December 24, 2005

New Music is Too is really getting into shape now. There's a Podcast RSS Feed and when you add notes to your entry it now turns links into valid HTML. This will let composers add program style notes to their announcements with links to scores and parts and commentary. The coolest thing about setting up something like this is watching how usage generates new ideas about how the service should be run.

Please visit, listen and add your comments. Unfortunately for the few comments that were there I accidentally deleted them in part of my code tweak. This won't happen too often, I hope! And please, lets keep it down to only new MP3's and not overburden the system. I'm still approving by hand, so they won't get through anyway, hehe... but it's a pain for me. This means, write lots of new music people, so we can aggregate it into oblivion!

Oh yeah, I've also added a XSPF Flash MP3 Streaming Player at the top of the page. If you'd like your MP3's to stream well, of course, keep them encoded 128K or below. And I'm going to try and add those cute little play buttons that Fabricio uses in his GreaseMonkey script next to the MP3 URL's. Any more ideas, please cough them up... Cya at

Posted by jeff at 04:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 22, 2005 is Ready for Business

Got the parsing and generation of blog entries working this afternoon. now periodically grabs and parses the mp3_classical_contemporary tag RSS feed from and, using the Movable Type reBlog plugin generates blog entries for every new MP3 that is announced over the service. I'll be adding playlist creation and a player shortly. Comments are open, but moderated, so feel free to praise or diss any of the first few announced works.

My provider, doesn't give subdomains except to full packages, so I went ahead and got the domain too.

The basic principals of the service:

Use to tag URL's for deep-linked (or not so deep-linked) MP3's. You'll need to set up a account which takes approximately 2 seconds. I propose 2 tags for our community, but can envisage a few more:


Whenever a new work is tagged in this fashion, it'll show up for anybody who has subscribed to mp3_classical_contemporary tag in their inbox. You 'post' your MP3 URL and tag it with one of those tags. I'd suggest we begin using it for new works and not for our entire catalogs. Users that want to see these new works can subscribe to these tags in their inbox or the RSS feed at or by visiting the website. is basically going to be a addon service provider to the tag feed, for adding comments, and getting the service into full blown activity.

Also, please ignore that default bloggy look at the site. Will be spiffing it up into coolness this weekend.

Posted by jeff at 04:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 18, 2005

Full of Color and Utterly Boring

Full of color and utterly boring... haha your comment, Ian Moss (in a comment at S21), reminded me of the NY Times article this morning about movie flops:

Where Have all the Howlers Gone

But the very worst films achieve a special distinction, soliciting membership in a kind of negative canon, an empyrean of anti-masterpieces. It is this kind of bad movie - the train wreck, the catastrophe, the utter and absolute artistic disaster - that seems to be in short supply.

And this is very bad news. Disasters and masterpieces, after all, often arise from the same impulses: extravagant ambition, irrational risk, pure chutzpah, a synergistic blend of vanity, vision and self-delusion. The tiniest miscalculation on the part of the artist - or of the audience - can mean the
difference between adulation and derision. So in the realm of creative achievement, the worst is not just the opposite of the best, but also
its neighbor.

And another comment Elsie made a few weeks ago, after listening to too much Murail and Hurel, that 'spectralists aren't bungee jumpers.'

And something I say all the time on my blog and in the newsgroups for years it that it is mediocrity that is recognized today, and has always been recognized in the day. Trying to write something different is dangerous and if you depend on your reputation for your $$$, such as most academics do, or even most careerists do, then it is problematic to say, 'ah fuck iit' and write something totally off the wall, disgusting, dirty, or even perfect and clean, but totally true to yourself. That was a decision I made after a family incident... to just go ahead and risk it. Even if it was horrible, eventually something awesome would come out or else I would prove that I do in fact suck. Anything is better than sticking with the tried and true, the muddling middle, the competent and forgettable.

Posted by jeff at 09:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 15, 2005

Generalizing the Announcement Service

So, I'm starting to see how there's a real need for all types of musicians to have this service. I'm not sure if I want to create a community for commenting on all types of new music, but I think it would be interesting to have hundreds of genre-specific RSS feeds representing announcements of new MP3's as they come online.

I've got a XML-RPC server up and running and am getting to the API. It'll be like a blog ping server where an artist or an OMD or a rep can do a XML submit of the info I need, or a full blown XSPF playlist or fill out a form DIY style.


Posted by jeff at 02:09 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 11, 2005 - Building A New Music Announcement Aggregator

OK, the site is up and I've wired up the feed to one of the columns. This is not even a pre-alpha site yet. Initial ideas are in the previous article, A Proposal for Announcing New Music Recordings on the Net. At the moment, I'm still experimenting with how to auto-generate blog entries from the mp3_classical_contemporary RSS feed. Once that's done and I settle on a look, this should get rolling.

Current plans are:

1. Auto-generate blog entries from new items in the RSS feed.
2. Auto-modify a playlist at which can also serve as a podcast for people that just want to subscribe and watch the new MP3's just drop in.
3. More as I remember/think them up and digest your comments.

