“Un Lago de Conciertos” . . . or the final ReAdaptation !

We finally made it! Even though the showcase we had in mind at the beginning of the semester was of a different nature, we managed to have a lovely stage on the water and two great performances by two artists of Disrupción RecordsThe official presentation the Marketing Team discussed some time ago, was definitely gonna take place in a venue far less attractive than the outdoors of the Museo de Ciencias Naturales Príncipe Felipe. Obviously, not everything were advantages, but the overall experience was a big success.

Un lago de conciertos

Berklee College of Music’s Valencia Campus has reached an agreement with the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias to produce Un Lago de Conciertos: a cycle of eight free performances by Berklee students taking place almost every Friday during May and June, closing up on the 4th of July. Jazz, folk, electronic music and many other different styles will make the outdoors of the Museum even more attractive, combining the sites of the pools, good weather and music. Brilliant initiative which had to happen, being Berklee located where it is!

The first concert was to take place on the same day our event was scheduled, so it seamed as a great opportunity to join forces and take advantage of the situation. Obviously, a show being promoted by an entity such as CAC would reach many more people than if we were promoting it. So – even though we were limited in several ways, marketing wise – it was a huge opportunity as everything was planned by locals who actually know the audience’s habits and the best time to program it.

Un Lago de Conciertos

Miranda Inzunza was able to catch everyones attention with her sweet voice during the sunset, and Avila Santo made the beginning of the weekend perfect while everyone enjoyed there first drink on a Friday afternoon.

Avila

I believe we’re all looking forward to continue this experience, as yesterday we began to see the results of the previous weeks.

On the other hand, Instagram gave me a nice surprise the other day! A friend from school posted a photo on Instagram of our artist Stephen McHale performing with Andrea Fraenzel. I think last time I saw Pablo was around 2005… So it’s nice to see lost friends enjoy the amazing creativity of new friends like Stephen or Andrea.

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“Community Managing”

images

 

And I’m back with more definitions. This week, the chosen word Community will be starring our blog! We’re constantly being bombarded by ideas and business models that pursue to establish a community or maybe make two different ones interact. Communities communicating and communities being community managed. We definitely live in a crazy world.

Community-tree

Lovely and 100% reliable Wikipedia says the word  is derived from the Old French communité, derived from the Latin communitas (com, “with/together” + munus, “gift”), and it can refer to a usually small, social unit of any size that shares common values; or – probably more appropriate –  in biology, a group of interacting living organisms sharing a populated environment. It also reminds us that, in human communities, there are certain factors such as intent, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may affect the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness. Scary, isn’t it? The two definitions below can also be applied to the present scenario.

Captura de pantalla 2014-04-10 a la(s) 19.15.45So our special disrupted community has been up to a lot lately. Apparently the website is nearly ready to be up, still dealing with the hosting and last minute design changes. Once it’s up, we’ll be able to start uploading content, testing and learning more about SEO and different online marketing aspects. I’m trying to convince Tyler so that we can launch it also in spanish.. but properly done! Although it’s pretty frustrating when you stop to think how in no time, we’ll no longer be in this project 😦

foolOn the other hand it seems that I’m still back in the oldies, for I’ve been spending time translating content into spanish and spending time with my old colleague Photoshop. Although my main task has been dealing with Facebook and social media in general. Even though we probably don’t have yet many spaniards following us, we intend to grow at a local and national level. My location when that time comes, is obviously unpredictable! :S This means that all our communications must be both in spanish and english, and despite living in Valencia we’ve all been absorbed by the Berklee bubble… or community! 

It seams like someone strongly wants me to follow the Marketing path, for I’m starting to get confused between different projects. Once again, I forgot how slow things can go when a groups communication system isn’t well structured.. or simply when too many (good intentioned) people are involved in a project with no head, just an uncontrollable tail.

To close this weeks blog, I’ll recommend everyone the TV series Community. You might actually understand some of the moments we’re experiencing right now! 🙂

Mercaaadoooona, Mercadoona !!!

 

Falla

While Fallas were starting to leave their first marks around the city, I got sick and had to drive back home for a couple of weeks. At first – having already gone through the once in a lifetime Fallas experience – it seemed like a good idea. But after dealing with the 293648327461 million photos shared by the whole school, I would have really enjoyed the experience surrounded by non spanish students!

