Grace and annihilation

There seem to be two fundamental tendencies in music today: On the one hand, a move towards complete virtualisation, where tracks and albums are merely released as digital files. And, on the other, an even closer union between music, artwork, packaging and physical presentation. Where do you stand between these poles? 

I stand with my feet planted firmly in both plots of ground. I spread my digital wares freely, and then I play in people's living rooms. It works, I think.

The role of an artist is always subject to change. What's your view on the (e.g. political/social/creative) tasks of artists today and how do you try to meet these goals in your work?

I think the role of the artists is to not define themselves, and to stay steady and graceful when others insist on defining them anyway.

Music-sharing sites and -blogs as well as a flood of releases in general are presenting both listeners and artists with challenging questions. What's your view on the value of music today? In what way does the abundance of music change our perception of it?

I think the abundance of music has definitely changed the way we value it. We are in a flux moment - the settling has yet to settle. I do miss scarcity and the value that came with committing to an artist for two sides of vinyl, filler tracks and all. But have also embraced the annihilation - what else? It’s all context - if I were 15, I would feel differently.

How, would you say, could non-mainstream forms of music reach wider audiences?

Through the Internet!

Usually, it is considered that it is the job of the artist to win over an audience. But listening is also an active, rather than just a passive process. How do you see the role of the listener in the musical communication process?

That’s a totally personal question! I never tell a listener who to be. They must decide...this is what keeps our lives as performers interesting.

Reaching audiences usually involves reaching out to the press and possibly working with a PR company. What's your perspective on the promo system? In which way do music journalism and PR companies change the way music is perceived by the public?

I think the current system is a kind of a cesspool, but it will hopefully evolve. The media is changing, slowly but surely, those with the correct motives (sharing music and positivity) will plough those with the incorrect motives (purely commercial profit, negativity). Here’s hoping.

Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.

The Legendary Pink Dots (British band founded in early 1980s - one of my favourites)

Tristan Allen (young solo pianist, electronic artist, very minimal and reminiscent of Steve Reich)

Visit Amanda's website and read her blog at amandapalmer.net 

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