In these times, people are busy inventing ways to sell things or bits of themselves nobody should need to want and half the economy seems to be driven by packaged zilch. I recently saw that there is a company selling bottled water in the United States which freely admits on the label that it is Texan municipal water (and think of how many there are that don’t own up to where theirs comes from). Then there was the guy who sold his life on E-bay. I have a clear vision of a world a few years down the line where we are all going to be paid to wear T-shirts which advertise brands (although I suppose it is an improvement on us gleefully paying money for the privilege of wearing T-shirts which advertise brands). We will also find it normal to earn money by slipping slogans and catchphrases into our conversations and naming our children after household products.
So you think you must have a case of fulminating dyslexia when you come across someone like a brilliant musician like Steve Coleman who writes : “Why should everything always cost something? For me music is organized sound that can be used as sonic symbols to communicate ideas. Since my main goal is the communication of these ideas to the people, then why not provide this music for free and thereby facilitating the distribution of this music to the people. […] My reasons for providing free music comes from my belief that musical ideas should not be owned by anyone. I believe that ideas should be free for anyone to use (but not to necessarily sell to others or make others pay for the use of these ideas).”
Yes, he is giving his music away. You can download several of his recordings from his website here. I recommend Def Trance Beat, which I actually bought in a shop after having heard him perform in a park on a hot summer’s night a few years ago. You can read more about his thoughts on making his music freely available here. And if you want to hear what he sounds like without going anywhere yet, here he is playing Salt Peanuts.
Steve Coleman and Five Elements – Salt Peanuts