Once arrived in Valencia, I had loads of catching up to do, which again seemed ok after boring Madrid (being sick!). So even though I wasn’t fully recovered, I decided to offer myself and buy what Disrupción Records needed for our name reveal event. We didn’t want it to be huge, as we still have other ideas coming, but we were all excited and – many of us – in need of tangible progress. So up I went to see Nerea and ask for the budget that Student Affairs had kindly given us, and after a really intense couple of days, speeded into a Mercadona at peak-hour and sale time. And there it was: Mercadooooona, Mercadoo-oh-na! I was back in Valencia.

 

I spent half of the budget we had on some tortillas and different drinks and snacks, so Disrupción Records could offer something to everyone who was interested enough to come and spend some time with us. We tried to create some expectation by printing posters with the logo, date and time of the reveal, but no other information. DJ KTunes kindly played and helped create a good atmosphere while everyone surrounded the table with food, as it was 13,30. The name of the new born label was revealed and the event was a good way to start engaging with the Berklee College of Music’s Valencia Campus students. The music went on for a while, although I didn’t get to see the end of it, for I got dizzy and had to be walked home! 😦

This is a good video that summarises how the small event went.

The next weeks are going to be really important for the Marketing Team, as we need to gather a lot of information from the artists and through the A&R team, meaning communication must be efficient for everyone to be able to deliver results on time. Electronic Press Kits have to be arrange for every artist, as well as a strong social media strategy to build an audience not only inside our Berklee bubble, but also at a local level.

 

Back to the “oldies*” !

newspapers

And so it seams I’m back to the oldies, my not-so-fan-of old Journalism!!! 🙂

So after readapting to our new structure at Disrupción Records, I was somehow back into trying to write interesting stuff, information worth reading but having in mind possible keywords in the content, as well as our beloved links.

LoisLaneI spent 5 years in Madrid -fortunately one of them back in Rome!- studying a double degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Five years. I do like journalism and on top of it, good journalists. People like Ryszard Kapuscinski have definitely been an inspiration at many different levels, but the degree -at least at my University- was a bit disappointing.

I’m sure that this fact influenced my decision to try and head for a slightly different path and walk away from my journalist days, but many years later it seams like I’m back to the 5 W’s and the inverted pyramid.

At Disrupción Records, we’ve started to dig into the communication strategy we’re going to follow, and the first steps are writing one short press release about the launch of the label, another one about the launch / showcase event, and a longer one with information about our four artists. As well as this, we’re planning and gathering all the information in order to have electronic press kits ready for every artist, including photos and videos.

So I was in charge of drafting possible press releases, which will be shaped further on as more details – such as our website – are ready. My first move was to grab a piece of paper and a pencil, to start brainstorming… And the first thing that came to my head was obviously the inverted pyramid and the 5 W’s:

  • Who is it about?
  • What happened?
  • Where did it take place?
  • When did it take place?
  • Why did it happen?

The only problem I had was actually finding the words in spanish, for I don’t frequently write in spanish anymore… which hasJournalism is

motivated me to start carrying my little notebook around once again! After dealing with the headline (remember: <10 words / <70 characters), the well known lead or opening paragraph, and the body, I did some research on potential communication agencies that might be a good solution to distribute all our content to the media, and reach a broader audience. This was also useful as I was able to update myself on the situation of these platforms nowadays.

The marketing team at Disrupción Records has also been working on finding and starting negotiations with potential venues for the launch event / gala we would like to do at the end of the semester.

brandjournalismThe website is still in the oven.. whereas the social media is already growing step by step! And regarding our estimated expenses, these are still being “estimated” in a very responsible way 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

As always in Berklee College of Music’s Valencia Campus, weeks go by too quickly. This means we’ve got plenty of work to do and not that much time left. But it is always nice to go back in time, it helps you not forget what you’ve already learnt!

As always, I’ll close up with a related song ! ! !

Bob Ruzicka “Golden Oldie”

*Oldies: Radio format that concentrates on music from a period of about 15 to 55 years before the present day.

The Science of Adaptation… Or Re – Adaptation !!!

Captura de pantalla 2014-03-21 a la(s) 12.26.55

Play. Stop. Rewind.

A lot can happen in a month… Especially in a crucible of diversity, such as Berklee Valencia. So, first of all, forget about everything I mentioned on the first post. Phase 1 was adapting: making something suitable for a new use or purpose, adjusting to new conditions.

