Dave Stewart Muses on Music, Technology and the Internet

Thanks to Derek E.Baird for the the link to this interesting video, where Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics discusses web-based technology affecting his own musicianship and the enormous opportunities it has made available for budding bedroom composers.

Music technology has definitely allowed me to work with creative and musical young people (who haven’t received traditional music/instrumental skills) to still be part of music making.

Beef Wellington Yumminess!

There’s 2 weeks until term starts and I am going stir crazy doing my taxes/Bobmin. Time for a quirky blog post!

My uncle is a chef and often feeds B rate celebs and sport stars.
When I was 15, I was a waitress at the hotel restaurant he manned- it taught me lessons in customer service and team work.

Both my uncle and I are freelance and had a Friday afternoon off sometime ago, so I asked for a cooking lesson. I have always been curious about making Beef Wellington, I had only ever eaten the mushroom version, but wanted to learn how to make something complicated. These pics show our culinary journey.

What to do in Silly Season?

Summer can be a quiet period for the community musician and I am finding it particularly hard to relax. I know I should spend this time focusing on my artform, enjoying my time off, but, it just doesn’t work like that for me- guilt being the operative word I suppose.

I was counseled only slightly when I found some training notes from the Sound Sense Sharpen Up! event I went to some time ago in February- really useful. I might have blogged about them before, but here are some notes that I re-read.

What is the definition of Marketing? It was defined or quoted quite succinctly by Gemma Miller, Marketing Officer of The London Community Gospel Choir.

“Identifying the wants and needs of a target market of customers, and then going about satisfying those customers better than the competitors” .

Some other pearls of wisdom:
1. Expensive adverts do not always translate to increased sales.
2. Target customers need to hear your messages at least 7 times. (I get paranoid after 3 times).
3. The Marketing Mix – 4P’s

Is product meeting customers’ needs?
How does your product look?
How does the competition do it?

Where will your product be distributed?

Premium pricing – promotes uniqueness
Penetration pricing – start the price low to gain interest
Optional Product Pricing – set a basic price then add extras if needed

The way that you communicate your message – marketing
Select what tools to use for your market place
Is your product at the right price?
Compare to competition

I think my main problem is actually defining what I do and specialising. It seems loads easier if I can say I am a music producer and I offer music tech workshops, but I don’t just do that. Sometimes by being able to offer quite a varied set of skills, it confuses potential clients, especially when it makes it hard for them to pigeon hole me.
Price –it’s alright. I have spoken to/checked my fees with quite a few community musos and I am not asking for silly money, well you can’t in this sector.
Place – kool.
Promotion- hmmm. I don’t enjoy it. But, as time passes I find it less embarrassing telling potential clients about the sort of work I offer and how it fits in with their organisation/school/vlub etc.

And on a completely different note…

I really enjoyed reading Clare Edwards’ candid post about her blog crisis. It made me rethink my reasons for blogging and the focus of this one. My first blog post said it would document my journey as a newbie freelance community musician. I think I intended on discussing more of the issues, problems, kool findings- I need to focus on that some more methinks.

If this blog is a queasy, self-congratulatory, self-promoting pile of pooh, it wasn’t intended on being so. More like a space where I could document workshops and discuss the sector, as well as documenting random things of interest.

The main thing is to continue having fun blogging I say!