Beginning at the end of 2021, beyond some music approved by artists who I am friends with, everything I am playing on the live stream and during the show is what I call “libre music”. Mostly, that means it is licensed as Creative Commons BY-NC-SA. This was originally motivated by my wanting to make the show acceptable to play on other streams, but then I figured out there’s a cultural reason to support this kind of music and to try to help build more of a community around it.
Playing My Part
What I advocate for is a culture where the best information and ideas can go viral, which in turn makes life better for everyone. So my idea behind “libre music” is just to add a kind of art to that list. To elaborate, the internet and social media allow for an extremely flat communication platform. It’s very easy for anyone to make their work accessible to everyone and for us to decide what to recommend to others. There are still lots of issues slowing this process down or making it less ideal than it could be, but working on that together should define a movement.
With the music industry, the legal norm of maximizing legal ownership over audio is fucking things up. Fans want to be able to share the music they love with others. Artists both want their work to get attention but also often to turn it into a sustainable source of income. Nobody wants any middleman to interfere with that if possible…or for other interests besides the love of the music, decide who gets paid or what gets popular. In general, creating and distributing music with modified licensing helps.
Beyond supporting artists, we need to build communities around “libre music” that help elevate the best work. It already has that independent spirit going for it, but we need to diversify the genres that embrace it and kind of normalize it for the general public. It’s only weird because we have a long history of labels etc squeezing artists and fans. It can all be very different and better now.
Much more about the Free Music Movement.
Finding the Music
Jamendo: good but check the licensing details.
Bandcamp (with Creative Commons tag): good but check the licensing details.
Soundcloud (with Creative Commons tag): good but check the licensing details.
Musopen: This is a non-profit which tries to give access to public domain music in an easy-to-get form.
Open Music Archive: A collection of recordings whose copyright has lapsed.