Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Lolita Jenings - R&R music company

I was trawling through my emails and I had one from Lolita Jenings who was singing the praises of RandRWorld.com. The content of the email appeared official so I replied back asking for more information. Below is the reply she sent back.

Hi, thank you for your attention. I'm Pr-manager in R&R music company
Discovering new music, creating new partnerships, and establishing new relationships are all integral goals of R&R Arena.
R&R World is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking music networking websites on the web. It offers different profiles and features for artists, venues, music professionals, and every day music lovers.
Artists can create announcements on their profile pages to advertise upcoming shows or album releases. All users can create playlists with any track that has been uploaded by an artists so they can listen to their favorite songs over and over. And venues can advertise upcoming events or search for artists to perform at the venue.
But the main features of R&R Arena are:
  • "The Market" - offers free publishing rights to artists and helps them to shop their music around to various people and companies who are looking for music to use in various different mediums.
  • "The Brokerage" - offers the unique service of pairing artists with companies who are looking to create a certain brand image for their company or their product. Both of these services provide great opportunities for artists and companies that can't be found in many other places online.
Come and see how easy it is to get started, upload music, videos, and pictures, and start networking. R&R World even has its own wiki system to help users discover what all the features do and how to use them! This is truly a user friendly network within the music world. Be heard at R&R World.

There are lots of alternative networks out there - maybe this one can offer something different? We made a page here: thiswindow . Let's see what happens.
Content by

Monday, 21 December 2009

Jed Carlson - COO of ReverbNation - Interview

Without doubt ReverbNation is becoming one of the most important sites for independent artists - below is an unedited email interview with Jed Carlson who is the Chief Operating Officer of ReverbNation.
  • Playlist 7 is another joint venture between ReverbNation and Windows. What are the fundamental differences between this program package and the earlier 'Sponsored Song' free download extravaganza?
Playlist 7 is trying to bring the fans more into the equation than in Sponsored Songs. Fans are charged with the ability to determine who moves into the featured slots and who gets the bigger money prizes (over $500 each for featured Artists).
  • The band equity charts are a great concept (points gained are based on track plays, visits, hits etc.) these scores are used to divide and share advertising revenue between the artists and ReverbNation, which to me seems a radical idea. Is this idea unique and do you think it is sustainable in the long term?

Band Equity is a score that attempts to gauge the 'brand value' of an artist at any given point in time. Band Equity looks at 4 factors of an Artist:

1. Reach: How many people are being touched by the music? All else equal, the Artist that reaches more people should score higher.

2. Influence: Of those people, how many engage with the music, listen to the whole song, come back for more, etc? All else equal, the Artist that engages fans more deeply should score higher.

3. Recency: How recent are the interactions? All else equal, the Artist that has reached and engaged their fans more recently should score higher.

4. Access: What % of your fans is the Artist engaging with? All else equal, the Artist that engages a higher % of fans should score higher.

We devised this metric to more 'holistically' understand Artists the board. It IS ENTIRELY UNIQUE to ReverbNation - we Invented it! We do think that is holds water for many Artists out there, but it isn't perfect by any means. Band Equity Scores have undergone more than a dozen refinements over the course of the introduction of the metric. We will continue to commit to it as a standard for measuring Artists in terms of their brand value going forward and hope that others adopt it.
  • Playlist 7 is a fantastic way for consumers to download free music via the Internet. With the collapse of the 'traditional' music industry monopoly, the independent artist has been able to take more control regarding recording and distributing their work. Do you think the business model of the 'Sponsored Song', with its embeded advertising is the future of the (download) music industry and do you think paying for tracks via iTunes, Amazon etc. will become a thing of the past?
Music retailing will never become obsolete. People will always trust retailers to deliver music to them. We hope that the concept of embedding adverts inside the download will play a big role in the future of ad-supported music. We even filed a patent on it. But the future of music is likely to be fragmented. As a result, the future of music consumption will be dominated by a large variety of models that provide for it. Embedding adverts into the album art is likely to be just one of them.
  • ReverbNation have without doubt the best toolbox for the independent artist; the ability to control songs, newsletters, fans, merchandising and distribution from one place is second to none. What do you think the future of ReverbNation will be and what are the ultimate goals?
Our goal is to provide ALL of the solutions that an Artist needs to compete, cooperate, and differentiate in the new music environment. We are on our way to providing that now.
  • I have noticed that more mainstream and more well know artists have appeared on ReverbNation - this is in many ways a double edged sword. Do you think the influx of established 'stars' will alter the philosophy of the site (which appears to be - to enable and support the independent artist) or are you confident that your strategies are robust enough to cope with the change?
ReverbNation is agnostic to the 'type' of Artist that uses our system. We want to build the best solutions and let anyone who wants them come and use them. We approach every feature with an 'Artist First' mentality. That is to say that we don't build anything that doesn't first help the Artist. Whether its an indie Artist or an established Artists, we don't really care. We are building for a future where every Artist has a fair shake, and our tools serve them equally. If more established Artists want to use our tools, so be it. We are here for every Artist who wants to take control of their future. That's what makes us different. We don't have an angle per se. We just focus on building great technology for everyone.

