The Italian Brass Week is an international festival born 19 years ago under the artistic direction of Luca Benucci, the first horn of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. During these years, the festival and the Association have dealt with the formation of thousands of young artists from all over the world, with the aim of consolidating a reality that too often goes unnoticed and give the opportunity to emerging musicians to participate at a primary visibility event for the world of brass and music.
The mission is the enhancement of great Italian and foreign talents, through promotion and cultural exchange. The festival gives the opportunity to young students, new professionals and professionals to take part in an event of international importance, to play and learn from the most important musicians in the world of brass, being part of the greatest orchestras, conservatories and universities.
The high level of training and the quality of the event were rewarded with the bronze medal of the President of the Republic and with many other awards, obtained for the importance of the event and for involving generations of young musicians, who were trained and they have become excellent interpreters.
The Italian Brass Week has moved to various locations in Tuscany, Santa Fiora, Vinci, to land last year in Florence, because Florence is an important reference for cultural growth. It is a city devoted to hospitality and already culturally renowned as a meeting point between present and past.
During these years the artistic quality of the festival has always been guaranteed by the presence of virtuosos and soloists from all over the world, Italian, European and international teachers, jazz bands and brass ensembles who participate, compare and play together in an important moment for the professional growth of all the young people taking part in the festival.
Many young girls dream of becoming singers and pop stars. They emulate their idols, singing along into the hairbrush handle with the mirror as an appreciative audience. I speak as a brother to two sisters and a father of two daughters!
However, very few young women have the courage and talent to go out, stand up and perform in front of a real live audience. Kacey Hacquoil is one of those rare young women who not only writes her own songs but possess the confidence and personality, as a performer, to put it out there for the world to enjoy.
A little bit of Kelly Clarkson at the Horse and Hound this evening with Acoustic Jersey 😄
Freedom for musicians is an international cooperative for musicians to share and cross promote each other’s work. In our Facebook group you can promote your gigs, products and
services to an international audience. You can also feature on our website www.ffmrecords.com
If you could sing joy, what would it sound like? Alai Alai is a song that carries the exuberance of being human. Composed by Sounds of Isha, it is an expression of the boundless joy which has seeped into the hearts of millions across the globe in the form of “Ananda Alai – A Wave of Bliss” which originates in Sadhguru – yogi, mystic and founder of Isha Foundation. Our special thanks to director (and Isha meditator) Rajesh Saathi for coming up with the idea for this video, and making it happen!
Mixcloud Taps Gracenote’s Music Identification System For Better Song Recognition:
Mixcloud has been the leader for uploading DJ sets for some time with SoundCloud having to reign itself in from the wild wild west days of its start. It is looking to extend that lead with a new deal with Gracenote that will give Mixcloud access to Gracenote’s music identification system. This will allow for better identification of songs in each mix, notably mainstream tracks. It will still be up to users to get the times right and fill in the blanks where Gracenote fails.
YouTube Cutting Loops From Streaming Totals:
Earlier this year, YouTube was at the center of a controversy regarding chart position. Post Malone’s team had gamed the system by releasing a “full version” of his song “Rockstar” that was in fact just the chorus looped over and over again. It garnered millions of views and helped the song go number 1. In a statement to Pitchfork, YouTube head, Lyor Cohen and a spokesperson says they are stopping that and will be actively removing deceptive videos like that.
Penske Media Buys Majority Stake In Rolling Stone Owner, Wenner Media:
Rolling Stone’s owner Wenner Media has been on the market for a few months now. The Wenner family has been looking to sell their remaining 51% share of the company for some time now and have found a buyer in Penske Media Corporation at a valuation of just over $100 million according to Variety. Wenner has been laden with debt and struggling finances recently. They sold a 49% stake to BandLab, a Singapore-based company, which will still retain its part of the company.
The Glitch Mob’s Justin Boreta Joins Virtual Reality Company TRIPP:
The Glitch Mob’s Justin Boreta, or as he goes by as a solo artist, Boreta, will join mood-altering Virtual Reality company TRIPP as their creative director. Together with audio-visual producer and programmer Matthew Davis, Boreta has formed Superposition, a project focused on creating and performing immersive ambient music. TRIPP is a wellness technology that is developing its products through virtual reality and Boretta is going to help using music.
“As a long time meditator, I’m honored to work with Nanea [CEO Nanea Reeves] and the rest of the team to positively affect people’s mindsets,” says Boreta. “Using audio to create meaningful, positive change in people’s lives is a large part of that plan.”
Apple Music Facing Class Action Lawsuit Over Unpaid Royalties:
Apple is facing a class action lawsuit for allegedly not paying royalties to an independent musician Bryan Eich. Eich and his lawyer, say that Apple failed to license mechanical rights for the compositions on the service. Eich is asking for $30,000 for each song that Apple Music allegedly infringed upon. This isn’t anything new for streaming services. Other services like Spotify, Rhapsody and Google Play have all been hit with similar lawsuits and in those they have argued that they can’t always identify the publishing rights holders in order to license their compositions. The lawsuit claims that Apple did not do its proper due diligence in licensing the songs, so we will see if this becomes a larger suit with more artists.
Live Nation, Bowery Presents Founder Form New NYC Promoter:
Live Nation and Michael Swier, co-owner of two iconic New York music venues, Mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom, have announced a new booking joint venture called Mercury East Presents. Both venues used to booked by Bowery Presents, which was sold off to AEG Presents, but Swier left the company and has now started this Live Nation partnership. Mercury East will book both mercury Lounge and Bowery Ballroom, in addition to Live Nation’s Irving Plaza, Gramery Theatre, Warsaw and Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk. It will also help with The Beacon Theater and Madison Square Garden, and will collaborate with Founders Entertainment, the team behind Governors Ball and The Meadows according to Billboard.
New kids on the block, Freedom for Musicians (FFM) all set to take on the big boys in 2018
With the release of their networking app for musicians and in house independent record label FFM Records, Freedom for Musicians are going to become a major player in 2018. An international cooperative of musicians that is free from exploitation, FFM are a unique organisation that has the interests of its members at the heart of everything they do. They provide a free marketing service to its members around the world as well as raising funds for music projects, supporting music related charities and creating a real sense of community for ordinary musicians worldwide. Membership is completely free and simplicity itself. To join FFM, all you do is join the Facebook group and you have access to all their services.
As 2017 and our first year helping musicians around the world comes to a close, I would like to say a massive thank you to all our members and readers. I wish you all a very prosperous and musical new year and hope that FFM can help you in your endeavours.
I’ll just say it outright — Christmas music depresses me.
I’m pretty sure it goes back to when I was 5 years old and was convinced every time I heard Judy Garland’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” on the radio that it was actually my grandma singing to me from heaven. I’m not sure why I thought this—my grandma may have looked a little like Judy Garland, but she was (and still is) very much alive. But whether it was rational or not doesn’t change the fact that to this day, that song makes me indescribably sad every holiday season.
Lately, though, I’ve come to learn I’m not the only one who gets depressed by Christmas music. A lot of those classic holiday ditties, from the religious (“Silent Night”) to the non-religious (Elvis’s “Blue Christmas”) are totally melancholic.
This can partly be explained by history: A lot of iconic Christmas music was originally written during World War II. With so many young men fighting overseas, it was inevitable that themes of longing, grief and loss would predominate. In Bing Crosby’s “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” (1943), for example, the singer croons about how badly he wants to return home in time for Christmas, but something in his voice tells us he knows he won’t be. The song is a total downer all around.
Even Christmas songs that aren’t inherently sorrowful can still make us pine for the past in a kind of sad way. The lyrics of holiday music often reflect memories and traditions with loved ones. And whether it’s the image of “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” or the wintery feeling of “Jack Frost nipping at your nose” — both references are from Nat King Cole’s iconic 1950 ditty “The Christmas Song” — we’re attached to these lyrics partly because we’re nostalgic for our own childhoods, even if our childhoods didn’t involve roasting any chestnuts over any fires, open or otherwise.
As we grow up, the magic of Christmas fades, yet Christmas music is a time-hop back those memories. Irving Berlin touches on this notion in his song “White Christmas” (1942), which is a terribly depressing number despite its outwardly pleasing name. Written in a lavish Beverly Hills hotel, Berlin sings about his poor upbringing and how he’s longing for Christmas to be snowy-white “just like the ones I used to know.”
Music of any variety, Christmas or non, is inherently emotional. “Music is unique because it sparks activity in just about every circuit in the brain,” Nina Krauss, a professor of neurobiology at Northwestern University, told me. “This supercharge of activity integrates sensory networks, cognitive networks and emotional networks.” In other words, music is a direct bridge from our senses to our innermost feelings.
The sadness of holiday music may, paradoxically, comfort us. Researchconducted by graduate students at the University of Southern California last year found that songs that deal with emotions like grief and sorrow can purge bad feelings and actually have a healing effect on our brains. We find sad music pleasurable when it’s perceived as non-threatening and when it produces psychological benefits, the study found.
