Get Your Entertainment the Best Way

The need for entertainment is quite inevitable today considering the stress that we all go through every day. There are stiff competitions every place you turn to; whether it is work place, school, business or home. We are increasingly tasking ourselves to meet targets and to deliver results in very stressful conditions. These create tension and stress for many people. Entertainment provides a way to create a balance; this balance creates an equilibrium which helps to keep people functioning without breaking down completely.

The rate of stress related health problems are of great concern to many people, government institutions and communities. There are indications to show that many people don’t know that they have stress related problem and this affects their work, home and the larger society. Young people are constantly in need of something to engage them; things that will keep them off crime and anti-social behaviour. Good entertainment readily provides a gateway to this desire. Good entertainment requires worthwhile investments in terms of money, time and infrastructures.These are in themselves scarce but the entertainment industry is constantly work at making their products available to the public at affordable prices. Home videos, music on DVD, etc, can be of great benefit when we think of making entertainment available at an affordable price. It is however sad that many people are downloading films and music illegally off the Internet. This can change if music and film on DVDs are relatively available and affordable.

There are stores that provide affordable entertainment facilities in various ways. They supply CDs and DVDs for people of all ages, gender, social status and culture. The CDs and DVDs can be purchased on-line with ease. There are many titles to choose from to give you real fun. If you take time to shop around you will find these shops. Their secret is simple; their overhead and running cost is lower than some more sophisticated stores.

People don’t need to download music and films illegally. The trouble is not worth it. It is important that people find something that can help them to relax but it should be done the right way. You can go for live shows, cinemas or use DVDs in the comfort of your house. There are sports, music, drama, films and even audio books on CDs and DVDs that can make you happy, enlightened and entertained all day long. Don’t forget that there are laws that prohibit illegal download of music and films from the Internet. Walk out of trouble; get yourself great entertainment the best way.

Planning Corporate Music Events

Planning the entertainment for a corporate event can be daunting. There is a lot to consider and getting it wrong might not improve your career prospects. Perhaps a cheesy cabaret entertainer or comedian won’t quite cut it. Most corporate companies are looking to impress potential business partners so you need to go all out with the entertainment.

For most corporate businesses though the entertainment industry is not too familiar. The best place to start is a reputable entertainment agent. A live band always goes down well at such event however you need to be sure of the quality of the act. Corporate bands understand the attitude and planning needed to make sure everything runs smoothly. There are lots of great function bands out there but not all have experience of working with corporate clients. If you can find an entertainment agent that specialises in corporate bands then even better.

If you are looking for everyone to have a great time and provide a true party atmosphere then live music is second to none. A great front man can work the crowd and get the whole audience involved. By booking through an entertainment agent you are usually assured a quality band. You should always talk to the agent though and be very precise about your requirements. Listen to demos usually available on the agent’s site and browse pictures and video footage.

If you are looking for quality entertainment then it is worth paying from professional corporate bands. They are not always cheap but you only get one chance to make an impression in front of that important client so can really afford not to? Of courses there are different types of acts available for different types of events. You may want a party band or perhaps if you are looking for some background music for a corporate dinner a solo singer may suffice. Think carefully about what would work best and take advice from the entertainment agent.

Another benefit of using an agent is that you will usually sign a performance contract clearly stating the times of the performance, duration and what is expected of both parties. For an important event you should always ensure a contract is in place. Whatever your needs using an entertainment agent can simply take the hassle out of planning corporate events. You have a much better chance of a successful event after taking professional advice and guidance and booking a professional function band.

5 Fabulous Texas Festivals You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

It’s no secret that the great state of Texas plays host to some household names in the festival world. But did you know that Texas holds fantastic festivals of all sort throughout the year? With its long history and diverse residents, it’s no wonder Texas festivals boast the best in fabulous food, live music, wine tasting and more, and some little-known these festivals do it all without the crowds! If you’re looking to head outdoors for a delightful time, check out the five festivals below that you’ve probably never heard of.

1. Lavender & Wine Festival (Washington County, TX)

Held annually in August, the Lavender & Wine festival is a joint venture held at Chappell Hill Lavender Farm and Windy Winery. This countryside festival has a quaint community feel, and features wine tastings, demonstrations, fragrant lavender cuttings, and crafts. Enjoy the wonderful fragrance of the farm and tour the vines at the winery. Plus there are always plenty of vendors and live music abounds! Admission is free, but bring some cash for wine tastings.

2. Bluebonnet Festival of Texas (Chappell Hill, TX)

Declared the “Official Bluebonnet Festival of Texas” by the Texas Legislature, nothing says Texas like a festival celebrating everything bluebonnet! Held annually in April, this festival boasts more than 250 juried exhibitors showcasing the best in bluebonnet home decor, gardening, art, jewelry, clothing, and more. Enjoy country-style food while you take in live entertainment and music, and then take a tour of the historic community. If you’ve got the kiddos in tow, they’re going to love the pony rides, petting zoo, face painting, and barrel train at the children’s activity corner! Admission is free, but bring $5 for parking.