Questions by

Jedd - Review

Australia, now there is a place I have never been too, musically responsible for Rolf Harris and Men At Work, now that is a real musical heritage. Thankfully this antipodean combo have managed to keep the wit but have lost the cringe factor. (Men At Work were a comedy band weren't they?)

I love the mixture of rap, rock, ska etc. The scratching wasn't even an irritating itch (where have I nicked that line from?) in fact the whole package is tied together with a clever use of words. Listen to 'When We Were Kids' - FAB!

Saturday, 19 December 2009

David Slater - Top picks of 2009

There have been other contributors to this site and David Slater's opinions, support and service to the (underground) unsigned band network has probably been second to none. He has a splendid philosophy towards this scene - not only does he comment and encourage the artists he comes across but he BUYS the artist tracks, which is something we should all maybe do.

In the UK there has been an 'X factor' backlash with independent minded people refusing to buy the winner's song and buying a track by 'Rage Against The Machine' instead. This anarchistic approach is something we (as independent artists) should praise - I will be taking a leaf out of David's book and I will be buying more of the tracks we review.

Below are his top 5 picks (I don't think he can count).

These are faves, maybe not surprising to you, just amazed at how this can get MISSED in mainstream!

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/blindskunk Love this guy! Great imagination when it comes to put video to his music. Is new track MONTY ON THE RUN from the old C64 days, is super cool, with a 1903 movie sync'd in!
  • http://www.reverbnation.com/thiswindow Can't leave this out! AGAIN is killer, rhythmic. Have to listen in different ways, just to pickup the subtle background sounds. There's a lot in just one song! (purchased)
  • http://www.reverbnation.com/atomicskunk The experimental aspect is what drew me to this, found in a tunepak. The mix of everyday sounds, with electronic track, just draws you in. FOREST FOR THE TREES is a very ambient track, one of my faves.
  • http://www.reverbnation.com/adarose Another surprise! These kids will hopefully get to the next level. They have a fair bit invested, along with there parents! INFAMY shows off Charlie's vocals!
  • http://www.reverbnation.com/yourfavoriteenemies These guys have a great MySpace following, just getting going on RN, but they are connected on the webs so well! Video Blogs, chats, news letters, everything to get the word out. But take a listen to the OPEN YOUR EYES, and you see why they are working, needs to be heard. The VIDEO for this track is awesome.
  • http://www.reverbnation.com/dahliawakefield Not partial to Country per se, but heard 'I' on the first Windows promo, and hit the FAN button! Great vocals on a POP/ALT-Country track. Another that needs some AIR PLAY.

I better stop! Too many to list! And more to find! ;-)

Alberto Puviani - Review

It is a pleasure to stumble upon music that scoops you up and takes you to a calmer place. The music here is a product of the imagination and technology, big orchestrations, methodical and highly skilled compositions, constructed using computers - with massive hints of real orchestras played at full volume.

You could call this film music but I think it stands up by itself and no visual accompaniment is needed, stirring stuff that would be fantastic to hear played by a 'real' full orchestra!

Top 7 - (things that have inspired) 2009


SystemCulture.org has been going for six months now and it has been a fantastic experience, meeting, finding, accidentally discovering new musicians and artists (I have also rediscovered old mates).

