NPR has released a very engaging series on the future of music and technology that explores a lot of the ideas that I had been considering as of late. Live music collaboration over the web was one of the topics they recently touched on. They describe how two artists that live on separate coasts of the United States have been able to collaborate due to new technology that has surfaced in the past couple years. Recently an online service similar to the one that I had in mind has launched in beta but the services sound very promising.
Dan Zaccagnino is co-founder and co-CEO of Indaba Music, an online community that allows musicians to meet and collaborate with fellow musicians. He says there are about 100,000 people who have joined the service.
Once registered, a musician can look for others to collaborate with asynchronously. For example, a bassist may upload a bass track and search for people who can fill out his rock song with guitar, drums and vocals. Those musicians can then record their own tracks for the bassist and upload them to the same recording “session.”
“It’s really supposed to be a flexible platform for people to collaborate however they want to,” Zaccagnino says.
Zaccagnino demonstrated one session started by a synthesizer player in New York. The keyboardist found a drummer online — both lived in New York, but the two had never met before — to lay down a beat. Other players then joined the session: a guitarist from the U.K. and vocalists from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Now all they need to do is figure out how these artists can release their music together and reap the benefits of their collaboration. I have taken a gander at the site myself and plan to start using it although I currently have a project going on locally, exploring all music avenues in life has been something I have been very keen on for some time. Its very easy for one to get engaged into their current band but I think without exploring other avenues of music that do not fit the band, one can become very frustrated creatively. Sometimes some of my ideas just don’t fit within the confines of the current group I am collaborating with. This service will hopefully provide a way for more musicians to explore these creative avenues that otherwise fall into the abyss. I’ll follow up with my thoughts on the service in a few weeks after I have collaborated in a couple sessions.