3. Burton Cotton Gin Festival (Burton, TX)

The Burton Cotton Gin Festival is two fun-filled days that celebrate the history and honors the heritage of cotton. The festival kicks off with an all-you-can-eat shrimp boil on Friday. A parade runs through town Saturday morning, then mosey over to check out the antique tractors and engines on display, peruse the arts and crafts booths, take in the folk life entertainment, and head with the kids over to the petting zoo. Plus, auctions! Food! Music! Held annually during the third weekend in April, this festival has it all. Admission is free, but expect to pay for food and drinks, and the shrimp boil is $30 a person

4. Fall Festival of Roses (Independence, TX)

Situation on 8 acres of landscaped grounds, The Antique Rose Emporium hosts its annual rose festival in November. Enjoy a weekend of beauty as you attend garden-related seminars presented by internationally renowned experts. The festival begins on Friday with rose discussions and how-to seminars. Then tour the growing fields, sample food and fragrance, and enjoy wine pairings on Saturday. The local high school theater and choral departments also perform throughout the day. Close the weekend out on Sunday with final informative flower discussions and displays followed by herbal taste treats. All programs are free!

5. Juneteenth Celebration (Brenham, TX)

Juneteenth is the oldest national celebration of the end of slavery. The Juneteenth Celebration in Brenham, TX dates back to 1865 and, to this day, continues the tradition of commemorating the announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas! This historic, one-day event features a parade full of local marching bands and community groups. Enjoy live music and entertainment, hands-on celebration activities at Fireman’s park, and summertime eats and drinks. This celebration is fun for all ages, and admission is free.

What Should Matter In A Karaoke Machine?

Karaoke machines can make family events and get-togethers very entertaining because they give family members or friends a chance to sing to their favorite tunes. The karaoke songs do not have accompaniment of artist voice and lyrics are projected on a screen for smooth singing. These machines are common in pubs and bars, but individuals also buy them for their home entertainment needs like in weddings and parties.

The machines are of different types including microphone karaoke machines, pocket, CD and all-in-one karaoke machines. When looking for a machine, you must consider your immediate needs and whether you are getting a home karaoke machine or one for your business so you can choose the right type. But besides type, there are important things you can never forget when buying a machine for whatever musical need you have. These are the features that will make your machine a good machine or a great machine.

Portability – Pocket and microphone machines tend to be most portable options that you have and they make best karaoke machine for kids. This is because the kids can easily carry them to their friends’ homes and parties to enjoy without demanding any type of transport. All-in-one machines are less portable, but they are loved for their quality and they are better for specific use such as in bars and pubs where moving is limited.

Audio quality – Machines that are high in quality often translate to quality audio and they can make even the worst of singers sound tolerable. This is because some have voice projection features and manual controls for pitch, tone and bass and other helpful sound elements that help in improving the quality of audio output. They might be costly but definitely for serious singing and karaoke competitions.

Song database – Some machines operate with chips and CDs to select music but there are some that have pre-programmed databases for the songs. When choosing, think about the database size and the possibility of adding songs so that you have an easier time programming to suit personal preferences.

Video graphics – The karaoke machines usually project song lyrics onto TV screens and can have background images or even graphics. The video graphics are a must consideration, especially when getting the machine for kids. Ensure they are appropriate for the age; it would be even better if you have the ability to change them. Some of the machines are very good making it possible for you to actually turn off video graphics to offer a better lyric concentration to the users.

Accessories – Karaoke machine accessories greatly improve machine performance and they can include things such as amplifiers and connectors. Think about compatibility when purchasing the relevant accessories to enjoy better results every time you use the machine.

Rating – A good number of machines in the market have rating feature that rates singing ability of the users and you can actually use the same to track progress for every singer. Standard machines might not have the feature, but you can find models that are equipped if you find it relevant to your kind of use.

There are so many karaoke machine models and you can buy them according to your singing needs for home or business. Take all factors into consideration and use reviews to select the most suitable machine for you.

The Music Gallery: Can Music Ever Be Valued As Fine Art

Recently a Christie’s art sale became the highest auction in history. The sale included works by Jackson Pollock, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Michel Basquiat, among others and in total generated $495 million. The sale established 16 new world auction records, with nine works selling for more than $10m (£6.6m) and 23 for more than $5m (£3.2m). Christie’s said the record breaking sales reflected “a new era in the art market”.

The top lot of Wednesday’s sale was Pollock’s drip painting Number 19, 1948, which fetched $58.4m (£38.3m) – nearly twice its pre-sale estimate.

Lichtenstein’s Woman with Flowered Hat sold for $56.1 million, while another Basquiat work, Dustheads (top of article), went for $48.8 million.

All three works set the highest prices ever fetched for the artists at auction. Christie’s described the $495,021,500 total – which included commissions – as “staggering”. Only four of the 70 lots on offer went unsold.

In addition, a 1968 oil painting by Gerhard Richter has set a new record for the highest auction price achieved by a living artist. Richter’s photo-painting Domplatz, Mailand (Cathedral Square, Milan) sold for $37.1 million (£24.4 million). Sotheby’s described Domplatz, Mailand, which depicts a cityscape painted in a style that suggests a blurred photograph, as a “masterpiece of 20th Century art” and the “epitome” of the artist’s 1960s photo-painting canon. Don Bryant, founder of Napa Valley’s Bryant Family Vineyard and the painting’s new owner, said the work “just knocks me over”.