I have never really liked the concept of charts and the idea that the more sales or clicks you get makes you a more successful artist - in reality the ground breaking stuff never gets recognized straight away (if at all). I have tried to hunt down the people that have been on that edge, the edge where invention and creativity lurks.

I am going to list seven artists/bands that have been mentioned on this site - these are not the 'best'; they are the ones that have in someway inspired me to continue making music. The other 100 plus artists that are not on this list are on this website because I have enjoyed listening to them - the comments I have made on them have been honest and truthful. They all deserve our support.

ReverbNation and Microsoft Windows have created a thing called called Playlist 7, which for me has been one of the best things to have happened this year.

Each week there a collection of 50 songs which can be streamed or download from the Playlist 7 site. You can listen to all of the songs and create your own Playlist 7 by downloading up to seven songs for free. The songs that get the most downloads at the end of each week will be Featured Artists and available for free download for everyone. I think this is a brilliant idea to take us into 2010.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Veronica Henry - Romantic Novel Of The Year?

We recently did a review of "Fallen Angel" by Veronica Henry. Since reviewing these tracks there has been hot news in the press about Veronica Henry's latest novel 'Marriage and Other Games' which is published by Orion Books. Read more below...

‘Marriage and Other Games’ has been listed in the final top 20 for a literary award. A starting list of 158 novels, from twenty-four publishers, were submitted for the first round of judging and on the 14th of December 2010 the Romantic Novelists’ Association published the ‘longlist’ of authors who are nominated for the ‘Romantic Novel of the Year Award’ for 2010. 2010 is also the Association’s Golden Anniversary year. Below is a section of their announcement.

‘The long list of twenty novels, announced today, includes an impressive selection of best sellers, among them Erica James, Veronica Henry, Santa Montefiore, Katie Flynn and Sarah Duncan. They share the list with some exciting new names in romantic fiction, and the only male to make the long list, Nicholas Sparks…’ The full list can be seen here.

Marriage And Other Games

Dowload ‘Fallen Angel’ by Veronica Henry


When girl-about-town Charlotte discovers her husband has been arrested for fraud, she flees to the wilds of Exmoor to nurse her broken heart. Yet despite the slower pace of life, she finds she’s not the only person whose life is in turmoil. There’s Sebastian, bad boy of the British art scene, determined to drink the local pub dry while his wife lives it up in London. Then Fitch, who married the high-spirited Hayley thinking he would find wedded bliss, but is struggling to keep up with her outrageous demands. And finally Penny, recently divorced and quietly determined to have more fun second time around - but who with? As Charlotte adapts to a life without LK Bennett and Starbucks on the doorstep, she turns to her newfound friends for advice. Can she find it in her heart to forgive her husband for what he did? And if she does, will it be too late?

‘With bags of style, they are young members of the middle class have-it-all clan.’
Christine Williams (Daily Express) read more…

Two tracks recorded by Veronica Henry in the 1980’s have been released by M4tr Productions is available for download from all major Internet stores. “Fallen Angel” and “Memories” were recorded on domestic analogue recording equipment and give a unique glimpse into a very creative mind - Go to Amazon or iTunes and download these 'demos'
Original Soure: M4tr.co.uk

Newsletter 17 December

Support the brand that supports This Window:

ReverbNation and Microsoft have created another free download partnership. Read more: Playlist 7 - The solution to illegal downloading? We want to print your views on this venture so contact us and have your say. We will include your link etc.
We are slowly publishing and getting in contact with artists who have got in contact with us - please be patient we will get to you. As some of you know November was a wipe out for us but....

Things here have gone a little bit crazy again, with us doing a few more interviews for magazines etc.

Your emails about our side project have been helpful and very rewarding, here are few of the latest interview pages we have done on SystemCulture.org.

X-rated stuff this - Breck Stewart - Interview sex sells.The website SystemCulture.org is dedicated to reviewing and interviewing artists. Each interview has the artists link widget and player on it. If you want an interview on SystemCulture.org - We want to ask you some questions; contact us if you want to participate - keep emailing us with your details and we will keep promoting your music.

