♫ Sarah Jarosz – ‘Run Away’

This performance by 20-year-old Sarah Jarosz is completely magical. She’s supported by Alison Krauss and Jerry Douglas but there’s no missing her star quality. What’s more, the song is her own composition.

Superb stuff again from Transatlantic Sessions, which has become my favourite music TV. This is from Series 5 – I’ve added the DVD to my wish list!


☆ The Social Media Chorale

Chatting with Jill earlier, I ended up watching this TED talk by composer Eric Whitacre:

Which led me to his Virtual Choir project, which I found exceptionally beautiful and moving:

and to this year’s Virtual Choir 2.0, which drew together an astounding pool of global talent:

I’m moved by both works, by the beauty of the music as well as by the grace of the gathering together of strangers to create that beauty. I think I’ll enjoy the CD that contains both works (I’ve ordered it from Amazon UK; also on Amazon US).

The Value Of Social Media

Both of those Virtual Choir videos are the product of social media, downloading and peer-to-peer systems. Groups of people have voluntarily contributed their own voice and performance to collectively create a larger work beyond the scope of any one – or even any group – of them locally. When legislators lash out blindly at “social media” or “downloading” it harms not just the underclass they are briefed by lobbyists to envisage but also the creative energy of a meshed global society.

We saw during the London riots that social media was the vehicle for the expression of cohesiveness and contribution as well as for frustration and destructiveness. Here we see social media as the vehicle for creativity and beauty in an area we are being told it’s only used to “steal” and damage.

The truth is that tools are amoral (which does not automatically imply immoral), producing whatever the hands that hold them intend. We already have plenty of laws in our society which deal with malicious intent. I remain unconvinced we need new laws to deal with its modern expressions through new technology.  We need to tell our political representatives that banning social media, downloading, peer-to-peer and other technologies because they have only heard about the bad uses is wrong.

♫ I’ll Still Be Using My Voice

In the best traditions of both british music and democracy, Thea Gilmore wrote a song to celebrate the election. Some people – politicians in particular – seem to think that the election is the chance for British citizens to express their views.  We then hear ridiculous statements about how “the electorate has voted clearly to…” {demand tax cuts | oppose health care reform  |  say no to proprortional representation | demand electoral reform|…} from people with the predictive chops of a fairground fortune teller.

Rubbish. I voted for a representative. I wanted to be represented. To do that requires constant consultation. An election doesn’t have enough bits to encode everything I want to say to my representatives. So I’ll still be using my voice.

✍ United Still Breaks Guitars

§ The last of the series of songs by Dave Carroll after his lousy experience flying United is finally out. I think song one was by far the best (song two lacked zing), but this one is pretty good:

I’d like to be able to say it’s hyperbolic, but unfortunately the trip I took over the weekend once again poured fuel on the fire (one friend I was travelling with had luggage lost by them on 2 of the last 3 flights) so sadly I think Carroll still has a point. Song one is just coming up to 8 million views on YouTube so I think United has a problem and the rest of us have a marketing case study.

☞ Collaboration Barriers and Enablers

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