Brett Gorvy, head of post-war and contemporary art, said “The remarkable bidding and record prices set reflect a new era in the art market,” he said. Steven Murphy, CEO of Christie’s International, said new collectors were helping drive the boom.

Myths of the Music-Fine Art Price Differential

When I came across this article I was stunned at the prices these artworks were able to obtain. Several of them would hardly evoke a positive emotional response in me, while others might only slightly, but for almost all of them I really don’t understand how their prices are reflected in the work, and vice versa. Obviously, these pieces were not intended for people like me, an artist, while wealthy patrons certainly see their intrinsic artistic value clearly.

So why doesn’t music attract these kinds of prices? Is it even possible for a piece of recorded music, not music memorabilia or a music artifact (such as a rare record, LP, bootleg, T-shirt, album artwork, etc.), to be worth $1 million or more? Are all musicians and music composers doomed to struggle in the music industry and claw their way up into a career in music? If one painting can be valued at $1 million, why can’t a song or piece of music also be valued similarly? Apparently, the $.99 per download price is the highest price a song is able to command at market value, no matter what its quality or content, and the musician or composer must accept this value as such.

The financial equation looks something like this:

1 painting = $37 million

1 song = $.99

Sometimes people say that a song can change the world, but no one ever says that about paintings. So theoretically, if people want change $.99 is the price we must pay for it.

Now here are a few statements that should help us clarify what the monetary or value discrepancy between painting and music is based upon.

(1) There are fewer painters than there are musicians.

(2) Musicians are less talented than painters?

(3) It is easier to create music than it is to paint.

(4) The public values paintings more than music.

(5) Paintings are more beautiful than music.

(6) Paintings are impossible to copy unlike music.

(7) Painters work harder than musicians and composers.

(8) Blah, blah, blah.

Hardly anyone agrees with all of these statements and yet all, or at least some of them, would have to be true in order for the price of paintings to so greatly exceed the cost of music. Moreover, I doubt that art collectors and great painters have to deal with as much legal red tape as do musicians when releasing their work into the public domain, so why aren’t the rewards equal, if not greater for musicians who have to work almost as much protecting their work as in producing it. Musicians and composers, however, actually must do more than authenticate their work and obtain accurate appraisals concerning what their work is worth, but they get paid less. The equipment costs alone for musicians is much higher than it is for painters.

Maybe it’s fame, and not money, musicians are after? That would explain why most musicians settle for the low pay they receive from record deals and digital downloads. Perhaps, that’s also why many of them are touring more often to increase their fame and not their fortunes. But wait a minute, that’s where musicians actually make most of their money from live performances and the selling of merchandise, but not the music. I guess this is why many musicians see themselves not as composers, but rather as performers and entertainers.

So what can musicians do, who don’t see themselves as entertainers, but instead as composers who create music as a fine art? Because they too have a strong desire to earn a living to support themselves in their chosen profession, thus there must be a specialized approach whereby they present their work to music lovers or art collectors in search of assets and curators for unique pieces to place in their private galleries. Imagine that, a recorded piece of music that few have ever heard which is displayed and played only on a specified music player in a private art gallery or collection.

In thinking about how a musician can follow the example set by painters in the fine arts, I’ve isolated 4 principles that should help to make the spectacular financial rewards they’ve reached possible for the musician. So let’s analyze some of the characteristics that govern the market for fine art and see how musicians can apply these concepts to their creative, production, and marketing processes.

The Ideal Vehicle for Music as Fine Art

Here are 4 principles and practical suggestions for musicians who want to elevate their music into the realm of fine art by following the example of the painters of the past and present.

1) Strive to make unique music or music collections.

The composer must design experiments with sound or compositional techniques. Some music belongs in the realm of the public, while other music solely belongs in the realm of fine art. It’s really not that difficult to tell the difference. The difference is clear when one compares the environment of the nightclub and the music one finds there with the elevated environment of the ballet or opera and its music. The difference is not necessarily one in terms of types of music, but rather in the composer’s sonic fingerprint. In other words, not everyone thinks Jackson Pollock was a great painter, but everyone acknowledges that it took him years of development to reach a point where his style could be born. It’s the style of the artist or composer that will call out to the attention of wealthy patrons, the respect of peers, and the exclusive admiration of the music appreciator. In music, the style of the composer, regardless of genre, I call ‘a signature sound.’ It’s the signature sound that music and art collectors will want to own and for that they might be willing to pay or bid up the cost of ownership to a higher price.

2) Create a music gallery.

This could be modeled after the art gallery where one or several artist put their work on display. The difference with the music gallery is that you would have a hall filled with listening rooms or stations. These showings would not be live performances, but instead will be in effect sound installations. You could also separate one hall into several compartments for different composers. The music showing would be an exclusive event provided to serious music and art collectors who actively seek out sonic experiences and buy what they like. The purpose of the music gallery would be the same as the art gallery – to give the public a sample of the artist’s talent, to give critics something to write about, to have other composers comment on the work of a peer, and to create buzz in the art world. Always remember that it shouldn’t be the event that drives the buzz, but the music that makes the event.

3) Turn your music into a tangible asset.

