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Local Music in a Digital Age

by Song Catcher Girl

For my last year in my masters program (HCID) we have to complete a 1 year long capstone (thesis) project. In thinking about what I might want to design, I’ve come up with the following problem space:

Local music in a digital age

When I was growing up, I was very much into local music. Back then the internet was still pretty slow but people were getting some music digitally. At the time I was doing concert photography for many local bands. I would show up at venues and photograph all day some times. This really put me deep inside the local music scene in Indianapolis. I knew most of the band members, I was friends with the sound guys, the venue owners, promoters, etc. Most people knew who I was. While part of this community I was exposed to tons of new music, both local and non-local. It was a really great experience for me.

by dusk-photography

Then digital music exploded. Piracy of music became normal and iTunes changed the music distribution system. In no small way there was a huge paradigm shift of how people consumed music. Many great things came from this. Now we can listen to music from all around the world, we have access to more music than ever, and we have this access almost all the time. However, I think something was lost in local music scenes. There was a stronger community before the digital explosion, but it shrunk or disappeared almost completely.

I think there can be a melding of the two worlds. I want to look at ways to bring local music (the community, scene, etc) into the digital age. A way for people to participate in local music scenes, listen to local music, enjoy the culture of local music, share local music, and find new local (and non-local) music.

So, over the next 9 months I will be working within this problem space. Keep an eye out on my blog for more updates as they come out. And as always, I welcome comments and critiques of any of my posts and designs.

Leave a comment

  1. I think you have an interestingly awesome capstone topic.

    Here are some people you may want to talk with:
    Jennifer Terrell: (She studies Wizard Rock, which is music about Harry Potter. She studies it from the fan and musician perspective.)
    CJ Page: He used to be in a band.

  2. Dude, I’m stoked you’re going forward with this! It sounds like a unique, interesting, important challenge. You must have been hanging out with some pretty cool cats when you came up with the idea!

    You should definitely look into 89.3 The Current, which is the best radio station in the Twin Cities area, and perhaps the country. They are actually a public radio station with absolutely no commercials, supported by pledge drives and the like, and staffed with intelligent people who are rabidly passionate about great music, and the Minnesota music scene in particular.
    Theirs may offer a business model unique enough to inspire other ideas, if blended together with inspirations modeled after the local indie record store. The Current streams online, so you can take a hit there.

  3. Lynn and Dane,
    Thanks for the great comments. I’ll look in to your suggestions. I appreciate the support!