Hundreds of composers are promoting their music on the net - they've
never had such an easy entry into the global market. This on-line promotion
using music samples, electronic scores, biographies, photographs, websites
and e-mails to publishers, promoters, agents and artists can produce good
results but needs consistent and regular work, which usually comes with
a heavy cost in either time or money.
Although not a new idea, the composers' collective makes good use of
modern technology to share websites, promotional CDs, concerts, recording
sessions, professional marketing, advice and many other promotional and
organizational resources and equipment. The costs are shared, the office
work is shared, and each composer wins valuable extra working time - at
least that's the theory!
- The 34 member Baltimore
Composers Forum educates the local community about new music and encourages
- Based in the Netherlands, the Centre
for Electronic Music Composers Collective consists of composers Michael
Fahres, Armeno Alberts and Arno Peeters. Journalist Ruud Lekx and technician
James Rubery complete the team.
- The Common Sense Composers' Collective
are Dan Becker, John Halle, Ed Harsh, Melissa Hui, Marc Mellits, Belinda
Reynolds, Randall Woolf and Carolyn Yarnell. Their website includes brief
Contemporary Music began as a collection of Canadian composers and
performers, and has developed into much more, with a biennial Call for
Scores from composers across Canada and an annual four concert season
forming an important part of musical life in Toronto.
- Frog Peak Music publishes, records
and distributes its members' experimental music and art, selling to the
public by phone, fax, email or letter.
- Founded in 1992, Ben Allison's Jazz
Composers Collective is operated by (and for) composers 'pushing the
boundaries of their self-expression'.
- Although not a collective by name, Meet
The Composer has similar aims and several composers sit on its board
of directors. Founded in 1974 as a project of the New York State Council
on the Arts, and led by composer John Duffy, Meet The Composer has
grown to serve composers of every kind throughout the USA.
- Possibly in this category is Menelik
Music, a place on the web specifically for tonal classical composers.
Some composers represented here have no other web presence.
- La Musique Petite
is not strictly a composers' collective either, but is an example of a
supportive group which publishes and discusses music written using the
- The MuttMusic Consortium makes
a special effort to involve the visitor and provides samples of music by
member composers Martin Brody, Eric Chasalow, Michael Gandolfi, Lee Hyla,
Stefan Hakenberg, Thomas Oboe Lee and Dennis Miller - all associated with
the Boston area of the United States. A special effort is made to involve
- The North West
Composers Association is a group of 21 composers from the United Kingdom
who share a website, promotional CDs and concerts.
- The French rights collection organization SACEM
is set up as an 'association administered by music creators and publishers'
to represent its members' performing rights.
- SPNM promotes new music, operating
as a charitable company. Most of its directors and members are composers.
- The Virtual Colony widens the
scope somewhat, providing 'a place in cyberspace' for artists, photographers,
writers, artisans and composers.
As many conventional music publishers continue to withdraw their financial
support from all but the most commercially viable, many more composers are
finding that joining a collective makes practical and financial sense. Watch
out for the appearance of more music collectives, possibly with emphasis
on uniting members with similar musical styles and working practices rather
than by geographical location.
The Challenge of Size, Time and Perception
The web is now so large and is changing so quickly that it is simply
not possible for one person to experience more than a small fraction of
it! No matter how hard (s)he tries, the writer of every article in this
series will experience this - important sites will be missed, and many readers
will notice differences between their own perception of the internet and
that of our authors.
One possible solution is communication - please tell
us what you have found but we have missed!
Another solution is variety - authors from many different cultural,
and geographical backgrounds. Please
contact us if you feel able to take on the challenge!
Keith Bramich, 19 January 1999
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