The obvious difference between a painting and music is that one is a tangible artwork and the other is not. In other words, one of the defining characteristics of a painting is that the medium and the art are one. Unlike music, where the music must be transferred onto another object such as a cassette tape, vinyl, CD, or mP3 player before it can be perceived, whereas with a painting (or sculpture) an object has been transformed into art. So how can it be or is it even possible for a cassette, CD, or download to be transformed into art? The cassette and CD are more akin to a photograph of a painting, rather than a true expressions where the medium and the art are one.

So one step a musician can take to elevate their music into fine art is by making your music and its medium one. The best way that I can think of to do this is by looking to the past. Ironically, the vinyl LP very closely achieved this quality with album art, its sizing, and packaging. Let’s quickly discuss some of the qualities of the vinyl LP and valuable marketing angles that I think opens up interesting approaches for musicians to turn their music into fine art at price appropriate levels commiserate with earning a livelihood.

Today there are several companies around that let you customize your LP vinyl album and artwork. This is wonderful because it gives you total control over the art direction your packaging takes. This is an expressive way to bring the personality of the artist, band, or project out into physical form. Many colors are available and unique mixtures are also possible to add a dimension to your music that isn’t normally possible with cassette tapes, CD’s, or digital downloads. Even split colored and glow-in-the-dark vinyl are available for bold composers looking for something with a bit more flair.

Etched Art and Your Album

Another fantastic way to elevate the music via packaging and presentation is to consider etched art in vinyl. Etched vinyl is an image pressed into the unplayable side of your record which has a frosted appearance. The etched side does not contain any grooves or music but adds a real touch of style to your music package. I don’t know if etched art can also be a hologramic look, but that would be another dimension that would enhance the visual component of your music package.

Art and LP Sizes

The last aspect I’d like to touch on is the size of the LP. Unlike the cassettes and CD’s, which both come in a single universal size determined by the media player, LP’s are played on phonographs or turntables whose arms can adjust to the different sizes of LP’s. In general, LP’s come in 3 sizes: 7″, 10″, and 12″. And because the album covers have to provide a sleeve for a large surface, they correspondingly must also be large. At a minimum the 12″ LP will require an album cover that’s 1 square foot. That’s about 4 times the size of a standard CD and anywhere from 8 – 12 times the size of cassette tape.

Understanding this gives you an additional angle to design artwork for the music package. There might even be a way to design a painter’s canvas which can house an LP within its frame to turn it into a cover. For those musicians and composers who possess multiple artistic talents, an original painting to accompany a music release could be another profitable approach to look into. If you think about it even further the size of the 12″ LP is actually the size of a small painting. Foldable or dual LP covers are also available which provide a much larger surface with which to more greatly present amazing album art work to dazzle customers. The dual LP album cover would give you exactly a 24″ x 12″ surface to work with.

The Non-Vinyl LP and other Miscellaneous Considerations

Other more sophisticated forms of the approach I’m describing here for the LP would keep the concept of the LP at the center of the music package, while removing the vinyl as material. Ideally, the perfect substance for a fine art music LP would consist of a material that didn’t warp, couldn’t be shattered, that would prevent grooves from wearing out, and that would be scratch-proof. So that would mean you’d need to do your homework and find out what’s possible with all known exotic substances, metal alloys, industrial metals, specialized plastics, and non-scratch surfaces to achieve the perfect substance for a fine art music LP. Moreover, this substance would play CD quality sound on any or a special turntable with a uniquely designed needle made specifically for this material and album type.

If a fine art music LP were to ever come into existence it would have to stand the test of time and survive usage, storage, and travel as it transfers custody from one owner to another over decades and even centuries. These are the main reasons why owners of fine art music LP’s will need to get insurance for the asset. A non-vinyl LP could also be manufactured to blow away the art collector, music enthusiast, and investor with something like an LP made of 24-karat gold or some other precious metal like silver or platinum. This one alteration could make such an LP worth a $1 million or more depending on the aggressiveness of the bidders. Overall you’ll have to do some research of your own to discover what your options are and can be in order to raise your LP into the class of an investment, a tangible asset (collectible), and fine art. In the absence of the existence of this ideal substance, we must aim for novelty to achieve appeal.

Exclusive Music

Another aspect to explore briefly is the exclusivity factor in regard to the ownership of fine art. Not everyone can afford a Picasso, but those who can, generally, aren’t willing to share it with everyone because they want exclusive ownership over the Picasso, that’s part of the package of owning fine art.

The way to provide exclusive ownership to interested parties is through contracts, so you’ll have to hire legal advice to shape the legal framework governing ownership of a music album or music as fine art. The contract can be shaped in any number of ways according to your wishes, but basically it should state what the owner has permission to do or is prohibited from doing with the work you are selling them. You want your buyers to know that they can transfer ownership of the album to heirs or sell it to other private collectors as you can with any other tangible asset. This is part of the process of owning fine art, which they’ve come to expect in their dealings with galleries and other collectors, so deal with them as a professional.

In addition, you’ll want to legally prohibit the buyers from broadcasting or disseminating the music from your fine art LP or other media. To preserve its value the music must be kept out of the public domain and remain in the hands of those who have the right to hear it. If the owners want to talk about it and even play it for a small gathering of people as a fine art music exhibit then great, but they should not be permitted to make copies or profit from your recordings.

