Recent FMA Blog Posts
This is a feed of featured blog posts from FMA users. Blog on, bloggers!
cheyenne_h on 05/22/2017 at 06:15AM
You may recall some news we shared last summer about a music dataset that was in progress - now it's complete!
Michaël Defferrard, Kirell Benzi, Pierre Vandergheynst & Xavier Bresson, a team of researchers interested in MIR (music information retrieval), have put together some audio datasets using the FMA's collection! They have written a paper about the FMA's potential as a viable and legal option in digital audio research. Since recorded music is often fraught with copyright concerns, machine learning sets for music have been hard to find, or not sufficient for some projects. You can find the datasets on GitHub.
The FMA's dedication to the Creative Commons philosophy of sharing has been a boon for artists, educators, and researchers - as well as, of course, listeners! Hopefully this dataset will be widely adopted for use by MIR researchers. It seems to have already been well-received via Twitter:
A great big THANKS go to this team for thinking of FMA and sharing our collection with a new audience, for a new purpose, in a new way! We look forward to the cool projects that will stem from their efforts.
cheyenne_h on 05/21/2017 at 04:26PM
But there are just not enough songs about recipes, or containing recipes, to satisfy us. We want you to help make our songs-about-food dreams come true!
Do you have a favorite recipe (or five) you'd like to share with the world? We have just the opportunity: the FMA's Audio Cookbook! It'll be an audio compendium of recipes, all free and dedicated to the Public Domain using the CC0 Public Domain Dedication tool, so anyone can use the recipes however they'd like.
So, here's how it'll work:
- Choose a recipe you want to share. (If it's from a cookbook that's still protected by copyright, it's OK to share the ingredients and the directions - but any commentary or descriptive wording should be your own. Don't plagiarize, or you'll get disqualified.) Don't have a recipe in mind? Check out our resource page for inspiration!
- Compose a song or make a recording containing the recipe. Songs must contain a recipe to be eligible for the Audio Cookbook. Recipes must be for food or drinks; recipes for home cleaning products, for example, are not eligible. Questions? Email us at contact [at] freemusicarchive [dot] org.
- Submit it on the Audio Cookbook album page (along with your FMA username, the name of the band/artist, song title, and please include the text of the recipe from which your recording was derived - or a link to the place where you found it). You must have an FMA account to submit a song; if you don't have one, sign up for free here. Songs are reviewed before they are 'published' so if you notice yours doesn't pop up within a day or two, let us know.
- Rinse and repeat as many times as you like!
Make sure your song is original - singing a recipe to a traditional (read: public domain) tune is fine, but putting your words to a current song that's protected by copyright can get us into hot water! Please don't do it.
We will accept entries from Wednesday, May 24 2017 until Friday, June 30 2017. One lucky artist or band will be selected as the reigning Audio Cookbook champion, and they will win a prize for their efforts!
Want to record yourself givng instructions for how to make a favorite appetizer, entree, dessert or drink, maybe with some musical accompaniment? Do it!
Want to get arty and record the sounds of veggies being chopped up, or something sizzling in a pan, with narration? Sounds tasty!
Want to write a ditty with the recipe of your choice as the lyrics for the song? We want to hear it!
Want to liven up your Aunt Gertrude's recipe for zucchini bread with some harmonica and throat-singing? We strongly encourage you to do so!
Is your favorite recipe a surrealist series of instructions that results in a three-foot-tall sandwich that nobody could eat? Well, okay, that's cool too!
However, we gotta draw the line somewhere. If it doesn't contain a recipe for SOMETHING (theoretically) edible or drinkable, we won't share it. Rules is rules, and we don't want anyone poisoning themselves with your ah-mazing idea for kitty litter ice cream. Save it for another contest.
TAGGED AS:audio cookbook
cheyenne_h on 05/09/2017 at 09:59AM
We are SO EXCITED to tell you about our newest project - the FMA Listening Party! A weekly, one-hour program that will bring selections from the FMA to your ears (and eyes, if you choose to join us for the weekly playlist and chat).
The show will consist completely of music from the FMA (with an occasional chat with a guest or co-host), hosted by FMA Director Cheyenne. We teamed up with Give The Drummer Radio (or GTDR, a WFMU-affiliated webstream) and have a place in their weekly schedule: from 3-4pm (Eastern) on Tuesdays. Huge thanks to Doug and the Stream Team for making it possible, and welcoming us into their family of dedicated, incredible DJs!
We'll also share the playlists weekly, so you can download everything in one easy place, if you enjoyed the show. We hope you'll join us today for our very first Listening Party, right here.
TAGGED AS:fma listening party
rosso on 05/08/2017 at 03:02PM
Our sincerest apologies for the FMA site outage this morning which lasted from roughly 7:00 EDT until 14:00 EDT. In the interest of increased transparency about the FMA's operations, I've decided to write this brief entry describing what happened today. We have a very small staff and I wasn't able to begin rectifying the outage until about 11:30 EDT.
