David Byrne’s book “How Music Works” contains an interesting list of 8 elements he considers important for a vibrant music scene (Hardcover edition p. 253-263). David Byrne’s book is fascinating, the highlight for me being his dissection of how performance spaces affected the composition and orchestration of classical music.
But on p. 253-263 he dissects in more detail the elements that encourage talent to thrive in a vibrant scene. I think this list is a well thought out dissection of the music scene he was part of, but by no means a dissection of the elements needed for “any” vibrant scene.
Continue reading How Music Works — Elements of a Vibrant Music Scene
What is the one piece of advice you’ve received as a play writer or screenplay author that you wish someone had told you when you were starting out? That question was posed to a writer’s discussion group I belong to and here are over 85 answers.
Many of these are basic 101 type insights but I think even seasoned writers will find a few that will give them pause for thought. There are a few that say the same thing in different ways that I have kept in for reinforcement. To a writer, a piece of advice worded in a new way can lead to a different thought process and outcome.
Also, there’s at least one tidbit on this list that most people would say is “wrong”; so keep your critical eye on these and consider each one not as a rule, but as an element to consider absorbing into your creative process.
Continue reading 85 writing tips for play writers and screenplay authors
I’ve been going crazy trying to remember where the battery compartment is for my Shure VP88 microphone. I could not find any info online to open up the battery and put in a new battery for the VP88.
Continue reading Shure VP88 Battery Compartment
Askland Records is an easy to deal with one-stop that represents publishing and master owners. Default publishing is Askland Publishing (ASCAP) and Conrad Askland is an ASCAP writer. Formerly under the Road Records label.
As of 2016, Askland Records represents the following artists:
- 760 Crew
- Baby Sleep Ensemble
- Benjamin Trucale
- Cheer Trax (Cheer Tracks)
- The Barking Dogs
- Conrad Askland
- Dr. Akula
- Hal Loween
- Halloween Sound Effects
- Jam Track
- Los Dorkos
- Meditations For Life
- Nature’s Music
- Nursery Tunes
- Rap Track (Rap Trax)
- Santa’s Farting Elves
- Zakari Music Therapy
Comparison and Contrast of the Advent of Commercial Radio vs. the Advent of Music Streaming Services
Conrad Askland – 27 January 2016
Commercial radio broadcasting in the United States began in 1920 after the end of WWI and grew steadily in popularity through the late 1920’s and early 1930‘s. The dramatic effect of radio in the 1920‘s vs. the newspaper industry was that radio could deliver the news immediately as it was taking place. In addition, radio was free to listen to and easy to understand for those who had difficulty reading.
Continue reading Comparison and Contrast of the Advent of Commercial Radio vs. the Advent of Music Streaming Services
Two Copyright Scenarios with YouTube
Conrad Askland – 26 January 2016
I would like to look at two similar uses of copyright on YouTube that had two different outcomes. Both samples are highlighted at TechDirt.com.
Sad State of Copyright: Guy Using Short Clips of Music In Viral Videos Accused of Infringement.
Steve Kardynal is a popular maker of funny online videos. One of his series is called “Songs in Real Life” where every so often the dialog is a short 3-10 second clip from a popular song.
A year after it was posted he received a takedown from Sony. Knowing that three strikes meant he would lose his account, he set his other songs to private to avoid getting any other strikes. So, essentially he had to shut down his account until he can figure a way around it. I went to view secondary uploads of his videos but even those were set to private. So it would look like Sony “won” and Steve Kardynal was shut down as a derivative artist in this manner.
Continue reading Two Copyright Scenarios with YouTube
The Project Management song by Conrad Askland.
I wrote this as part of a Project Management class I took with Berklee School of Music. I am currently working on some massive long term projects and took this class to refine my skills in project management. It was well worth it and I highly recommend the class. I’m pretty sure this is probably the first dance song ever written about Project Management.
As music producers we use a lot of different software formats. With my music libraries alone I counted 18 different companies that I’ve worked with in the last year. Most needing their own installation procedures and authorizations. It’s just part of the business and quickly leads to the no-fun zone.
Overall I think customer service across the board has improved greatly in the technology and music app sectors over the last ten years. There are three companies which have really stood out to me above all the rest in 2015 for outstanding customer service.
Continue reading My Top Picks for 2015 Technology Customer Service
Gerald Slavet, executive producer of the series “From the Top” says:
“There is no such thing as failure in the creative world.”
With each “failure” is the opportunity to refocus, change directions and make adjustments so the final outcome is success. Those few words are extremely powerful IF you are willing to honestly take stock of your progress as you move along on your creative project.
In my title for this blog post I say “Artists and Entrepreneurs” because the process of developing an idea is very similar (or the same!) for entrepreneurs and artists. Both go through this process:
- You get an idea, a kernel of inspiration for a new work, or are assigned a new property to develop
- You visualize the possible areas to explore on that property, look at it from different angles or perspectives, a period of discovery to find how many different variations of the final product or create process you can come up with
- Create a plan to begin creating the property
- Execution phase: Now you actually have to work!
- Assessment, Evaluation and Valuation: Is everything going to plan? Does it need adjustment? What are the roadblocks to the final developed property and how do you overcome those? Is this project on a trajectory of success?