The beauty of a limit supply and contracts is that together they will help you to track all of the owners over your lifetime and preserve the value of your work. If one of them can be found to be responsible for leaking the material out into public, you’ll have a lawsuit on your hands which you should easily win. But if a leak was to happen, the value (price) of the LP might drop precipitously and demand could even dry up completely. But really what’s the worst that could happen, that the price of your music ends up at the low end of the price scale – $.99 per track?

A Word on Supply and Demand

Similarly, the law of supply and demand must also be part of the equation for pricing your music as fine art. Basically, the law of supply and demand works like this: the greater the supply, the lower the demand and the lower the supply, the greater the demand. In other words, the more of something there is, the less it’s worth and the less of something there is, the more it’s worth. The law doesn’t always work out this perfectly, but as a general rule it works.

The problem with this law is that it only slightly takes into account mass psychology and the way demand is created, which is by advertising, marketing, and PR (public relations). Without these 3 factors working in your favor, there will be little or no demand for your fine art music LP, no matter how small your supply is. It’s only when these 3 factors are working in your favor and demand is fairly high that the price of your singular or limited edition fine art music LP, CD, or digital audio files can rise and skyrocket. So become fluent with hope to employ advertising, marketing, and PR and make sure the demand is there among your target audience prior to releasing your work so that you can be certain your album receives a high bidding.

A Digital Point of View

Some of the ideas I’ve presented here so far can be applied to music in digital formats as well. For example, a limited edition, gorgeously designed iPod or alternative mP3 player with your fine art music programmed into a locked memory is one approach. For example, high-end buyers there’s an iPod available that’s made from 22k gold and it features an Apple logo made of diamonds, it estimate price is roughly $120,000.

Something like this could work or even just a really cool looking, READ-only thumb drive could work. You just plug it in and enjoy exclusive access to an album that only one collector or a select few have in their possession.

The number one problem with a digital format is that it’s too easy to copy files from one device to another, which is why a locked or unhackable memory is crucial. Without the locked memory, the exclusivity factor cannot exist and undermines the creation of a fine art music digital device.

4) Put your music to auction.

Part of the reason why the paintings in the beginning of this article sold for so much money is because competing bids pushed the price upward. After you’ve designed an amazing fine art music collection and package, you’ll need to decide how to sell or auction your product.

Many options for auctioning items are available but probably the most well-known is eBay, but eBay is probably not the best place to sell fine art music this way. To start it might be a good place to test the concept, but you might not reach your target clientele. Another option could be Bandcamp or Amazon, but there’s no auctioning available with these companies. However, you could set a high price for downloads, CD’s or vinyl LP’s and sell few of them.

For example, downloads might go for anywhere from $15 to $200 per track and for the album maybe the price of a mid-range painting, perhaps $800 to $2,000+.

You could also set up a simple website where you present and sell your fine art music like painters, sculptors, sketch artists, wood workers, and artisans sell their work. On your site you can talk about your album on video, with a music blog, on internet radio, through interviews, on music or artists-oriented podcasts, and through articles, so that you can send all the traffic to your eBay page or personal website where all you’re selling are copies of your limited edition collection of fine art music.

The simplicity of this plan is that you, along with eBay as your broker, control the entire process. The idea here is as with most auctions which is to watch the bidders compete with one another as everyone watches the price go higher and higher.

Name Your Price: The Radiohead Experiment

The band Radiohead did something like this but differently. Instead of auctioning a one of a kind or limited edition exclusive digital album, they allowed their fans to pay what they wanted for their new release at the time. The experiment brought in mixed results but overall was a success for the band members who made more money personally than on any previous album. However, it’s been reported that 38% of buyers spent an average of $6, while the other 62% downloaded the album without paying anything at all – $0. Globally, the average price paid was around $2.26 and $3.23 in the U.S. Of those who did pay something, 17% paid below $4, but 12% paid between $8 and $12.

This approach is unlikely to work for lesser known artists who want to present their music as fine art. The main reason why it wouldn’t is because it fails to fulfill the factor of exclusive ownership. Everyone and anyone could get a copy of the Radiohead album, therefore it’s value is reduced because the quantity available was infinite instead of limited or rare, since the demand was high.

NIN and a Tiered Approach

Likewise, tiered fine art music packages whose prices range from a few dollars up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars is a much better way to entice collectors to buy music as fine art or music as an investment.

Here’s how Nine Inch Nail’s Trent Reznor made a small fortune with his “Ghosts I – IV” album release. In total 5 tiers are available.

The first tier offers a free download of the first 9 tracks from the album.

The 2nd tier offers a $5 digital download with a 40 page PDF.

The 3rd tier offers a 2 CD’s with a 16 page booklet for $10.

The 4th tier is a $75 deluxe edition which includes 2 audio CD’s, a data DVD with all 36 tracks in multi-track format, a 48 page book of photographs by Phillip Graybill and Rob Sheridan, a 40 page PDF book, and an accompanying slideshow on a Blu-Ray disc.

And on the 5th tier you get pretty much everything else on the lower tiers except you also get a 3rd book with art prints of imagery from Ghosts I – IV and each limited edition copy is numbered and personally signed by Trent Reznor. This limited edition was restricted to 2500 copies with a limit of one per customer for a grand total of $300. The $300 tier was known as the Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition Package and is currently sold out.