Adapt definition

Phase 2 is ReAdapting: making something suitable for a new use or purpose, adjusting to new conditions… Again!

Readapt

Being so many of us, most of the times things established during previous meetings tend to vanish into thin air. Remember: breathe and readapt. The working structure at our label has also been readapted, dividing ourselves into teams or departments that try to move forwards towards our goal: “creating a bridge between the inventiveness of Berklee Valencia’s disrupting talent and music business world”, or so our Mission Statement says. So I’m once again working in the Marketing Team, getting used to the dynamic we’ve established and trying also to keep updated on what the other departments are working on.

I now understand that it’s probably going to be impossible to work on different tasks seeking new experiences, instead of staying in my comfort zone. So my motivation resides on working with students with whom I hadn’t worked before.

Adaptation

During the past weeks, we’ve been brainstorming a lot, and even if most of the ideas will probably not see the light, it is always fun to experiment surrounded by creative people. It’s more or less like a summer camp experience. We’ve been working on the image we seek, and how we want people to perceive Disrupción Records. Among this, we’ve been trying to find a catchy and attractive logo, as well as planning a social media strategy and website budgets. Tyler has been essential as a designer, and he does not only have a really fine taste but is a great professional.

Other projects include planing a couple of events: a Name / Logo launch party and an end of semester gala, sort of showcase for the label artists. We have set up the official Disrupción Records Gmail account, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Soundcloud in order to secure the names.

On the other hand, I’ve tried to go through the steps the Legal Department has taken, as I would like to also learn about different aspects I might not be familiar with.

All this being said, once again the conclusion I reach is that we are animals, and as animals do, we need to adapt and readapt.. just like them!

Adaptation !!!

It is always hard to build any project from scratch, and trying to do it with absolutely no hierarchy makes it even more challenging. My previous experience leading a multinational team spread around the world, made me realize the crucial role communication has between human beings in a group, as well as how important it is to have a pre-established structure with clear roles defined. Changing from that to a student managed label was definitely a shock: we are not in the real world and our objectives obviously do not match those of real life. We are still in an academic environment in which the first outcome must be learning, learning as much as possible. It has definitely been a bit hard for me to adapt, as maybe I was looking for a different experience due to my background. Once your mentality changes, it is much easier to start working and actually expect results.

As far as today’s meeting goes, I believe we reassured the way in which we all felt comfortable managing our side of the label. We decided that in order to achieve the most of this exercise, it might be better not to divide the team in departments, as we should all aim to learn the most in every area we attack. So today has hopefully put our record label in motion. The team also discussed the first issues regarding the general dissatisfaction concerning the label’s name, as well as trying to structure and coordinate methods of communication and tasks due for next week. We also established the mission statement behind the label.

Let’s keep on working!

Music and the Limbic System

Music

Unlike air, food, physical safety or reproduction, music is not essential for humankind. But even though music is not a precondition for survival of the species, virtually all people in the world passionately engage with music. And listening to music is not only pleasant, but has amazing effects on a human being.

Many studies explain how listening to music activates the same euphoric centre as drugs, food or sex. The limbic system and the brain core are areas linked to emotional response and rewards. When the neurotransmitter dopamine is released, we perceive a pleasant feeling.

The Power of Music

 

The power of music

McGill University in Canada undertook a study in which they made ten patients listen to different melodies, as they did a Positron Emission Tomography. The limbic system activated itself when the patients listened to a song they liked. Not only did they find a clear neurologic response, but also an increase in the heart and respiratory rate, and an increase in their body temperature. All these signs belong to the physical response to happiness.

Each emotion produces different physical responses. In other words, sadness lowers the heart rate and increases both blood pressure and body temperature, whilst happiness can have the opposite effect.

Music and the mind

Patients reacted differently to melodies depending on the tone and rhythm they had. A slow, mellow song in a low-pitched scale would produce sadness, whereas a faster rhythm and sharp notes would produce happiness. Musical therapy tries to reduce anxiety or depression symptoms by taking into account this knowledge.

Music can have more effects in the brain than we can imagine. If the limbic system is related to the emotional response to melodies, the tone of a song actually activates the prefrontal cortex, the cerebellum and the temporal lobe. On the other hand, the lyrics of a song will stimulate the language areas of the brain (Wernicke and Broca area), the visual cortex (as we imagine the lyrics), the motor cortex and the limbic system.