Certain types of requests made to the FMA's servers are logged directly in our database. The size of these logs reached a point where the hard disks on our database servers were filled to their capacity. When that happened, the database servers (a master and several read-only replicas) became completely unresponsive. Since the site relies entirely on our database cluster, no pages could be rendered and no api requests could be completed--end users saw a giant error message!
What was the solution?
As soon as I was able to begin working on the problem, I put the maintenance page up and began downloading a snapshot of the logs which filled the database servers' hard disks. This took much longer than anticipated. Once I was able to retreive the data, I truncated the tables in question (truncated meaning deleting all data in the tables--a database table is similar to a spreadsheet). After that, I waited for the read-only replicas of our master database to catch up. It's not enough to restart the site with only the master database running--the site depends on the read-only replicas as well. I waited almost an hour for the read-only replicas to catch up, but they didn't. Due to the nature of our hosting provider, it was faster to delete the read-only replicas and create new ones. That took another several minutes. Once the replicas were rebuilt, I was able to restart our front-end servers and restore the site to normal operation.
How will we prevent this from happening again?
Logging directly to a database is definitely bad practice, but it was implemented on FMA many years ago by the original development team. For now I will keep my eyes on database disk usage and will set alerts to let me know I need to do something before the disks fill up again! Longer term, I will move all logging activity to a separate service, for example just flat log files. Unfortunately, FMA is no stranger to outages, but whenever they happen, we try to restore service as quickly as we can and take steps to prevent similar outages from happening subsequently.
Is there anything I can do to help?
Yes! FMA operates with a tiny staff (2 people) and extremely limited resources. The best way to help is to Donate! If you are a developer and have any technical suggestions, please write to me directly at email@example.com - We greatly value input from our users and the community. We're dedicated to making the FMA the biggest and best resource for Creative Commons licensed, and other royalty-free music, anywhere on the Internet.
What is this song?
One of my all-time favorite FMA tracks, and an adequate description of how it feels to finally fix a major outage.
murmurintemporel on 05/01/2017 at 02:28AM
Lueur Des Fonds by L' Anthracite, a Post-Rock trio from Belgium.
Anthracite is the color of everyday life, the embryonic specter of the world, and all those things swallowed by day and night; mineral fluctuating in the depths of our entrails, our rotting body, our tortured minds and our weary souls.
cheyenne_h on 04/25/2017 at 06:58PM
The commons is the largest collection of free and open knowledge in the world, and the Free Music Archive is proud to be part of it! To get some idea of how vast this amoeba of media, tools, and knowledge is, you should take a look at a report that was just released: the State of the Commons Report!
The numbers are in, and according to Creative Commons, there are more than 1.2 BILLION works shared with CC licenses floating around the web now. 65% of these works are shared under "Free Culture" licenses, which are CC BY, CC BY-SA, and CC0 (as well as other Public Domain tools). All CC licenses grant anyone who encounters a work certain permissions; "Free Culture" licenses are the most permissive and open, allowing for remixing, use in audiovisual projects, and more. The other licenses, which still allow for various types of use and access that standard copyright does not, make up the remaining 35% of the commons.
All of the licenses (aside from public domain tools) are built with cooperation and citation in mind, so if you use CC material, please follow the licenses and be excellent to each other (by giving attribution, for starters - here's an easy example).
Some notable additions this year are the NY Metropolitan Museum of Art, which added 375,000 works to the public domain using CC0; The Global African Storybook Project, which crowdsources translations of children's stories in languages not often considered by publishers to broaden access and encourage literacy; The British Museum, which released 128 models to Sketchfab; and our very own Freeharmonic Orchestra got a shout-out in the highlights section!
Other sources for CC audio listed in the report include Jamendo and Wikimedia Commons, but there is also a wealth of CC-licensed music in the Internet Archive and lots of free, re-usable sounds over at freesound.org.
Do you have other favorite spots to look for audio in the Commons? Comment below! And don't forget to read, excerpt, share, and tweet the report at http://stateof.creativecommons.org with the hashtag #sotc.
TAGGED AS:free culture, state of the commons, reports, public domain, creative commons, See More...
cheyenne_h on 04/25/2017 at 01:29PM
Lots of music on our site is available for use in noncommercial, educational contexts, so it's no surprise that teachers come looking for music they can use in student projects and for general classroom use. (Psst - if you're an educator with questions, check out our special FAQ, just for you!) But looking for audio that's safe for non-commercial use doesn't always return the most kid-friendly results.
There's the netlabel for kids, Kazoomzoom, has been with FMA for years, and releases with names like "The Ambient Baby" -- but we wanted to make a better, easier way for parents and teachers to find music they could use.
Our best solution to this was to incorporate a new genre tag, "Kid-friendly," which collects all music that is either by kids, for kids, or both! If you cruise around this page, you'll find all sorts of stuff - songs about pants that try to ride a bike on their own, pirate songs, bouncy chiptunes, and much more! However, some of these songs may have lyrics or themes that are intended for specific ages within the kid-friendly range - so we ask that parents and educators still preview the music before sharing it with a younger audience.