Support us by buying a track from iTunes

We are pleased to say there is a free download provided by some very nice people - Get it while you can (click on the banner at the very top of the page). We also have new tracks on Amazon, iTunes, Emusic, Napster and 7Digital. Our latest release is called 'Again...' . Preview on Amazon.co.uk

Best Wishes, This Window

iTunes Amazon Mp3 Rhapsody eMusic Napster Play.com Discogs Indiestore M4tr 7Digital

Katerina Stamatelos - Interview

  • You have a list of awards etc. as long as my arm, do you think you have had a privileged transition through your career or do you think it has been an extremely hard journey?
I had a normal musical life: studied at Conservatories and Universities for many years. I had a "strict" schooling and excellent teachers. In this, I do feel "privileged". But I also had to work very hard for that. I started as a pianist and continued as a piano teacher/professor for many years, concertizing at the same time. My transition to composition was abrupt: I wrote a choral piece in Greece and it was chosen to be performed at the greatest concert hall of Thessaloniki (my home town) next to Mozart's "Requiem" and Haydn's "Symphonie Concertante". That was a shock! Having my first composition performed in front of an audience of 1,200 people!
After this, all seemed to 'flow' very naturally. I received a fellowship for the DMA degree in piano (from the University of Iowa) and started composition lessons at the same time (under a double-degree program). I changed my degree to a PhD for composition right before the comps!
  • Your points of reference appear (to my uneducated ear) to be from the 20th Century (Dadaesque, maybe - maybe not). Would you consider yourself to belong to that 20th Century tradition or do your influences go further back?
My influences are very distinct: Beethoven, Bartok, Xenakis, Christou (in terms of "structural" techniques). Further influences go back to the Pythagorean theories and the tonal system of the Ancient Greeks (with the extended development of it by the Byzantine musicians).
  • I have always felt uneasy when 'composers' try to merge traditional instrumentation with electronic synthesis, most fail (embarrassingly). How do you walk that thin line and manage not to fall off? How would you go about creating a piece that still managed to maintain a positive credibility?
I have only written two electronic compositions: both of them are on the CD I just released. The first one ("Moods") is strictly electronic. The second one ("Threnos") is a mixture of two performers (soprano-coloratura and flute) with electronic tape. I believe that the answer to your question is: "create a solid structure". To me composition is like architecture: without the "floor plans" and architect would not dare even start the design of any building-small or large. The same is true about composition (at least for me): if I do not create the structure first, I do not even attempt to write a single note.
  • Listening to your pieces has been an absolute joy for me are they available commercially?
Yes, my first CD release will soon be available through itunes, Amazon, Rhapsody and Napster. The CD is titled: "Threnos and Other Chamber Stories". In the meanwhile though, it is also available through my online store right now:


  • Do you have any other performances or projects in the pipeline?
In January 2010 a new trio (THAWST I) for flute, guitar, and violoncello will be premiered in Brazil. Then, in March, a song cycle-"Love and Terror" (based on poetry by Constantin Cavafy)-will be premiered at the University of Iowa. In April, a new quintet (THAWST III) for four guitars and charango will be performed in Chile. And in May, a new duo (THAWST IV) for marimba and violin will be premiered in Miami.

Play Gigs

Update - I just wanted to "add" some info concerning my future performances: I just heard today that "THAWST II" (for saxophone quartet) will be performed by the AU (American University) saxophone quartet in January at the International Saxophone Symposium in Washington D.C. Actually, the info says it will be performed at the International Saxophone Symposium in January 2010-by the AU saxophone. The place might NOT be Washington, though. (Katerina)

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Garry Smout - Audio Interview

Can a creative person ever be truly happy as they constantly strive for perfection in their chosen art? Listen to an interview with Garry Smout, who talks about the problems of using early portable black and white video cameras in the 1970’s, pioneering literary review website the Barcelona Review, early synths and how to kill your babies. The problem with being creative is that everything has to be pushed to the limits....

Listen to interview.


Visit their page

"At the time I was conscience the songs were very odd for the period. They didn't fit any genre or category and a lot were just two chords. I was not a 'musician' – and even to this day have no real idea what the black notes are for on a keyboard, – and I was embarrassed by this but now I know that had I been a conventional musician and able to play what Nicola was into, that FTS would have been something along the lines of bluesy torch music or trying to copy Joy Division. I heave a sigh of relief now at my inabilities." Garry Smout (March 2007)