The financials on the 5th tier look pretty good. With the Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition Package, we know there were only 2500 copies and that each sold for $300. So, 2500 x 300 = $750,000. Imagine what prices could have been reached if Reznor had allowed the buyers to bid on the Ultra-Deluxe Limited Edition Package. He could have started the bidding at or just below $300 and watched the prices go up from there. Interestingly, as fewer of them were available the prices might have started to get astronomical. He probably still would’ve sold every copy and his income might well have been closer to $1 million, but either he did a great job structuring his price scale as demonstrated by his results. And let’s not forget that our equation excluded the income he generated from tiers 2 – 4, which most certainly brought his total revenues far passed $1 million.


As we end off let’s briefly review the factors that will lead to fine art music success.

1) Strive to make unique music or music collections. To do this you’ll need to experiment with unique methods, techniques, or styles that offer a signature sound. In the art world, this will be known as your sonic fingerprint. This is what art collectors will want to purchase and appreciate.

2) Create a music gallery. Come up with ideas for how to present your new compositions at a music exhibit. It should look and feel much like an art exhibit, but be adapted for music. This might include setting up private listening stations for individual art collectors or small rooms for a limited listening audience and where auctions can occur.

3) Turn your music into a tangible asset. Painting elevates the canvas and paint into art, whereas music can never elevate a cassette tape or CD into art. For music, the medium must be turned into art as part of the package for presenting music as fine art. Painting also elevates and transforms its medium, while music is usually transported by its medium, unless its digital, then it’s all about the music. Remember what we discussed about digital formats and the vinyl LP as ideal vehicles for selling music as fine art.

4) Above all, offer exclusivity as an essential part of the package of fine art music ownership, so find ways to guarantee this for your buyers. Art ownership is strongly based on its exclusivity, which for the collector means they are part of a very select group of individuals who have the right or privilege to receive exposure to your fine art music. If you can exclude the masses and create demand amongst a select few, then the prices you can attract will rise as few buyers try to outbid one another for exclusive ownership of your music.

5) Lastly, use an auction system to create massive profits. Keep the law of supply and demand in mind when building your music into a tangible asset and don’t forget the vital role advertising, marketing, and PR play in creating demand. There’s no purpose in creating a limited supply of anything for which there is no demand.


These are by no means all of the ways in which these ideas can be applied to your situation or in these formats, but whatever you choose to do you’ll need to formulate the right balance of factors that make the price of your fine art music rise. Many of you may be stunned by the extent of initial investment capital you’ll require to elevate your music into a fine art collectible, which is why you’ll have to amplify your people skills and take courses in sales training, marketing, investing and business. Several of the approaches I mentioned will require you to raise capital from a bank, institution such as a private equity firm, or venture capitalists to get you started, otherwise you’ll need to get access to personal or small business credit at low interest rates. This will give you more time to implement your program and generate your first wave of sales.

If your business plan for turning your music into fine art is solid and your sales presentation is thorough, then the money will find you as more investors see profit in the opportunity. Additionally, wealthy patrons may see your work as an important contribution to art history or your presentation may just resonate with an investor or group of investors that they may just give you money to finish your project. In either case, be business-like, get all of your agreements in writing and have them reviewed by a competent legal representative expert at intellectual property issues and financial transactions in particular.

Marc Avante is a musician, sound designer, and blogger. He is also the founder of the music project called Stereo Thesis. Stereo Thesis is a prototype sound design and music studio.

10 Relaxing Rock Songs

Panic stricken? Dead tired? Extremely anxious? Having difficulty sleeping? Head is swimming? No peace inside? Want an out? Listen to music!

Music is considered to be an essential measure for relaxation. Many therapists use music as treatment. Mostly classical music is the prescribed medicine, but that doesn’t need to be a necessity.

Below are 10 songs by rock bands and artists which have an intensely soothing effect on the nerves and will make you feel at peace.

1. Imagine – John Lennon

Much doesn’t need to be said about what this song does to the listener. Live in Utopia for a while, and you’ll get what is desired by all (and what John philosophized) – peace!

2. Perfect Day – Lou Reed

A lazy, melodious track. It may have been written about heroin, but that doesn’t mean it cannot work wonders for the sane mind. When facing problems or overwhelmed, just slow down. Give it some time and let it go. Escape for a while!

3. Big D’s Touch – Buckethead

One of the most relaxing tunes to come out of Buckethead’s fingers is this instrumental. Let it touch you. It will make you want to lie down, and just stay like that forever.

4. I Talk to the Wind – King Crimson

King Crimson takes you on a trip that makes you see all that is going around in the world. Let them. Feel the dreamy music and take a moment to reflect on yourself.

5. Time in a Bottle – Jim Croce

Incorporating the harpsichord in the song was a masterstroke by Croce. While the wavy music washes over you, you can imagine all the things that you could do if you save just a little bit of time. Savvy, isn’t it?

6. Grantchester Meadows – Pink Floyd

Bird chirps, lazy guitar tunes, soothing voices, and words speaking about nature, this song will transport you into a pastoral enclave surrounded by birds, animals, trees, rivers, where you can laze around in the sun. In one word, bliss!

