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‘The Artist/Audience Relationship’

Hi guys, happy new year!

 

I want to address something that came up a few times over the holidays and that is becoming increasingly regular as the MOS project grows in size – the topic of the relationship between artist and audience and where that relationship begins and ends.

 

I believe that the artist/audience relationship is a mutually beneficial one. The artist creates something that enriches your life through enjoyment and pleasure and you enrich the artist’s life through buying their work and providing them with appreciation, criticism and comment. I do not, however, believe that the artist/audience relationship entitles either of us to the other’s personal time or physical space.

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It’s a tricky thing to address as it can make you sound like you don’t appreciate having fans. Trust me, I do. I’m an indie musician and I spend 2-3 hours every day on Twitter, the MOS Facebook and Youtube responding to as many messages/enails//Tweets as I can.  It does not feel like a chore to me because I love hearing your feedback, I love reading messages from people whose lives have been affected in a positive way by these songs.  It’s a lovely, rewarding part of my job and I love doing it.

 

However, when people want to add me on Skype/Steam/Xbox Live etc or my personal Facebook, or expect me to spend time private chatting with you – I would politely ask that you respect my decision to decline. I appreciate your interest in MOS and I know it seems like a cool thing to web chat with someone whose work you admire, but for me, personally, I keep these things to a very small pool of close friends and business contacts. I do my socialising with people I know face to face. I go to the pub or a restaurant or cafe, or to a house party – with people I know in ‘real life’, so to speak. I’m not a really sociable guy on the web. I’m 33 and grew up in the 80s & 90s when the internet was barely a thing.  I have 5 or 6 close friends who I have known for decades. As an old fashioned Luddite, Web chatting with strangers is a strange and awkward concept to me – though I completely respect and appreciate that there are many who maybe grew up with it and it is a much more normal and fun thing for them.  Besides – If I were to accept every friend request and chat to every fan who asks me to, I would have no time to talk to ANY of you, let alone make music!

 

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The best way to meet eachother – at cons and events! :)

 

As for meeting up in person, this is another topic entirely. I am happy to meet and greet with people at cons, events and designated ‘Miracle of Sound’ times. Any fan you ask who has met me in person will tell you I am accommodating, friendly and respectful to them.  However – I do not do one on one meet ups with complete strangers from the internet. I know people who have had terrible experiences with this and it’s something that would make me very uncomfortable and anxious.  I can only speak for myself but I can’t even imagine asking one of my favorite musicians to come and spend one on one time with me. For me that would be vastly overstepping the boundary of the artist/audience relationship and I wouldn’t dream of it. It would feel pretty arrogant of me to even ask.

 

I try to be a humble person through life. I have spent years working on removing any ego from my work and the interactions with those who listen to it. I do not see myself as above or better than anyone who is my fan. So it genuinely upsets me when people do not respect my wishes and get angry that they are not entitled to my private time or space. Going around my fan pages publicly badmouthing me over this, in my opinion, just makes you look like this guy:

eminem-stan

 …and I am totally not worth being that guy about. I’m a boring, nerdy Irish dude who spends his day on the computer clicking a mouse around Cubase.

 

Thanks for reading this guys, I hope it gives a little understanding of exactly why it is you got that ‘friend request declined’ message. Feel free to follow on Twitter (by far the best way to talk to me, I’m on Twitter all day), comment on Youtube or message the MOS Facebook account where I will be happy to respond when I can :)

 

Big love

 

Gav

 

 

 


Music Update For End Of 2013!

Hi guys and gals!

 

People have been asking why I haven’t put out any music lately, so I figured I’d give you guys a little update as to where Miracle Of Sound is at musically.
This week was distracting due to the Youtube copyright mess but I have actually been working too on a bunch of new stuff for the last week or two. I have 6 tracks finished for a very mellow, relaxing instrumental album I’m making. It’s something I’m doing for fun, just to please myself – with no pressure to write good lyrics or structures or any of that. Just very simple, minimal, chill out music. Hopefully you guys will enjoy it too!

I’m also working on a song based on The Hobbit which is more of an orchestral type thing with lots of different bits and pieces, and finally a full force industrial synth-metal stomper about a certain big game coming out soon 

So needless to say, soon enough you’ll be hit with LOADS of new music. ‘Till then, L1, 2, and 3 are half price on bandcamp for the foreseeable future and L4 is OUT NOW so you’ve loads to keep you going!

Big love

Gav

guitar lurve


Gav’s ‘Tricky Questions’ Miracle Of Sound FAQ!

As a nerdy internet Z-lister, I often get asked certain tricky questions to which the answers are a bit too complicated for quick replies, so I decided that I would do a little FAQ for you guys here, to answer them all.

Apologies in advance if the tone feels a little sharper and more prickly than my usual self – a couple of these questions tend to bring that out in me, ha! I’ll also be adding more questions as they come up. Big love!

Gav

fus roh gav

 

1. Why don’t you take individual requests?

This one comes up pretty much every day. I always listen to requests and if there is an overwhelming number of people asking for a certain song I will usually consider it. The reason I don’t do individual requests though is simple – I don’t have the time. There are a lot of voices shouting and yours is just one of many! Any time I take out of my schedule to cater to one random person is time spent not catering to the majority of other people in my audience.

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2. What are your feelings on piracy?

