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What happens when you eat music?

Donations vs. Buying

I’ve made $29 in donations today, which is more than I’ve made in any single day over the past 6 years on my music, and it’s not even 3pm yet. Out of nowhere this week people are mentioning my music (over 100 arrangements yay!), rebogging it, buying it, and donating.

I’m a huge advocate for Creative Commons and Podsafe Music, but I can’t just give this music away for free AND sell it at the same time because I don’t own the original publishing for that. In fact, a large cut of my $1 sales go to iTunes, Bandcamp, and the original artist.

So now I’m thinking 3 options:

1.) Release the music for free and sell merchandise? I can’t tour, so I’m really dependent on donations, purchases, and whatever else there is. BTW selling sheet music is possible, but getting the rights takes forever and is really expensive. I started a kickstarter a few months ago, but it went nowhere.

2.) Continue to sell my music, but also push my donation page harder so I can hopefully do this full time for you all.

3.) Actually… I’m just a guy. I seriously have no idea what I’m doing.

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Walt Ribeiro ‘Prelude’ [Original]

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Back in 2006 I released a CD titled “I.I.”, which consisted of 12 pieces that weaved in and out of each other to create one complete symphony. I originally set off on the album after realizing orchestras wouldn’t play my music, and getting upset that they only performed works by the same 12 dead composers. I wanted to bring new music to the market – and “I.I” was my answer to that. It’s interesting to look back, so I’m re-publishing them in their original state – releasing one a day for the next 12 days. To hear and read about each piece click here.

‘Prelude’ was the first piece on the album, but was actually the last piece I finished. The reason for it was simple – it introduces all the melodies throughout the entire CD, so I couldn’t include each melody until each piece had been written. I came up with this idea while watching the Lord of the Rings movie one day. I thought “a good movie sets up a plot and introduces the characters so the audience understands them, knows them, and can follow along. Why doesn’t music do that with CD’s?”

Music tells a story, and the liner notes were always my favorite part to an album.

So it’s a soft piece with the repeating sections, but the only thing changing most of the time is the melody on top. Having a soft introduction was a good way to offset ‘Wounds’, which was the following piece.

Looking back I’m realizing how much i’ve grown. For one, notice how ‘low’ the volume is on the uncompressed audio, and how the velocities aren’t powerful, and how the arrangements aren’t well done. I made this CD in 2006 when I was first getting started. Since then, my orchestrations have grown, production has improved, productivity is much more efficient, and I understand manufacturing, distribution, and marketing much better.

It’s been on iTunes for years (links below), but unfortunately sales were nearly non-existant form the start – but it made me mentally stronger and more knowledgable. Sure, I could have waited until 2011 to release the CD, but the perfect time at every moment to do something is right now.. People spend so much time waiting for perfection, that they miss the opportunity to publish. Besides, I learned a lot more from publishing and getting my feet wet, than I could have ever learned on studying marketing trends and orchestration for the past 6 years until I was ready.

So I’m glad to re-publish these pieces with a little bit of commentary on each one. ‘I.I’ marks a huge moment in my life – an opportunity I set out on trying to get orchestras to perform new music, new ideas, and ultimately – create new audiences. It was a huge investment ($15,000), and coming straight out of college that’s all I had. So it was scary to pursue it, it was an uphill battle to somehow hear my music come to life in a time when orchestras don’t play new music, and it was scary when it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.

So that’s what ‘Prelude’ was to me. It wasn’t just about the music, it was about the whole idea – for taking a risk, embarking on a journey, and trying to change the predictable orchestra repertoire.

iTunes
Bandcamp

Back in 2006 I released a CD titled “I.I.”, which consisted of 12 pieces that weaved in and out of each other to create one complete symphony. I originally set off on the album after realizing orchestras wouldn’t play my music, and getting upset that they only performed works by the same 12 dead composers. I wanted to bring new music to the market – and “I.I” was my answer to that. It’s interesting to look back, so I’m re-publishing them in their original state – releasing one a day for the next 12 days. To hear and read about each piece click here.

When you go through a really tough time, you look back on it thanking the people that kept your head up and got you through it all. This piece is for my parents, who have been there for me at every aspect of my life.

Growing up, they always taught me well, helped me out, and were incredibly supportive of all the things I did. One thing I never understood when I was younger was being told “you’ll understand when you’re older”. It’s a phrase I didn’t get because I thought I knew everything, but it’s funny how things work out, and it’s funny how much you grow up and understand things. One of those things I learned when I got older was how grateful I was for my parents and all they’ve done for me – that’s what this piece is about.

If my grades in school weren’t perfect, they helped me out. If I started BMX riding, they not only supported me, but they would take me to many HARO and Extreme Sports events. When I changed my major from mechanical engineering to music, they were skeptical, but ultimately supportive of that too. And for this piece, when I went through my experiences with ‘Wounds‘, they assured me everything would be OK.

To say thank you is a powerful word, but sometimes words don’t express your level of gratitude. This piece is about how my level of appreciation of them, and of my friends and family, are ‘Words Away’.

iTunes

Bandcamp

Back in 2006 I released a CD titled “I.I.”, which consisted of 12 pieces that weaved in and out of each other to create one complete symphony. I originally set off on the album after realizing orchestras wouldn’t play my music, and getting upset that they only performed works by the same 12 dead composers. I wanted to bring new music to the market – and “I.I” was my answer to that. It’s interesting to look back, so I’m re-publishing them in their original state – releasing one a day for the next 12 days. To hear and read about each piece click here.

I remember writing Miasma at a time when I was trying to learn the most important technique to a composer – tension and release. Actually, that’s not only a technique for a musician, it’s a technique to any artist. You want to grab your audience, pull them in, make them wait, create tension, drama, suspense. Then release them into a direction that they had been wanting… or maybe you don’t! Maybe you pull them in, tease them, and then tease them some more. You see in in movies, books, theatre, dance shows, and even 4th of July fireworks. It’s fun to be playful, and it’s fun to be the audience for it.

I was teaching music lessons at Old Towne Music, and can recall studying and teaching all about consonance and dissonance, which is the distance in music intervals to create different feelings of movement and feelings. So I had Miasma come out of the dark ‘Wounds‘, and slowly enter out into some happy and triumphant.

There is no direct melody or real structure to this piece as we’re familiar with music today having a ‘verse, chorus, verse, bridge, outro’ construction – Miasma was heavily influenced by many of Mozart’s Symphony’s which I had been studying at the time. So I introduce the themes from ‘Wounds’, the main E-E-F-E motif, and finally the ending melody which I sporadically arrange the piece.

After a powerful wound, it’s important to remember that ‘This Too Shall Pass‘, and in that fashion, I wanted Miasma to be my hindsight of learning that everything is going to be OK after being torn by a wound.

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