Thursday, February 28, 2008

Community Supported Music

Jonathan is planning on starting a brand new venture that allows you to get involved with the inside of his music. It’s a new way of thinking about the relationship between an artist and his audience. For more details, read on!

What is Community Supported Music (CSM)?
It's a creative way to work at the relationship of an artist and the people who support that artist and/or enjoy her/his work. This CSM is a structured way for people to support an artist whose work and life they believe in, and a way for Jonathan to share music and thoughts more regularly with the people who are interested in that.

How does it work?
A person who likes Jonathan's music and wants to support him as he works at it subscribes to Jonathan Reuel's CSM. Four times a year they get a delivery including new songs, lyrics and thoughts from Jonathan about both the writing and listening process.

Who is it for?
- People who want to support Jonathan Reuel and his creative work.
- People who'd like to hear songs more regularly and at an earlier phase (soon after they are written, before all the instruments are added).
- People who want to use Jonathan's music in their own prayer and meditation
- Musicians and writers interested in songwriting, the creative process and where the songs come from.
- Groups who want to use Jonathan's songs in a corporate setting. This could include playing the recording publicly or singing together. Includes school groups, churches, businesses, etc.

What do you get?
- 3 to 5 new songs every quarter. Mostly these will be simple guitar and vocal recordings.
- Lyrics and chords to the songs
- Thoughts about the writing of the songs and the creative process
- Suggestions for using the songs in personal or corporate prayer, meditation or worship.

Where did the idea come from?
We heard about it first from Bryan Moyer Suderman who came up with the idea of "community supported music," basing it on the model of "community supported agriculture." Check out his blog and website to find out what Bryan is up to now. Another artist, Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens tried something similar, so the idea is not only our own.

Jonathan on why I think this whole idea is brilliant
"The whole idea of a CSM really strikes me because as much as possible I like to develop relationships with people rather than collecting fans or selling products. Sales isn't a bad thing, but some kind of ongoing connection is, to me, much more satisfying."

Watch here for more details regarding the CSM launch in the coming months.


John David said...

I think it's a new twist on a very old idea. Centuries ago, musicians and composers survived on the patronage of the rich. A noble might feel an obligation to financially support a composer or poet, and having a top notch orchestra in his court added to his prestige.

In the 20th century, the ability to record and transmit music dispersed the patronage among many fans, who could purchase a thing (an album) as opposed to supporting an artist. The financial relationship between the musician and his financial support became more commodified and more impersonal.

Digital music--because it can be copied over and over at no cost and with no loss in quality--is changing the idea that a song or an album is a thing that can be packaged and sold. I think the financial arrangements will begin to drift back to patronizing (in the good sense) the artist rather than the work the artist produces.

I give money to MCC without getting anything in return because I value what they do and I want them to keep doing it. That's why I send you money and why I am more likely to buy the CDs of "grassroots" musicians than the product put out by corporate-backed productions.

I would also like to see an explosion in open-source, creative-commons-licensed, worship music to free the Church from the the RIAA of the Christian world: the CCLI.

So you can sign me up. I'm more likely to listen to some songs than to eat all that rhubarb that my CSA in Indiana would dump on me. I wasted a lot of veggies that summer.

A Traveling Girl said...

I think this is the direction to go in. Count us in!

Joel said...

Ditto. Bueno. Let's do this thing.

Bryan Moyer Suderman said...

Great stuff, Jonathan. How do I sign up?