The following is a excerpt from a message I recently wrote on the Russian MOS VK fan page, edited & expanded upon for the purpose of this FAQ:

I do not judge anyone for downloading music for free. I am not Lars Ulrich, I realise that not everyone has a lot of money and sometimes it’s hard to obtain art that you love. However… I do prefer that people buy it when they can because it means I can continue to make music as my job and not go back to scrubbing pots in hotels, working for an asshole boss in a shop or busking.

The music industry has propagated the myth that musicians are wealthy. While Jay-Z and Metallica certainly aren’t worrying about their next rent payment, most musicians are flat broke, even mid level successful ones. The ‘Musicians are rich’ myth is a big old pile of donkey poop.

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broke-musician-broke-ass-stuart

I am not wealthy and I spend sometimes 60-70 hours per week working on Miracle Of Sound. I write, perform, produce, mix, master and (try to) promote these songs all by myself. That’s 4 peoples’ jobs in the real world! It’s a full time job so it’s really nice when people appreciate the time & effort put into the work and feel it deserves to be bought – but like I said I am not judgemental to those who, for whatever reason, cannot pay. When you share my music for free, I still consider you a fan and I appreciate your interest and love for the songs I make. Just, y’know. Buy it, please, if you can? Haha.

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3. How do I get into music writing/recording/mixing/mastering etc….. What ‘program’ do you use?

There’s no concrete answer for this one as each part of the music process is an art unto itself. If you’re serious about any one of these skills, it must be learned over years with time, dedication, practice, and hard work. There is no one ‘program’ that will magically make your music sound good or make you good at recording/mixing. Music programs are simply tools, with which to ease your workflow and compliment your skills to increase audio quality.  The simplest answer I can give you is ‘Pour your entire heart, soul and self into it every day’

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You’ll also need an incredibly thick skin, the ability to put your ego in check and pay attention to criticism, a LOT of patience and the willpower to keep getting back up when you get repeatedly beaten down. It took me over a decade of working at it before I had any success in my music!

Here are some good links for beginners:

http://audio.tutsplus.com/articles/general/a-beginners-introduction-to-home-recording/

http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/aug04/articles/computermastering.htm

http://www.musesmuse.com/schind.html

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4. Why have you never made a song about [insert ‘x’ game/movie/whatever here]

Because there are hundreds of thousands of games, TV shows & movies and that’s just one. Inspiration is not something that I can magically pull out of nowhere – it has to come naturally. Even when I love something, there’s no guarantee it will give me a worthwhile idea for a song. It’s important to remember that the things you like are not the center of everyone else’s universe!

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5. This song didn’t fit the game/movie/subject matter

Not a question, I know. But an intermittent comment that seems to display a sad lack of understanding of the fundamental nature of art.

I don’t always set out to mimic and reproduce the exact, dominating tone of a piece of subject matter. Sometimes I focus on a small part of a story that appealed to me, or on a tone that I interpreted from the piece which you may not have caught. Just because the song did not mirror your own narrow experience does not mean it ‘doesn’t fit the game’ – it fits MY experience of the game and the parts of it that inspired me.

Art is completely subjective and dependant on the individual therefore there is no right or wrong way to create something self expressive from that experience.

 different_perspectives_465635

6. Why won’t you make a song for me/my Youtube channel/my girlfriend/my boyfriend/this girl I want to woo/my 1337 sniper montage/my dog etc…. (Usually this is also people who expect you to work for free)

I have spent my entire life working my ass off to reach this level of skill in my trade & craft, facing failure after failure, living on next to nothing for years, working (as I said above) shitty jobs scrubbing pots in hotel kitchens, busking for change on the street, pouring every meager cent I had into buying music gear and every spare minute I had into getting better at what I do. I work 50-70 hour weeks almost every week to make sure I get to keep my dream job.

So what exactly makes you feel that you are entitled to use and exploit someone for their years of hard work, skills and equipment when they have never met you, don’t even know who you are and doing it for you has absolutely no benefit to them?

if youre good at something

Ask yourself, what would your response be if a random stranger asked you to do your job/profession for them, for free and with nothing to gain? You’d probably laugh out loud and say ‘fat chance, buddy’. Now imagine you’d spent your entire life learning and honing that skill and poured tens of thousands of dollars into it – that ‘fat chance’ just became dangerously obese, didn’t it.

When people then respond with ‘I thought you cared about your fans’ my immediate thought is ‘You are not a fan in this context – you are someone who wants to use me’. People have also told me ‘Well I did voluntary ‘x’ and ‘y’ stuff for free for people.’ Good for you, I’m glad you can afford to be so generous with your time – when I was unemployed I too used to spend 3 afternoons a week volunteering in a Cancer Society shop. Now however I am a busy bee and if I want to keep pleasing the other millions of people who listen to MOS then I have to decline your request.

There is a poisonous attitude in some parts of the internet that feels artists should work for free, for ‘exposure’. Sorry, but I need to eat!

Also, pro-tip – never ask a musician for a song to help you woo someone. They’ll just want to run off with the musician instead, ha!

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In case all of that was a tad too downbeat and negative, here’s a nice picture of a kitten to bleach your brain:

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Encore: Dream Of The Sky

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it! My apologies that this column sort of fell by the wayside in recent months. I was very busy with music stuff and honestly wasn’t aware that so many of you enjoyed it as much as you did, so it kind of just drifted away for a while. But I seemed to be getting a lot of messages about it lately and when I asked on Twitter if you’d like to have one for “Dream Of The Sky” the response was an overwhelming yes, so here you go!

Read more at http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/miracleofsoundencore/10316-Dream-of-the-Sky#JCv3OMgHJEIuGGUj.99


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