Feeds

Beck's open-source challenge to freetards: play it yourself!

Album as sheet music is a brilliant gambit

New hybrid storage solutions

Fans of the artist Beck must wait until December for his new album - and if they want to hear it, they can play it themselves. As you may have heard, Beck has said he'll issue his next album Song Reader as sheet music, rather than as a performed and produced sound recording.

"The songs here are as unfailingly exciting as you’d expect from their author, but if you want to hear Do We? We Do or Don’t Act Like Your Heart Isn’t Hard bringing them to life depends on you," according to the official blurb.

It'll actually come in quite a lavish package, made in association with Dave Eggar's cult publishing imprint McSweeney's. Twenty song booklets add up to 108 pages with original "home-play-inspired art" leaving little doubt what's required from the buyer. And it's not passive consumption.

There are a couple of other nice aspects to this manoeuvre. The McSweeney's site will host fan-contributed interpretations of the songs - for which (we trust) they'll receive a performance royalty. Share the wealth. And remember that unless (or until) Beck releases his own interpretation, there is no canonical original. So the fan versions won't be "covers"- they'll be interpretations.

Beck doesn't explicitly say that the sheet music release is a response to piracy, or even the instant reproduction of digital goods. However his UK publisher is happy if you were to draw that inference. According to Lee Brackstone, Faber's publishing director, it "makes a radical statement about the value and importance of performed and recorded music at a time when these very things are under threat".

Not all Grauniad readers are impressed.

"What an asshole," complains one, perhaps dreading the prospect of leaving the garden shed. "Maybe someone will transcribe a tab version sort of a more lo-fi version of illegal downloading," ponders another on the newspaper's website.

Which perhaps makes the argument more eloquently than a diatribe from Beck would.

Whatever the motivation, it's a brilliant marketing move - it's got people talking about Beck - and an artistic statement. Here's the source code, make the record. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.