7. Why Worry – Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler tells in his soothing golden voice not to worry, because there is always good after bad, light after dark and such. Take things lightly, and relax! So indeed, why worry?

8. Black Mountain Side – Led Zeppelin

Inspired by Irish folk song “Down by Blackwaterside”, this Indian classical influenced instrumental shows why Jimmy Page is one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He simulated the sound of the sitar on an acoustic guitar and Viram Jasani played the tabla. The song takes one into a pleasant, delusional, otherworldly dimension.

9. Summer Daze – Slowdive

This song, by one of the better shoe-gazing bands, is an induced dream. The music moves in and out of the mind, leaving the listener in a trance and almost lulls him to sleep.

10. Asleep – The Smiths

The song is interpreted to be about suicide, but on a very simple note, it also means wanting to fall asleep and not waking up for a long time. After being absolutely exhausted, we only want a good, long, sound sleep, and this song is perfect for listening to in bed before falling asleep.

This is my (Shaswata) take on relaxing music done by rock acts. Listen to them, and you may end up agreeing with me. Also, suggest similar songs I may have missed out.

Ten Classic Hits About Criminals On the Run

The revival of vinyl has not only allowed me to enjoy hearing some modern bands on record, but it has also given me the chance to revisit some of the albums I had not heard in several decades. Some of these I had overlooked in my youth, only to now find the appealing in middle age.

One example is a release by Gary Wright, who reached as high as number two on the singles chart back in the mid seventies. The album is Dream Weaver, which spawned singles like “Love Is Alive” and the title track.

While I had heard those two tracks occasionally on the local oldies station, several other tunes struck me when I spun it on the record player recently. I was particularly impressed by a song called “Can’t Find the Judge.”

The song, a bluesy endeavor unlike most of the synthesized based album, is unusual in its context. It is the pleading of a man to find the judge who sent his woman to prison.

Apparently she had committed a violent crime somehow in defense of the man singing the song. Before the time of that song, and really even since, the man has been the one who commits a violent crime.

Songs about men committing crimes are too many to list, so I began to consider those by guys who commit crimes but have not yet been caught. Here is a list of ten such tunes about men on the run from the law.

“Indiana Wants Me” by R. Dean Taylor

The sirens and the police bullhorn at the fade out lets everyone know that the fugitive is finally caught after having committed a crime to somehow defend his lover.

“Renegade” by Styx

It did not take guitarist Tommy Shaw long to carve his niche in the band, scoring this Pieces of Eight mega-hit on just his second LP with them.

“Don’t Take Me Alive” by Steely Dan

The wanted man here, a bookkeeper’s son armed with a case of dynamite, is surrounded in this track from The Royal Scam.

“Wanted Dead or Alive” by Bon Jovi or Warren Zevon

Bon Jovi charted much better with this title, but Zevon’s acoustic track fits perfectly on his solid but poorly-promoted Wanted Dead or Alive album.

“Gimme Some Water” by Eddie Money

The fugitive in this tune shut a man on the Mexican border, a crime for which he is hanged when finally caught at the end.

“Bad Man’s Blunder” by the Kingston Trio

The folk trio somehow managed to make a light-hearted song out of a tale about a man shooting a deputy just for the fun of it.

“John Wesley Harding” by Bob Dylan

This title track about a Robin Hood of the Old West helps set the tone for the entire folksy album that followed up Blonde on Blonde.

“Pretty Boy Floyd” by Woody Guthrie

Likely, Dylan got the idea for his tune after this tale from his idol, who sang about another bandit who stole from the rich to give to the poor.

“Take the Money and Run” by the Steve Miller Band

This here story about Billie Joe and Bobbi Sue narrates how the couple go on the run after he shot a man while robbing his castle.

“I Shot the Sheriff” by Bob Marley or Eric Clapton

The reggae legend penned this classic, but it was Slow Hand who turned it into a Top Ten single.

What Do You Know About Marketing

How Should an Engineering Firm Market Itself? Knowing that you have a great engineering company is very much different from the public knowing it. You need to make your prospective clients know that you are better than the competition. Benefits and advantages should be given to those who use your firm. If you are doing something extra to reach out to people and tell them about your engineering firm, then that is what marketing is all about. Informing your potential clients why you are better than the competition and what they will benefit from using your company is the best way to market your firm. For a lot of engineering firms, marketing is something that they do very little about. Word of mouth and client retention are the only means by which engineering firms do marketing. If you simply want to stay busy, then this will work. However, if you want your company to grow big, it takes more than just word of mouth. Marketing your business is the only way that you will get more clients and contracts, and the only way for your firm to grow big. If your clients decide to use another company for their needs and they start fading away, you will need to use several well planned marketing tactics. You need to create a unique selling proposition in order to gain more clients and in this proposition you have to clearly show your potential clients why you are a different company from the rest. If you want to stand out in the engineering community , you need to have a clearly defined unique selling proposition. You should let your clients be satisfied on your answer as to why they should rather do business with you than the competition. It should be clearly defined what sets your engineering firm over and above the competition. The answer to this question is your unique selling proposition. The answer to the questions can be better service, guarantees, better service selections, longer business hours, flexible payment options or a combination of these, which every client can enjoy. A sentence is enough to summarize your unique selling proposition. A great unique selling proposition would have your potential clients saying to themselves that they have to do business with your firm. Many engineering firms find the creation and implementation of a unique selling proposition difficult.
A Simple Plan For Investigating Services
However, most selling propositions are not unique because some firms simply copy what others already have. They will do an online research, review business books, ask others and combine all these to make a unique selling proposition. These propositions will have no meaning is firms have almost similar selling propositions.
Smart Ideas: Marketing Revisited
For a professional service business like engineering you cannot find marketing strategies from books. A personal services client only looks for benefits he can get from a service more than any other type of client.

