Category Archives: music

A Child of China’s Gilded Elite Strikes a Nerve Over Wealth and Privilege

There was a time not long ago when China’s newly rich — and their scions, known as fuerdai, or “second generation rich” — flaunted their wealth and status. In the go-go 1990s and 2000s, when the country opened up and let its economy blossom, the rest of society looked on in awe as these princelings posted videos of burning money or posing next to the family Lamborghini.

In today’s China, though, the mood seems to be shifting. The pandemic has left the wealthiest even better off, in China as elsewhere, widening an already yawning gap between the haves and have-nots. The list of China’s wealthiest families added $1.5 trillion to their personal wealth over 2020, according to the Hurun Report, which tracks them.

China’s increasingly powerful leader, Xi Jinping, has waged a campaign against corruption, jailing businessmen and officials who deviate from the Communist Party’s vision, which he has repeatedly urged everyone to embrace. Not even Jack Ma, China’s most famous and, until recently, richest entrepreneur, has been spared the government’s scorn. Read more (NY Times)

How the MP3, Pirates and Apple Changed The Music Industry

When German engineer Karlheinz Brandenburg first released the MP3 format in the early 90s, it started a chain of events that disrupted the music industry. The RIAA initially viewed digital music files as an opportunity, but when Napster came around they became a threat. Steve Jobs came to the rescue, but that was temporary. Streaming soon changed the entire business again and the disruption continues today. Read more

VR headsets give musicians chance to play iconic London venues – from their living room

“Imagine practicing with your instrument, whether it is a piano or your own voice, and being able to choose the acoustic environment around you, and hear how your music sounds in different rooms and concert halls, all within an immersive audio-visual experience. This must be the future.”READ MORESword fighting in VR will soon feel much more Game of Thrones

The project is part of a wider drive to see how technology can help the creative industries recover from the destruction caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Read more (Evening Standard)

SHUTTERSTOCK ACQUIRES AI-DRIVEN MUSIC PLATFORM AMPER MUSIC

The move adds to a growing trend of stock image sites getting involved in rights-free music: earlier this year, Shutterstock rival Adobe inked a deal to carry rights-free music catalogs from both Epidemic Sound and Jamendo, while Getty Images also hosts a royalty-free music library powered by Epidemic Sound.

Shutterstock, though, is going the AI route: Amper Music enables its users to create and customize original music by using over 1 million individual audio samples recorded by musicians on thousands of instruments. Read more

K-Pop has been a good predictor/signal of less obvious cultural shifts in South Korea and Asia more broadly #semiotics

https://www.economist.com/special-report/2020/04/08/k-pop-is-changing-too

Teenagers have projected their dreams onto k-pop idols for years. But bts are not your average k-pop band. Although their output has all the trappings of the genre—slick production, perfectly choreographed dance routines, rap interludes and ever-unconfirmed rumours about band members’ relationships—they do not conform to the stereotype of the flawless, manufactured idols who are expected to serve as blank screens for fans’ projections. 

Under Lockdown and Quarantine, China’s Punk Rock Bands Are Taking the Mosh Pit Online

Live-streamed festivals might just be a temporary fix, a jolt of sociality in the midst of unexpected isolation, but the connections they’re enabling are deep-rooted.