What I could really use a hand in is how to make it so that when we do start promoting the service (especially the use of tags) it gets some traction. Am I forgetting anything that would make it more compelling as a new music announcement service? Is requiring a account going to stymie this service? I can certainly use the post to generate new tagged entries, by way of the site or an email list, but I'm afraid that's just inviting spam. Also, there's a real advantage in slowly identifying composers who use the list through their announcements. allows for subscription to a tag by tagger and that could pave the way for a privileging that could be helpful in maintaing this micro-community service.

I'm thinking of ways to invite the electronic music community, also. That's a can of worm for sure, since every kid with a computer now is a composer. Requiring a account identifier might be key here in keeping the list maintainable and interesting.

I'm leaving comments open here and in the announcement below for the moment, until it gets googled and blog-spammed. Please help me out with your thoughts and ideas. If you're reading this through the New Music ReBlog site, please comment at beepSNORT.

Posted by jeff at 09:40 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 10, 2005

A Proposal for Announcing New Music Recordings on the Net

I've got an idea, and I'm working on an implementation, of a generalized way to announce new MP3's on the net. Been thinking for a while, about what a loss of community, the demise of was. We've experienced a diaspora of sorts, spread out all over from Ampcast to We no longer have any site that welcomes comments or even just pointers to new recordings.

And it's not just the community that's been lost, its the mechanism for attracting the release of new net-distributed recordings. So, a modest proposal is in order.

I'm setting up a new site, which is now up and empty, called Cacophonus. I don't intend to re-create Sequenza21 or even the Classical Forum. It's main purpose will be to aggregate new music announcements and at some point, possibly critiques and commentaries in an informal way.

But the first step, that we can all begin doing, so that we can find each other's new recordings is to use to tag URL's for deep-linked (or not so deep-linked) MP3's. You'll need to set up a account which takes approximately 2 seconds. I propose 2 tags for our community, but can envisage a few more:


Whenever a new work is tagged in this fashion, it'll show up for anybody who has subscribed to mp3_classical_contemporary tag in their inbox. You 'post' your MP3 URL and tag it with one of those tags. I'd suggest we begin using it for new works and not for our entire catalogs. Users that want to see these new works can subscribe to these tags in their inbox.

Example: mp3_classical_contemporary

Now when, somebody posts a new MP3 URL in this manner, I will see it in my inbox, because I have subscribed to that tag. Notice there is an RSS feed to that page. You can subscribe to that almost as a podcast and that'll play into some of my plans on how to aggregate these announcements and at some point create a comments system.

Posted by jeff at 10:54 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

At a Loss for Compositional Ideas?

Nick Didkovsky on the JMSL list reminds us all of Webhamster Henry's Top 10 Imaginary Recordings of 2005. a brilliant spoof/sendup/ideafarm of conceptual possibilities in sonic design.

My favorite...
Return To Sender (Mail Ops, 2005)
Experimental sound artist Holga Becker modded up her Mp3 recorder to run extra slowly, stuck it in a package and mailed it to her self. Hear the sounds of travel, other packages (what's that ticking noise?), sorting machines, mutterings of the postal employees and lots of bumps.

Posted by jeff at 09:05 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 08, 2005

Exposing MySpace Artist Exposure

I've recently joined MySpace after a year or two (how long has it been around?) of avoiding it cuz it looked so HotOrNotty. My page has BlueStrider and a few other 'hits' of mine and I've been wondering where the music promotion scene was going from there. I've actually met quite a few interesting composers there, FWIW, and even have the Kronos Quartet as a friend. Woo hoo! Hint to Kronos, my string quartet Anamorphosis would be a compelling addition to any of your concerts!

I found an article about a band that was featured on the front page there for a week and what that meant in CD sales. They shared the feature with Madonna and 2 other big names. They got tons of downloads, friend requests and sold... well... 0 that is a big naught CD's.

Overexposed is an article by Scott Andrew about this and its pretty interesting. What is exposure now? What can one reasonably hope for with online exposure?

I received an email from a friend last week about some radio airplay he'd had with a few of his pieces. It seemed so old-skool I thought it was a little funny. The show probably has 200 listeners. How is that different from 200 downloads?

Not sure... but there is a difference, I'm sure. People do download without listening and people do listen to the radio without listening. Does getting real world exposure, a Wire feature, or a TV spot add up to anything in the current scene when there is so much music competing for our attention?

I keep telling people that we're in a new scene now, that online exposure will become more and more important. That an online buzz will be THE buzz that propells great artists to the top. We'll see I guess, it sure is taking a long time.

On that note, I guess I should mention here that Stirling Newberry, composer and political blogger of fame wrote a very flattering article about yours truly recently focussing on my music and my activities in the net music world to create a classical music scene.

Jeff Harrington, The Unwritten Chapter.

Posted by jeff at 10:33 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 07, 2005

DMCA Penalizes Classical Net Radio

Because classical net radio must play many works from the same CD (usually in a row, snicker) many classical net radio stations, including Kyle Gann's Postclassic Radio are having their service disrupted or delisted. Kyle's Blog Entry

It's difficult to imagine a copyright policy that would be so clueless about music and music history. It indicates to me, a mindset where the arts serve only to promote business interests, not the interests of the listener or the work (yes a work of art can have an interest, definitely with regards to it being presented appropriately).

On a side note, Kyle's blog entries continue not to be Reblogged because as I've reminded him, his Microsoft chars violate good XML!

Posted by jeff at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack