|Zachary and Kira|
This also gave me a chance to adjust to jet lag. I need energy to keep up with the students!
We took the kids to the neighborhood park, where some really nice locals commented on my children's lovely "American accents".
I headed off to London to meet our tour guide, Drew Young, and get acquainted with the hotel. The students were all on different flights, so I anxiously awaited everyone's arrival. Once we got settled in, we went out for food and a brisk walk. The following day we were bound for Liverpool!
|Study Abroad students|
Along the way, we found a newly revitalized shopping district. This area shows how much Liverpool has grown from the rather depressed, industrial town it was the last time I visited in 1998. It now appears to be thriving, although I wonder about the effects of gentrification. At any rate, it was good for the students to see where they could shop and find ATMs, all walking distance from the hotel.
The Liverpool Sound City conference is a four-day festival consisting of concerts and workshops for music industry students and professionals. The sessions were held in dark rooms with blue lights - not exactly great for recovering from jet lag. As a technology professional, I would have liked to see more technical demonstrations, but as an artist I did find the talks about surviving in today's music industry to be enlightening. Perhaps I will offer to present a "DIY recording" talk at next year's conference!
My colleague Stan Soocher is joining me to teach a section on music business; unfortunately we missed his moderation of the panel which discussed the "Blurred Lines" case and its impact copyright. He did tell me afterwards that there is an appeal in the works.
I visited sessions on artist income and social media strategies with an impressive list of panelists, including Nick Calafato from LastFM, Rakhi Sina from Eventbrite, and Ari Stein from Gigmit. The conference also featured "roundtables": group discussions held in a "speed-dating" style where attendees would swap tables with a featured host every 15 minutes.
|Leslie with Nick of Last.fm|
Nick from last.FM foresees streaming services becoming demographically splintered in the coming years. He posed the question: Will streaming services appeal to certain demographics? Will Tidal, because of its founder (Jay-Z), be oriented towards hip-hop? Globally speaking, Spotify has become "trendy" in France, while CDs are still more popular in some countries.
In the Marketplace area of the conference, Wez Priceless gave (very basic) lessons on how to DJ. Props to this guy for wiping CDs on his shirt and tossing them, very nonchalant and label-side-down, around during the demo. Those were the days.
I visited the table at Liverpool John Moores University and was crestfallen to learn that they had cut the music program - ironically - at the Lennon School of the Arts. How could this happen!
There was also a main stage that featured performances; in particular I liked She Drew the Gun and Steed.
Late on Friday, the festival at Bramley-Moore dock was pleasantly packed and equipped with rides, food vendors, and at least 8 stages. Some massive, some tiny. I saw Everything Everything (highly recommended from student Josh Kern) and a band called Taffy.
The act "dogshow" was bizarre and novel - yet somehow ordinary in terms of sound. Their act was on a self-contained, mobile stage. The lighting guy was on an attached golf cart and very into his job. Complete with fog machine, Korg analog synth mod, at least two Macbooks, drum controllers, cymbals - this was very damn loud and the crowd was very into it.
Altogether, a pretty packed 48 hours here in Liverpool, and still two days to go in the festival. You can be sure I will blog about it.