Imagining a Information Network for Musicians

So, let’s imagine this is the kind of place I might outline a kind of personal vision for an information network co-operative for musicians. Why might such a thing be useful? What could it be? Maybe this is the blog equivalent of a five year strategic plan for an organization.

One thing I want to see again is events. Something that really saddens me about concert going in the 2020s, is the prevalence of multi-mediated concert experiences. I would love to see a series of snapshots of music going audiences at independent rock or small venue concerts in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s up until the present. One thing you wouldn’t see in the first half of that chronology is cellphones. Why is this so disruptive? Well, first off, the recording of a concert is a vastly different experience than the hearing of a live musical performance. It’s the same difference as documenting something versus being documented. I suspect this is why many people do not particularly like live recordings in comparison with studio recordings. I would be interested in attending an event that maybe could demonstrate or call attention to the historical intrusion of cellphones into public spaces. Perhaps the audience could be engaged in the intrusion or illustrate the effect by posting twenty different recordings of the same event? That would be an interesting kind of documentary live experience showcase of the effect of technology. I’ve also seen interesting theatrical performances that documented certain singers or moments in history that worked in various ways. Tom Paxton did a concert of Steve Goodman and Stan Rogers songs that was mixed with his personal reflections on their work in the 1990s that was like that. Bob Wiseman’s Libelous show was impressive in this narrative construction and reflection sense. An oral history of one’s personal songwriting experiences mingled with the songs could be interesting. When people perform classic albums live, that too can be a kind of documentary performance. Also, I want to plan some documentary concerts because it would be nice to get out of the house. So that’s something I want to see happen with TINI.

Secondly, I would like to see something cooperative happen with shared expertise in the independent music community. I would like to see spaces where innovative approaches in independent cultural production could take place. Ultimately if you build it, then people will come. And it isn’t necessarily one physical space. There are already venues and organizations all over the city that foster creative social collaboration. It would be nice to pool resources so people can learn from what has worked elsewhere and share that knowledge base. One way TINI might contribute something new to this conversation is if we are able to develop a membership/ credit exchange for volunteer work and mutual aid that allows people to contribute to the network with their skills, learn from each other and pay back into the ongoing production of new member’s productions with useful credits, workshops and exchanges. Perhaps we could create an alternative currency (let’s call it the ‘TINI token’) that could be swapped for services and could accumulated by volunteer hours, so that goodwill exchanges are kept in the community and are not reliant on always being one to one reciprocal exchanges but can be paid forward into the TINI market, a place where we can all watch this goodwill grow into a beautiful well of shared experience from which we may all draw nourishment and karmic riches.

Anyway, this is down the road. To get there we need to build the network. So we are starting with some resources and examples. We need a membership structure. We probably need to do some fundraising and plan out some special projects. Got any ideas? Let me hear them. I’m all ears. How can I help make them happen?

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