Monday, August 13, 2012

Beck Releases New Album Only On Sheetmusic

Beck image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 music industry blog
Alternative artist Beck Hansen, who the world knows as just plain "Beck," has just come out with a new album that uses an "innovative" delivery platform - sheet music.

Yes, some clever publicist somehow has spun this to be a "genius" move that only the clever Beck would come up with, but I guess they never checked out the fact that sheet music has been available for every release by a popular artist going back to about 1900.

So the idea here is that if the album is not available on CD, digital, vinyl, etc., and only via hardcopy sheet music, is that it won't be pirated. Did Beck's management never hear of or use a copier or scanner? Granted, this is all a pretty good PR trick because it's gotten a lot of people talking about it, but I'm not sure why.

My question is, how will people hear about the album if they can't hear it? Yes, it's getting some publicity, but it can't be nearly enough. And what about the people that aren't musicians, or are musicians but can't read music (there are a lot out there)?

In all seriousness, his album Song Reader will be available in 20 full color booklets, one for each song, in a hard cover. The one interesting aspect is that the publisher Faber and Faber is encouraging fans to post their recorded versions online.

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Craig said...

Maybe the big deal will be when he tours to support the record and no one has ever heard it before? That could be kind of cool I guess...

Force the audience to go to the concert, where the artist actually makes money. Hmmm.

That said, weird for its own sake is definitely a Beck thing. ;)

Anonymous said...

Look at it from a different perspective. This could actually be the most interactive/collaborative thing a musician has done, by leaving it all up to the musician interpreting the sheet music.

Consider the idea that more than a handful of musicians will learn the music and upload their interpretations of the sheet music on youtube/soundcloud/etc. Then it will be up to the audience to decide which is the "definitive" version(s), engaging Beck's fans and up & coming musicians into the whole process. Maybe some enterprising soul will then make a compilation based on that, if having an actual album matters anymore...

Beck is writing music for anyone to produce on their own, and in doing so can help a struggling musician/producer get some notice. You know that at least Beck would notice if you made an amazing version of one of his songs! Who knows where that'll take you. Lord knows there have been more than a few youtube stars that crossed over into greater acceptance. If any of this actually happens, Beck will still come out looking like a great songwriter anyway, so it's an interesting experiment and a great opportunity for anyone to "collaborate" with Beck.


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