“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”

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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! 🙂

Standing Up to the Man

This musically fructiferous week has yielded yet another productive recording session with Tess and Tim.  We discussed post-production needs and recorded lead vocals and integrated colorful harmonies to “I Bought You a Coat”

 

During this session promotional needs were addressed, such as the imagery and visual art style to be employed on the artwork of the upcoming EP.  I also recorded supplemental audiovisual material in the studio: photos and video footage of the recording as well as an interview about the artist’s musical project.

Tess 2

On the bright side, *ba dum psh* having access to the university lighting equipment effectively and drastically enhanced the quality of the promotional materials.

 

The legal aspect of the practicum has suffered a more conflictive week, since several weeks into the recording process, Berklee has proposed a new contract that contradicts several key items that were established at the very beginning. This poses a significant challenge for the legal team, to protect the interests of all stakeholders involved while moving within Berklee’s legislation, particularly the artists.

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.

Behind the Scenes: Disrupción Records Logo Design

The goal of this project was to create a visual identity that coherently connects with the representation of disruption as a brand and its meaning positionally over time. As such, the logo is representative of sources of disruption as it relates to art, the region and Berklee College of Music.

 

To begin, the typeface used is ‘Helvetica’ the selection was inspired by it’s use and development by Max Miedinger and Eduard Hoffmann to mark the transition into the Swiss modernist movement.

 

The composition of the design was based on a photograph by Alberto Hildago used by the Berklee College Commissions WSDG (Walters-Storyk Design Group) for Major Projects. The kerning of the typeface and use of negative space was utilized to highlight the major architectural features of the Palau, as it is both a significant feature of the Valencian region and a holistic representative of a larger artistic community and visual vocal point of the Berklee campus.

 

Additionally, Black & White were chosen to build off of the clarity associated with the use of ‘Helvetica’ as a typeface, while the characters ‘A’ and ‘D’ were used as a means of highlighting the architectural features. However, in an effort to avoid any inferences associated with the use of the upper case characters AD or it’s acromial meaning (anno domini), a lower case character ‘d’ was selected as a substitution. Although the region has a rich Christian heritage and it coincides with the theme of disruption, I felt as though it did not communicate the values associated with the diverse student group and apolitical environment present within the institution.

 

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Reposted from www.tylerbudd.com

Album Review Of The Week – Animals As Leaders – The Joy of Motion

This week has been particularly exciting. As I recover from my yearly spring/early summer cold, as my system realises that the ‘Fallas’ have actually eaten away chunks of my higher auditory spectrum (16kHz-20kHz), as school kicks back into gear, and as we launch Berklee Valencia’s very own Record Label named Disrupcíon Records, one of my most cherished artist/band releases their third opus through Sumerian Records.

Animals As Leaders and their third release named The Joy of Motion is an ode to the greatest of all lost arts (I don’t mean Lower Defintion’s amazing album, I’m talking about Music), and full of maturity and humility (at times) Tosin Abasi, along with Javier Reyes and new addition Matt Garstka have put together a truly immersive experience.

With phrases, chord changes or cadences that echo some from the previous releases, one can recognise the Tosin Abasi songwriting and find himself at home. But you’ll find tunes off this record mirroring some of Javier’s personal stuff (Mestis, EP: Basal Ganglia). A few solos on the record also let me wonder whether there were any guest players at any point. Track number 3, Air Chrysalis echoes Intervals’ Epiphany, and track 12 (the closer) ‘Nephele’ sounds strangely similar to a Vai-Petrucci progeny. Mystery to be solved…

Overall musically the album is very strong, and so is my wording to describe it, I realise that… Garstka’s involvement and participation in the writing definitely shines through a lot more on this release and it does it a tremendous amount of good. That classic AAL quarter-note pulse is still present, but less important. When straight feels good, straight is played, no unnecessary polyrhythmic aberrations and convolutedness.

