Archive for the 'film' Category

Music in the 2010 Academy Awards

“Movies without music are just snapshots”
~ Stephen Whitty

With the Academy Awards just a few days away, the exciting is growing. The heavy red carpet gets rolled out, Hollywood celebrities grin (hard under the influence of botox!) and bear it during their grueling last minute nips and tucks, starstruck fans buzz with anticipation, and talented artists from all facets of the film-making world hope and dream that this might be their year…

Let’s – just for a moment – bypass all the rest of the ruckus, though, and focus on the music. Though not a central theme, music plays an undeniable role in the biggest night of the year for film. In fact, though it rarely gets the attention it should, the music often makes the movie.

Naturally, we’ve got the four award categories that are music-related, which is all about the behind-the-scenes artists. These are the guys and gals who slave away composing, editing, and mixing and hardly get any recognition for their hard work. Unless, of course, they win an Oscar. Here is a breakdown of those categories and their nominees.

Music (Original Score): Avatar (James Harner), Fantastic Mr. Fox (Alexandre Desplat), The Hurt Locker (Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders), Sherlock Holmes (Hans Zimmer), Up (Michael Giacchino)

Music (Original Song): The Princess and the Frog for “Almost There” and “Down in New Orleans” (Music and Lyrics by Randy Newman), Paris 36 for “Loin de Paname” (Music by Reinhardt Wagner and Lyrics by Frank Thomas), Nine for “Take it All” (Music and Lyrics by Maury Yeston), Crazy Heart for “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” (Music and Lyrics by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett)

Sound Editing: Avatar (Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle), The Hurt Locker (Paul N.J. Ottosson), Inglorious Basterds (Wylie Stateman), Star Trek (Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin), Up (Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin)

Sound Mixing: Avatar (Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson), The Hurt Locker (Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett), Inglorious Basterds (Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano), Star Trek (Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin), Transformers (Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson)

Beyond the music-related categories, there are the movies about music, like Crazy Heart. Apparently, public opinion has Jeff Bridges taking home the Oscar for Best Actor. It’s his fifth nomination and this time, say fans, it’s his time. Over here at Evolving Music, we say movies about music and the profound role it plays in people’s lives should win more often! Actually, there should be more movies about music (and musicians) period. Interestingly, this year it seems the music stars themselves did not come out on top. Idolator points out that Leona Lewis’ Avatar theme “I See You” didn’t even get nominated (although it did get nominated for a Golden Globe.)

Whatever your predictions and sentiments are for the event his year, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the music because, as the wise Stephen Whitty said, “Movies without music are just snapshots!” Speaking of shots, here are some drinking games for Oscar night in case you’re interested.

Send MixMatchMusic to SXSW!


Fan of .Evolving Music. and/or MixMatchMusic? Show your support and help us send some of our folks to SXSW next year by voting for our panel topics!

SXSW is a conference, a festival, a networking event, and much much more that has become a premier destination for music professionals around the world. Now in its 24th year, SXSW boasts 80+ stages, and 2,000+ acts. In addition to the amazing music that gets shared and discovered here, the panels give industry thought leaders a forum to introduce brave new ideas and technologies to a hungry and influential audience. MixMatchMusic has found itself in a unique position in this new musical landscape and we would relish the opportunity to share some of our ideas with this crowd.

You can help by voting for our two panel topics below. Simply create an account and then vote (and comment).

Topic #1

Remix: A New Model for Engaging Fans

Today, there are millions of recording artists competing for the attention of the 190 million music fans who demand a deep and personal experience with their favorite artists online. Remixing gained legions of fans when pioneered by NIN and Radiohead. However, many artists have been shut out from engaging fans with remixes by the complexity and expense of the technology. This panel will explore a range of new engagement tools that promise high levels of connection and are accessible and affordable by the DIY musician.