All this means that listening to music can bring us many benefits. As language areas are involved, it can be very helpful with Alzheimer patients, developing speech and vocabulary. In fact, according to the University of Florida, students who listen to music or play an instrument score 53 to 61 points above average on the SAT verbal section; and 39 to 42 on the maths section.

Finally, as music increases the levels of dopamine and endorphin released, it inhibits the neurotransmitters responsible for stress and anxiety. And by stimulating the motor cortex, music has been proven useful in treating Parkinson and other syndromes that lack dopamine secretion.

After discovering all these reasons, lets Rock around the clock!

Around the clock

 

Why invest in Culture?

The answer seems obvious: an educated and cultured society understands, respects and coexists better.  We might even say that culture is the path to a healthy, well-adjusted and happy society. If we take a closer look at music, the benefits shoot up. Not only does music stimulate the brain, isolate stress and strengthen one’s health, but it also helps to work at a full capacity, sleep better and be optimistic, working as an emotional medicine. Should these advantages not be enough to convince someone about the importance of investing in culture, lets take a look at the economic benefits.

cerebro_musica

Based on the French notion of the Parable of the Tuileries, there are three economic principles we should know about and understand.

The first is the concept of Positive Externalities, meaning a benefit that results from an activity and that affects an otherwise uninvolved party who did not choose to incur that benefit. There are activities which basically affect others in a positive way, so the benefit to the individual or firm is less than the benefit to society. An example would be France’s cultural image and how it is perceived by the world. This causes a call-effect of investment from other parts of the world, as well as tourists who are attracted and keep consuming more. Although things in Spain are changing due to economic cutbacks, the amount of music festivals Spain has to offer can still be taken as an example of positive externality.

The second principle is the multiplier effect of culture-based investment. Investing in music obviously benefits musicians, technicians, venues, record labels and many other players in the music business. However, if we take a step further we’ll notice how other industries are also taking advantage of these investments.  Just imagine a Friday night: You take a cab to go to a concert, but first dinner at your favourite restaurant. You arrive and buy the concert ticket but before entering the venue you have a beer or two. When the concert’s over, you’re so excited you buy the band’s t-shirt and album, have the last drink at another bar and take another cab home. Next morning you wake up, run to the drugstore and buy some Ibuprofen. Music has just generated benefits for different sectors which at first, had nothing to do with the music industry.

diminishing_marginal_utility

Last but not least, there is an inspiring and unique principle known as  Diminishing Marginal Utility. What does this actually mean? Lets start by explaining each term. Utility is what consumers obtain –value– when consuming products or services, and by marginal we understand the gain from the last unit. Marginal Utility is therefore what the consumer gains when consuming the last unit. A Diminishing Marginal Utility should now start making sense.  The first unit of consumption of a good or service yields more utility, more satisfaction than the second and subsequent units, with a continuing reduction for greater amounts. Consumers normally get a positive utility when they purchase and consume a good or service, although this satisfying feeling decreases each time as the consumer becomes bored of the product.

diminishing-marginal-utility

You’ll probably understand it better with a real life example. Imagine if you eat paella –or something you really like– every single day: on the first day your level of satisfaction would be really high, and so would the second and third. Now imagine how you would feel ten days later, ten days eating just paella. You would probably still like the good (paella) whereas the level of satisfaction decreased. You wouldn’t enjoy it as much, would you? Now think about a whole year eating paella… The level of satisfaction might even become negative!

marginal_utility

Nowadays, this theory can be applied to almost every product. Remember, almost! All forms of culture, and specially music, have the magic quality of generating the opposite effect.  The more you listen to music you like, the greater the pleasure, generating a desire to consume other types of music and leading to a never-ending cycle. We’ll be more passionate about music each time, broadening our music preferences.

Debussy’s Clair de Lune has been playing in my parents house since I can remember. Probably, the first time I heard it I didn’t pay much attention, or none at all! But after listening to it several times and seeing my mum perform it, I really started appreciating its value. Now, each time I listen to it I get goose bumps. In other words, Clair de Lune provides me with more satisfaction each time I consume it.

Maybe now we understand why the main affected by cultural cuts is, in fact, society.

Just in case you still don’t understand why investing in culture is important, take a look at this video about the Parable of the Tuileries.

Parable of the Tuileries

By the way, tell me about your song, the one which will move you more each time you listen to it!