Are you a parent or educator looking for instrumentals? Try Podington Bear's short & catchy CC BY-NC instrumental treasure trove (and it's safe for use in video!) or the fabulous collection of classical music from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Do you make music for kids and want to add yours to the collection? Get in touch or comment below!
LaughingGear23 on 04/19/2017 at 03:47PM
Being a rapper I find one of the biggest challenges is to find stuff to write about. Having already done my song about finding the remains of an angel, and a whole album pretending to be a galaxy spanning space captain hip-hop extremist, I needed to find something else to talk about.
A few years back I was reading the news about Iraq and Afghanistan and what the article didn’t give me was the ‘why’. Why was it happening? What was the history which drove the behaviours? Who wanted what outcomes? What could be done about it? So, to help me understand I read a few books about recent events by investigative journalists and a few books about history and then a bit of Noam Chomsky – and after all that I was quite depressed and didn’t fancy our chances as a species. But I did have a new perspective and some thoughts to write about!
All Eyes and Teeth – which is now available on FMA – was intended as a side project to work on while other band members finished another release. The way the band works is that we pretty much let each member explore any avenue they want allowing us to develop new styles on side projects and then bring it back into the mix on the more joined up albums. For All Eyes and Teeth I wanted to distil what I was learning, bringing it all together, and bring it to life. So the album starts with a general statement of dissatisfaction (All Eyes and Teeth) and ends with a positive view of the future.
Along the way there is a track on the state of journalism, the emotional stress of dealing with it all, the patterns of social power, and a few more positive tracks as it’s not all impossible. And a few tracks where I talk shit with Quiet Man and Obsolete about how good we are as rappers and how cool we are and stuff. You have to do that on rap albums. It’s tradition.
Words aside, the music on this album is a mix of funky beats from Tuck Pendleton and Watchmaker's slightly less sample driven and more programmed electronic tinged beats. I wanted a variety and order of tunes to keep the album moving forward – keep the listener listening. Watchmaker and Tuck did the damage and made some excellent beats that we polished till they were solid and Just Right. Tuck has frequently voiced his opinions through vocals samples and he did that here on the Interlude tracks adding new angles on the same subects I was to talking about.
So… now that it’s done I can say that it’s come out sounding better than I had hoped. I’m delighted that we’ve created the album I wanted to hear. Goes without saying that some folk will like it and some folk won’t but I’m hopeful that the intention and love that we put into this is apparent. Hope you all enjoy it!
Bozoo on 04/18/2017 at 02:09PM
For its 33rd release, Da ! Heard It Records dives into the origins of Creation.
Recorded in five days in London, at James Ogilvie’s studio in 2010, Dragon’s Teeth is the confrontation of eddie 135’s experimental tweaks and Shitblaster’s science of mix. Saturated like the oil from the fish and chips that three musicians greedily gulp up between two work sessions, the series of improvisations produced by Adrien, Matthieu, and James one evening, serves as the sizzling play-do used to conceive this future disc. From this initial magma that blends rhythm boxes, Juno synthesizer, and a deluge of pyrotechnical effects, accidental beaches form and reveal little by little large blankets that wrap the listener into an actual flow of lava. Petrified, the listener thus takes all the time needed to let oneself become invaded by the ensemble’s numerous textures…
Taking everything with them on their way, the four gobbling geezers deployed here evolve in jolts to bring back from the depths this mysterious dragon’s tooth. Instinctive, brutal, yet mastered, this album’s boiling energy proves once more that the first idea is often the right one.
Dragon’s Teeth, the 33rd release of Da ! Heard It Records, is distributed under a Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND. The album is available for free listening and downloading at the following link: http://www.daheardit-records.net/en/discography/dhr-33 & http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Eddie_135__The_Shitblaster/The_Dragons_Teeth/
cheyenne_h on 03/29/2017 at 08:27PM
If you've been paying attention to the recently added music to our little website, you've probably noticed a few new curators popping up in the results. One of these noteworthy newcomers is Commune Oreille. Some curators are actual radio stations, but this one is a radio show affiliated with Radio Zinzine.
Commune Oreille is also a collective that organizes live performances in a small town in southern France, Forcalquier. Some of the live recordings found in their curator area are from these concerts.
With a focus on free music and frequent live guests, they're off to a great start. So far, more than 150 songs have been added to FMA by Commune Oreille, and we're looking forward to much more!
Though many curators have an identifiable, genred focus, Commune Oreille's collection spans a variety of musical styles. Angry noise-rockers SEC, twee indie-punks Mega Gem, chiptune composers 1UP Collectif, beatmaster Panda Dub and accordion-fueled post rockers Dure Mere are just a few of the fresh sounds you can explore! To make it a little easier on you, they've put together a playlist of highlights to enjoy, but don't let that stop you from diving in to their full catalog.