MixMatchMusic’s CFO and Director of A&R Alan Khalfin can discuss how bringing fans directly into the music making process through remix promotions can be highly engaging and convert casual fans into loyal fans. He will also comment on how artists can distribute their stems, in addition to their songs, to increase their revenue. A team of panelists can also engage in a lively discussion around the intersection of music, technology and social media and the tools musicians want and need to collaborate with their fans to bring them into the creative process. The panelists could also discuss how crowd-sourced remix promotions can create a musical conversation between an artist and his fans, and can ultimately affect how music is written and experienced.

Topic #2

How to Develop Artist/Fan Connection

It’s no secret that the channels musicians have traditionally relied upon to get their music discovered, promoted and sold are growing irrelevant and as a result, millions of musicians are increasingly on their own, without labels, record stores or radio to help them. The artist’s challenge is now to convert casual fans into loyal fans, and loyal fans into paying customers. Compounding the challenge is the changed fan: modern music fans are acclimated to the read/write web and the social interaction that comes with it, and are looking for the same experience with music. Now, musicians have to engage and involve casual listeners in order to build deep and lasting connections with them, and to convert them to loyal fans.

MixMatchMusic’s CEO Charles Feinn can discuss how creating deep and lasting relationships with fans is the only way for artists to be successful in Music 2.0. He can also comment on ways to achieve the types of meaningful connections that convert casual fans into paying customers, from engage fans through mobile apps, to bringing fans into the creative process through remixing, and developing direct relationships with fans on Twitter.

The community’s votes account for 30% of the panel selection process and voting continues until September 4th so get your vote on and spread the word! We will be eternally grateful! :)

Universal Backs Live Video Streams

About a year ago I examined a Wired article looking at the head of the Universal Music Group, Doug Morris, and his attempts to move against the current of technology that was slowly eroding his old-timer’s hold on music distribution. My how times have changed. Not only has UMG joined forces with the other three major labels to eradicate DRM on iTunes purchases, now they’re actively joining the swelling ranks looking for digital solutions to real-life problems.

UMG, home of artists like 50 Cent and Lil’ Wayne, is always looking for new ways to interact with fans and bring their favorite artists to them in ways that are both exciting and relevant. Because of this and the potential they see in the company, UMG has joined forces with Kyte, an emerging web start-up that is aiming to fill a niche not currently serviced by YouTube: live video streams.

UMG is hoping that this will prompt massive coverage and interest in short live broadcasts from the backstage dressing rooms, the road, clips of shows or anywhere else these artists might find themselves wanting to reach out and directly connect to fans visually. It takes away the overhead of big-budget, high quality videos that need to be processed and uploaded and replaces it with a web-based streamlined idea that brings the live video straight to the viewer.

Of course, given that these video streams are live, it could become difficult if not impossible to control the content. I’m wondering how long it’ll take for UMG to take issue with that… This could also be a shot across the bow of YouTube as the four majors actively begin renegotiating licensing agreements with Google’s video baby.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day – The Soundtrack

At Peet’s Coffee this morning, the barista was wearing a shirt on his head like a bandana and was talking like a pirate. His co-workers did not seem amused. I thought it was quirky. But awesome! While the Pirates of the Caribbean movies brought pirate culture back into the mainstream, pirates have always been inherently cool. Who doesn’t love the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, I mean come on.

A few hours later it hit me that today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! In honor of this very significant holiday, I’ve gathered some remixes for you. (Btw, if you are into remixing, you should click here.)

And finally…some bloopers:

Yo ho yo ho a pirate’s life for me! Arrr.

Music is Our Weapon

“The music is our weapon. We don’t have any pistols any canons or any bazookas. But we have our voice and it is a powerful weapon.”
Democracy in Dakar

After writing about Ugandan Hip Hop, we received an email from someone over at Sol Productions who is good friends with the Diamonds in the Rough crew. He let us know about another project related to hip hop and politics, which I thought I’d pass on to you all. Here are the trailers for their two new documentaries.

African Underground: Democracy in Dakar

learn more…

African Underground: Democracy in Paris

learn more…

I think what the people over at Sol Productions and Nomadic Wax are doing to educate and inspire people is pretty badass. If any of you know of similar projects related to music, politics and activism, do let us know.