I must also admit that I’m super thrilled and amazed that they collaborated with Adam ‘Nolly’ Getgood for the production of this opus. Adam is THE guy when it comes to producing this type of music, hands down, no questions asked. Forget Joey Sturgis, he is just good. Nolly is the exegesis of a mix that packs a punch. And for the guys in AAL to realise that, then get him on-board is the best move that could have been made. Allegedly it mustn’t have been a huge stretch of the mind since Misha Mansoor plays alongside Nolly, but anyway… I’m glad for both posses involved, it is in their best common interest, not something that you see done a lot in the music industry these days (cf. The Prisoner’s Dilemma, Economics 101, Somewhere along the course of every Economics syllabus), and the production is just MASSIVE, mate!

The album came out on the 25th of March, so two days prior to this post. The ’single’ (I guess you could call it that), Tooth and Claw had been out for a little bit of time before that, and it was just the perfect song to release to build a hype and amp things up. I’ve already rinsed the life out of it. It was available for stream on YouTube, however I’ve never been a fan of pre-release streams for music that has value. I get that it would make sense if you’re anticipating a specific single featuring two of your favourite artists, but here it’s the whole artefact that is important. So I waited patiently while all my friends were posting about it on what has become the most important book to all of us these days, got it on Spotify, and am heartlessly taking away what could’ve been a full 7,99$ from this band that I hold so dear…

A few tunes to look out for on this album/my personal favourites so far:

Ka$cade
Tooth and Claw
Para Mexer (8 nylon-stringèd bonanza, it’s got Javier Reyes/Mestis written all over it)
The Woven Web (Slappin’ that bass mon’)
Mind-Spun (Just a power tune, simply put)

If you want to have a listen, head over to Spotify and punch this URL in: spotify:album:6amcjpW1tFWbKniDMn9CE4

heck, even purchase it on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/thejoyofmotionitunes

or have a gander on the YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbA3jxab4A0&list=PLH22-xSMERQpG4M9HshhXUJ9OKMNlwU8T

 

As for myself, I’ll probably be getting the Vinyl, transparent Red sounds like it looks sexy. DJ kTunes said it first, they’re making a come-back.

 

Animals As Leaders – The Joy of Motion – The Woven Web

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!

Record Label Practicum – A l’écoute

This past friday we, as a class of 20 something students, took-on the task of shortlisting some of the applicants to the very first Berklee College of Music Valencia Campus Record Label (buzz-wordly named Disrupcion). The total of applicants neared the 30s, and the number of songs approximated 100, while the time we were given to accomplish the task was of about a couple of hours. So as one can imagine, and as expected, this daunting task proved to be challenging.

I’ll spare you the details but the boiled down summary is that without a concise idea of the sound we are looking for, and with a class composed of music-oriented students with a plethora of diverging musical tastes and listening habits, a show of hands was the most appropriate way of reaching a consensus on talent.

We all pulled through in the end anyway, and came up with an interesting list of 12 artists. In my opinion, the shortlist shows an array of styles that could have been diversified a little more given some of the ridiculously gifted people we are lucky to have on campus, but I’m still thrilled with what we came up with and especially what was achieved as a class – and democracy seems to be the last thing withholding us from behaving like apes, so let’s not give it up for the sake of personal taste. Despite my never-ending scepticism, I have to admit that I’m genuinely quite excited at the idea of being a part of this. Especially given some of the artists that were selected on to the following step.

Next step is the audition process. We have designed a series of questions that we have presented to the artists for them to prepare in advance. We have also requested additional information such as press kits or videos, if available. This way we can have a series of quick ten-minute interviews that should allow us to find the artists we are looking for.

The cynical part of me believes that we should have probably interviewed ourselves first to define what it is that we are looking for (amongst other things). But gut-feeling seems to be the trend (panelists from MIDEM can back me up on this one) so let’s just do it like the big dogs and play it solo within a team.

I leave you with this fine tune that should help you get your day started, if it hasn’t already.