Writing Melody


The melody or tune of a song is what most people hear when listening to music, the chords, drums, bass are very important in supporting the melody but the average person hears the tune. The best melodies are simple, easy to remember and easy to sing along with. However the goal of good melody writing is to make the tune simple but not boring or run of the mill. We will discuss how to write a melody, explain a bit of music theory

(I promise not too much!) behind constructing a tune and how to fit lyrics to melody.

The most common question I receive from ‘non-‘musicians’ is what do you write first, music or words? I like to do both and I would recommend you try both ways. If I’m writing with a collaborator who writes lyrics I would always write the tune to fit the lyrics. Sometimes if you have a chord sequence composing lyrics and melody at the same time is a good way to go. Even a combination of the two will work, remember there’s no hard rules to this. The melody is normally the primary reason a song gets recorded or not so make it the strongest you can.

Writing a Cappella:

A cappella means without musical accompaniment. Writing a cappella means composing melodies in your head and just singing them with the voice. Sometimes writing without an instrument can bring forward the strongest melodies.

As a beginning songwriter you can create songs without playing an instrument. With lyrics and melodies in your head, you can complete a song! How cool is that? Some songwriters who can play guitar or piano make the mistake of strumming some chords and letting the chords lead to the next predictable notes.

People sing the melody not the chords, the number one downfall of new songwriters is first playing chord changes on a keyboard or guitar, and then imposing the melody over the chord progression. Now chords are very important to add harmony which we will talk about a little later but if you don’t play an instrument don’t let that stop you writing great melodies.

Having said that, playing an instrument is very useful and knowing chord changes, scales and simple theory will assist you. Learning popular chord sequences will also be of great benefit.

Keep it Simple and Singable:

The goal of melody writing is to communicate a simple and singable melody that fits a perfect lyric. So how do we write melodies? (here comes the theory part) Say you have a chord sequence C Major-F Major-G Major These chords have the following notes in them;

C Major C-E-G

F Major F-A-C

G Major G-B-D

The scale would be C Major going from C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C when writing the melody for your song, you would select notes from within the chord you were playing at the time. So for example if you were playing a C Chord, the notes you would use would be C, E,or G. You can use notes outside of the chord but as a starting point you would choose the notes in the chord. I like to look at the syllables in the lyrics and decide what notes and rhythm I want to assign to them.

When you begin writing your own melodies try a variety of notes with different rhythms. Have fun with this and learn to rewrite melodies like you would with lyrics

Intervals in melody writing is a useful technique to learn. It will help you pick up new music and give you an understanding of melody. I hear you say what is an Interval? Good question, Intervals are the spaces between notes. So F-C would be a 5th because it’s a 5th in distance. To recognize a perfect fifth is to hum the starting of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star; the pitch of the first “twinkle” is the root note and pitch of the second “twinkle” is a perfect fifth above it.

The 3 Important Tips to Mastering Music at Home

The times when you have freshly composed a melody, you may feel it to be the best, but it isn’t the best yet. It involves an efficient procedure where you need to blend the melody next. After a certain point, you would feel irritated by the music mixing methods and happiness that originated from making music would vanish. Composing a tune is fine but mastering it is a task in itself which is tough. There are several experts out there who come up with wonderful ideas on music mastering but not always can you take help from those tips to create a mastered music.

You could blend the ideas and tips to make an easier way out for yourself if you seriously think of pursuing music mixing as an option. It helps you understand the techniques well rather than following someone blindly and not availing results that are satisfying. Here are a few expert tips that is made by blending several ideas from the experts to ensure that you can master music all by yourself without much of help from others.

• Ensure that you listen to more than one genre- You ought to listen to more than one type of music to make your sense of taste dipped in variety. It will show you how to create music without you being deliberately interested in it. You don’t have to like what you listen to as there are numerous things to listen to with every song that you hear. Technicalities such as blending the voice recording with the music, beats, notes, etc. can be learnt by critical evaluation each proceeding and simultaneously understand what the music is made of.

• Erase terrible quality sound – The primary lesson at any music school or is, whether you have a recording, and it is awful quality, and it doesn’t soothe your ear, and you are not content with it, discard it and get yourself a fresh one. Even if people claim that modern software can help you bring perfection to even the worst sounds, you will get terrible results if you hear them carefully.

• Complete the song before blending – It is important to complete the recording completely and then start the mixing and mastering process. Mixing and adding a different texture every time you pause with the recording would affect the recording quality and thus make you confused with the throw of voice after every break. While you apply the techniques of mixing in it as and when you stop the recording, you would notice the fact that there is a change in tonal quality if not the music.