of our Free Music Archive artists have shared their own unique versions for you to download and enjoy. Cheers to that!
The phrase "Auld Lang Syne" literally translates into "Old Long Since" but is meant to mean something like "days gone by" or "long, long ago."
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
For auld lang syne, my dear,
ange on 12/29/2012 at 10:00AM
For our latest Music for Video selection, we offer a wintery mix of instrumental tracks perfect for your projects. The first half features a light dusting of gentle piano sounds full of nostalgia As the mix grows into a full on blizzard, the tracks turn more dissonent and stressful, like a tree heavy with ice leaning over your roof. We hope this free mix helps kick off an exciting new year of projects.
1. Plurabelle (website, CC BY-NC-SA) - Synth music for watching the snow fall. Plurabelle is a Bucharest musician who finds inspiration in books, and his latest album is inspired by the Tom McCarthy novel Remainder.
2. Dexter Britain (website, CC BY-NC-SA) - A song so epic and full of feelings that it elevates the emotional significance of any footage or dialoge you place alongside it. This track is a producers 6-minute long fantasy, and the tour de force of a true soundtrack master. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available on Britain's website.
3. Aestrid Byrne (website, CC BY-SA) - An elegant and thoughtful song written and performed on toy piano from Byrne's room in a Santiago clinic. Because her room could not accommodate a baby grand or upright piano, the toy piano was a tool-of-circumstance. She died in 1998, one month after making her album Laterna.
NetMusic_Life on 12/28/2012 at 10:00AM
Hello, I’m Drizzi from North-West Italy. I started NetMusic Life in June 2010 to feed my growing passion for the netlabels movement and Creative Commons Music. Every day, I keep up to date about new CCMusic and netlabel releases. There's so much music out there, I select music that reflects my personal taste, the originality of work, the inspiration and sentiment that I feel into the music that I listen. This is my contribution to the artists and netlabels that every day offer your art and commitment to the world.
Favorite Free CC Albums of 2012:
Favorite free cc tracks:
gramolanetlabel on 12/27/2012 at 08:30AM
These are five albums and five tracks that we recommend in 2012.
||Plaistow - Lacrimosa (Insubordinations)
||Hielo En Varsovia - Hielo En Varsovia (La Gramola)
||Big Blood - Old Time Primitives (dontrustheruin)
||Strange Forces - Strange Forces (New Weird Australia)
||La Gramola's 5 Favorite CC Tracks|
lizb on 12/26/2012 at 08:00AM
I've been a silent lurker on the FMA this year, but did want to pipe up to share my top picks of 2012 with you all. Like an addict, I hit the new release stack on the site with frightening regularity, the spoils of which I share on my weekly radio show on WFMU and its corresponding podcast.
I skimmed the tastiest bits from the top of my FMA pile, resulting in what is still kind of a huge pile. Therefore, yet again, this year I've got two year-end mixes to share: a short attention span mix (below), and a more complete mix (53 tracks) after the jump. Enjoy!
jason on 12/25/2012 at 09:30AM
Many of the songs we use to celebrate Jesus' birthday have been scooped up by copyright amassers (kinda like what happened to "Happy Birthday To You," hey). Fortunately, the holidaze are an endless well of creativity, and we have been blessed with some wonderful public domain and Creative Commons music. The holiday music featured on FMA encompasses everything from The 8Bits of Christmas to Antique Cylinders.
One recent addition is En attendant Noël..., a compilation from @diffuser.net. The French netaudio resource (profiled here) has been adding a daily winter holiday song to their compilation and now that the 25th is here we are pleased to share this gift with you! Some are old favorites 'round these parts, many are new favorites, and if they find their way into your holiday plans, you'll find links + licenses below.