The WSCL Blog

News and information about WSCL's Classical Music Programming

Friday, January 30, 2015

A reminder to buy the CD



As I have been mentioning recently on Just Opened, if you want to support the music and career of an artist, do not download - buy the CD.

Cellist Zoe Keating has taken fire by going public on some of these online issues for musicians:

Keating caused a stir with this blogpost about youtube's new contract for musicians.

Article with Keating revealing payouts for downloads.

These two links are fairly long articles, but essential reading for understanding what today's artist - for whom online presence is considered a necessary part of business - has to navigate to attempt getting paid for their performances.  (After reading the numbers in the second article, Keating seems to think 70K is a poor salary for working single mom, while most of the single moms I know, would think this is luxurious, and many musicians friends would find that income dreamy.  Still, this is just a single year in a very ephemeral market.)

In Classical era terms - it is similar to when Mozart felt underpaid and under appreciated in his court positions.  Being thrown out of court did not end his career, but it meant that he did not have the steady position, pay, and living of those in court.  He lived in a more hand-to-mouth manner, living on loans and promises of future pay on completion.  We remember him because his work has survived, but he could as easily have died in obscurity without a recognized masterwork, as many surely did.

Salieri negotiated the "system" very well.  It points to the reality that artists still have the reality of difficult trade-offs to get paid for their work, and many of these trade-offs may actually hinder or kill off great art in the making, by the simple closing of a door and the lack of proper pay.

Kara Dahl Russell





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