Classical Guitar Blog Roundup [Links – 3/13/2011]

Giacomo Fiore, a musicologist and guitarist currently studying and living in Santa Cruz, is recording a new CD. And he wants your help to get it off the ground. His project involved recording a lot of modern music, which means big licensing costs. So click here (or look to the widget at the right) and lend him a few dollars if you can. Giacomo is a great player, and his interpretations of 20th century music are really very good.

Nick Cutroneo wrote about left hand fingering considerations this week. “[D]epending on what you want to hear, and musically what you are trying to express, certain fingerings may work while others you have to fight to get your musical ideas across.” That pretty much sums the article up. If you’re looking for some thoughts or reasons why you should try out different fingerings, it doesn’t get much better than this.

Philip Hii wrote a bit about Cook Hii vs. Cook Ting. Sounds a bit abstract, right? There’s a fairly obvious meaning to this post, but I don’t want to ruin it for you. Go read it.

Bradford Werner explains Quantity vs. Quality in practicing. This is a great post that discusses something I tell my students repeatedly: the goal of practicing is play something perfectly as many times as possible.

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  • Paul D.

    I find it rather weird to support a guitarists to make a CD.

    In particular the licensing fee part of it makes me feel disgust.
    I’d buy the sheetmusic and just record the stuff. Then sell the CD after concerts and maby online.

    No licensing-company is gonna ask for ridiculous licensing fees… This is small time guitar, with minimum sales…
    Waste of time to even consider licensing.

    If you feel that I have somehow stepped over “moral” issues here and am some kind of bandit:
    consider this -> there are numerous modern performances up on youtube, and no one has paid any licensing fees.
    The worst that could ever happed is that licensing-company asks youtube to remove the vids. Nothing more. But hey… this is just small-time guitar… no company would ever bother.
    In particular: no penalty fines will have to be paid.

    Same with a CD. The worst that I can imagine, is that a licensing-company will notice and write a letter of complaint. Then you can just pull the CD off the market.
    But I doubt a licensing-company will ever notice anyway.

    PS: What’s the cost involved in licensing anyway?

    • Christopher Davis

      Well, I feel that I’d like to give the composer something.

      As far as the youtube thing, it brings up an interesting issue (as does streaming music concerts): who is supposed to pay the licensing. If youtube is a venue (like a concert hall) they would be forced to pay it. Who knows!? It’s still too young of a field anyway. But youtube also doesn’t make the performers money (except from ads, of course), so publishers don’t have as big of an interested in it. A CD, on the other hand is an extremely direct source of income for an artist.

      • Lorenzo

        Chris: “A CD, on the other hand is an extremely direct source of income for an artist.”

        No it isn’t. Well it isn’t, unless your name is John Williams.
        Let’s ask Jouni Stenroos how much income he’s made from his CD:
        Chris, could you contact him for us… (that is… only if you want, and if he’s willing to answer) It would be interesting to get his perspective on things.

        I think a composer may make money from publishing money. Put for a composer to make money… by disallowing public performances or recordings of his works … unless you pay him something is truly twisted and disgusting.

        Let’s not forget… we live in a world of our own making!

        So if we always run after licensing-companies and stick money up their um pockets, of our own free will; then we’d be the fools ourselves.
        I say: don’t give in to it.
        If they want money for such twisted systems, the licensing-companies are gonna have to work bloody hard to get it from me!
        And if people don’t give in to the system so easy, you won’t see it become established as law.

        So to reiterate: we live in a world of our own making.
        Make wise decisions.

        • FredHouseman

          Just like to acknowledge that I’ve quoted some of your good thoughts here

    • Giacomo Fiore

      Hi Paul,

      sorry to disgust you! To answer your question, the minimum licensing costs for this project are going to come in at around $500 for the physical CDs; probably another $200 if I decide to sell the album digitally as well (which I should!). Replication is another $1000 or so, plus graphic design…as you can see, that doesn’t even begin to cover the recording costs (which I am paying for out-of-pocket).

      And absolutely, I should be able to recover costs by selling CDs at concerts—that’s what I’m planning to do. You can think of the Kickstarter system as another way to sell pre-orders—in particular, one that offers some guarantees about the project/fundraising (if I don’t meet my funding goals, nobody gets charged for their donation). As an aside, the recording is happening whether I make the funding or not, but it would definitely help if I had some advance sales and other support from those interested in the recording.

      Finally, paying for the licensing costs is a moral choice. I believe in contemporary music and I respect the work of these composers. The fact that they’re all dead doesn’t really matter to me—it’s a question of principle. I don’t think that the likelihood of “getting busted” should govern the choices that we make, but that’s a personal thing.

      All the best,