“If you’re the kind of person who listens to sad music during the holidays, you’re more likely to be an empathic person,” Matthew Sachs, one of the study’s authors, told the science website Inverse shortly after the study was published last December.
For so long, I thought I was weird for having multiple playlists dedicated to “Sad Christmas Jams.” I thought there was something wrong with me for cranking the volume on “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” because of the (kind of twisted) way it made me feel connected to my grandma.
But I know now I’m not alone: The same thing has been happening to millions of other people at least as far back as World War II. So while Christmas music makes me depressed, I don’t necessarily mind it — it’s a yearly check in with myself, bridging my past with my present.
Lindsey Stirling is one of the biggest artist development breakthrough stories in recent years. An acclaimed violinist from Gilbert, Ariz., Lindsey has entered a futurist world of electronic big beats and animation, using her classical violin training to leap through the music industry with almost 10 million YouTube subscribers, over 1.9 billion views on her YouTube channel, 2 Billboard Music Awards, Billboard chart-topping hits and sold out tours worldwide. She’s created a new music world where modern classical meets the infectious energy of dance and electronica. On stage, Stirling moves with the grace of a ballerina but works the crowd into a frenzy, “dropping the beat” like a rave fairy.
Lindsey’s most recent and critically acclaimed third studio album Brave Enough, debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Top 200 Album Chart and went on to score the #1 spot on Billboard’s year-end Top Dance/Electronic Album list, placing ahead of dance music heavyweights Chainsmokers, Flume and Kygo. The album also had the highest selling week for an album title on the ranking chart and Lindsey herself placed at #6 on the Billboard Top Dance/Electronic Artist year-end list. Collaborations on the album include ZZ Ward, Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness, Rivers Cuomo and Christina Perri to name a few, and earned Stirling a 2017 Billboard Music Award for “Top Dance/Electronic Album”. The album’s current single “Love’s Just A Feeling” featuring up and coming songstress Rooty, recently made its powerful debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and has begun to pick up traction at radio across the US.
Lindsey’s professional journey began in September of 2012, with the release of her self-titled debut album. Featuring her smash hit “Crystallize,” which has racked up over 177 million YouTube views, the album reached #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Chart and Classical Album Chart, earned her a 2014 Billboard Music Award nomination for “Top Dance/Electronic Album,” and was certified Gold by the RIAA. The album reached #1 on Billboard’s Dance/Electronic Chart and Classical Album Chart and peaked at #23 on the Billboard Top 200.
In 2014, Lindsey released her sophomore album Shatter Me which debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart and has sold over a quarter million copies in the US. It was #2 on the Billboard Year End Dance Electronic Album Chart, #1 on the iTunes Album Chart, spent an impressive 21 weeks straight at the #1 spot on the Billboard Classical Album Chart, and was recently certified Gold by the RIAA. The album includes a collaboration with Halestorm lead singer Lzzy Hale on her smash single “Shatter Me,” which has over 72 million views on YouTube and took home the 2015 Billboard Music Award for “Top Dance/Electronic Album” of which Avicii, Disclosure, Calvin Harris and Skrillex were also nominated.
In 2016, Lindsey released her first book with Simon& Schuster, a memoir called “The Only Pirate at the Party” which she co-wrote with her sister, Brook S. Passey. Released in January of 2016, the book debuted on the New York Times’ best-seller list and shares stories of Lindsey’s humble yet charmed childhood, humorous adolescence, life as a struggling musician, personal struggles with anorexia, and finally, success as a world-class entertainer.
Lindsey’s critically praised concerts have sold out theaters and arenas across the globe, spanning a wide range of continents including the U.S., Europe and South America. Recently Stirling has played to packed crowds at venues such as Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, Chicago Theater, New York’s Central Park Summerstage and the Greek Theater in Los Angeles and to date, Lindsey’s tours have sold over 500,000 headline tickets worldwide.
Next up, Lindsey will lend her likeness to a new comic book series called Sparrow, for which Lindsey teamed up with artist/writer Darick Robertson and co-writer R. Eric Lieb and a 2017 Christmas album is set to be released via Concord Records later this Fall.
Stirling is the model of a modern independent recording artist, with a symbiotic relationship with her fans. A motivational speaker in her spare time, Stirling uses her own story to show teenagers that you’ve got to have confidence in the very thing that makes you unique – then wait for the world to catch up.