Continue reading Failure: How Artists and Entrepreneurs Can Benefit from Failure
I just recorded and released an album in one day. In fact it took me five hours from start to finish. That time included the learning curve of setting things up for the first time, so in the future I may be able to cut that down to 3.5 hours.
What’s the point! A colleague of mine has got me really hooked on Tim Ferriss and the “4 hour work week”. One of the concepts is to do 90% of your best work, not 100%. Why? Because that last 10% of quality is what takes up 90% of the time and most people won’t notice the difference any way. (Now you say, “But I will notice the difference, and this is MY art.” True that. And different things for different times. I’m trying it though to see how it works.
Continue reading Recording and Releasing an Album in One Day
(Overture from Romeo and Juliet the musical by Conrad Askland – Sibelius screen shot)
Here it is late 2015 and there is still the grand debate of whether to use Sibelius or Finale as your main music notation software. You can read hundreds of technical break downs that compare the two. Here, I will give you a real-world breakdown of my experience with both programs.
Continue reading Finale vs. Sibelius
Aaron Sorkin wrote the screenplay for the 2015 movie “Steve Jobs”. I just saw the film and absolutely loved it. It has had disappointing ticket sales so far but has a very respectable 85% review rate from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
One of the complaints from tech heads is that some of the true facts have been adjusted for the screenplay to make it a better film. In the link below, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin explains the difference between “subjective” and “objective”; or in other words that some have said, “this is not a documentary, this is a painting.”
Continue reading “Steve Jobs” Movie 2015 — Objective vs. Subjective
How did this box of Captain Crunch end up in my kitchen? I love good marketing and I think whoever put together this marketing for Captain Crunch is a genius.
I had mentioned to a friend recently how much I liked Captain Crunch – Crunch Berries cereal as a kid. So when they were in the supermarket recently they saw this and picked it up for me as a surprise. What a fun surprise gift – but what was even more exciting is the marketing behind this product so let’s look at that now…
Continue reading Genius Marketing Tactics of Captain Crunch
(Photo: Andre “Virus” Karkos – Guitarist for Rock of Ages 2015)
Just finishing up my second contract as music director and keyboards for Rock of Ages out of New York with NCL International. What an awesome run this has been! The arsenal band for this run are some of the most talented and just all around cool musicians I have ever worked with. Awesome grooves and strong, hard hitting rock performances throughout the entire contract. Way to go Arsenal!
Continue reading Rock of Ages 2015 — Arsenal Band
100 Rules for Drummers is a video compilation put together by my Rock of Ages bandmate and drummer, Steve Such. The catch is: each person could only use three words. My contribution is around #4 with “wear your earplugs!”
Peter Erskine, Jeff Hamilton, Zoro, Johnny Rabb, Curt Bisquera, Ari Hoenig, Victor Indrizzo, Jonathan Mover, Walfredo Reyes Jr., Steve Fidyk, Bermuda Schwartz, Dan Needham, Bruce Becker, Conrad Askland, Bill Bachman, Jeff Queen, Pete Lockett, Andre Boyd, Nick Ruffini, Dave Kropf, Richie Gajate-Garcia, Tim Lefevbre, and many more give their top piece of advice to drummers.
Continue reading 100 Rules for Drummers
I am very honored to be included in the book Music Direction for the Stage: A View from the Podium, by Joseph Church and published by Oxford University Press. This textbook also includes a forward by Alan Menken.
Continue reading Music Direction for the Stage — Oxford University Press
Are you working in Ableton Live and trying to unsuccessfully load a set that crashes with “Out of Memory” warnings? A very simple workaround (as seen in the graphic above) is to turn off “Use Audio Units”. This will load the set without plugins so you can get the set up and running in order to cut it down and resave.
Continue reading Ableton Live — Out of Memory and Unable to Load Set
This is the original full length overture from the premiere of my theatre work “Romeo and Juliet the musical” which premiered February 2015 at the Historic Lincoln Theatre in Mount Vernon, WA.
Continue reading Overture from Romeo and Juliet
So once again I join the Rock of Ages cast as music director and keyboardist for the 2015 runs in New York and Bermuda. The band “Arsenal” is rocking hard this year with Guitarists Gino Del Sole, Andre “Virus” Karkos, Steve Such on drums and myself.
Continue reading Rock of Ages the musical in New York and Bermuda
Most people know me as a music director, pianist or conductor for live shows and recordings. But what is very dear to my heart are my new musicals. These have all had an amateur 3 week premiere run to work out all the script, score and technical elements. They are all currently unpublished and await a professional run and agent representation.
I hope you will contact me either about agent representation of these musicals, or about performing them with your theatre group. I am very excited to see what other groups will do with these new works!
Romeo and Juliet the musical
Overview: Set entirely to William Shakespeare original text. In over 400 years there has never been a successful musical version of Romeo and Juliet using only Shakespeare’s original words. I believe this could be the first.
Reviews: “Revolutionary music”
For more info visit: http://www.RJmusical.com
PAN the musical
Overview: A retelling of the Peter Pan and Wendy story by JM Barrie. A new Peter Pan musical with classic score and updated for contemporary audience interaction.
Reviews: “Askland creates magic again”
For more info visit: http://www.PanMusical.com
Witches! the musical
Overview: The Salem Witch Trials come to life in 1692 Massachusetts.
For more info visit: http://www.WitchesMusical.com