Nobody here: Jamendo and open music culture


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I sign my songs "Nobody here." I thought about it from the first moment when I started to make music, about 16 years ago. I always tried to be different, especially when I was young. My music was also different than what everyone else was listening to at the time and I felt I had to choose a different name. It is probably a bit strange, and an uncommon name for an artist, but somehow I think it goes well with my style.  In time it started to mean something since I knocked on many doors, trying to produce an album with my music. I was refused for being "uncommercial."

When I was trying to get some of my music produced, it wasn’t probably a very good time to do so. The music industry in my country wasn’t very advanced and the recording companies were few in number and small in size. I also didn’t have very high-quality hardware—when I started my first job, I would have enough money to purchase decent music-producing hardware, but that was much later. (By high quality, I mean a hi-fi sound card and most of all a MIDI keyboard.) So at the time the quality of my demos was pretty poor. However, the music-industry guys who listened to my music generally said that it sounded good, but it won’t sell because the style is not very commercial. Probably it wasn’t--I guess it isn’t even today. I can’t argue with that.

The only successful contact with a music production company was with an audio-books producer who needed some soundtracks for their audio books. I had to write some music for them, it was fun, and I think the result was pretty good.


This made me realize that real happiness for me wasn't to earn money from the music I made, but simply to have my music is listened to and sometimes even liked. I was very happy when one of my songs was used at the end of a local TV news show, and when it was used as a soundtrack for the audio books. It really means a lot for me to know that people can hear my music.

With that in mind I found Jamendo, the perfect place to freely share my music with everyone. Jamendo is a site where any artist can post his music and share it for free with anyone else. Listeners can play the music for free, they can review it, and became fans of the artist. The number of users is impressive and the possibility that someone will like your music are pretty high.

I started to share some of my songs—and even got a few reviews. Feedback is absolutely wonderful for me. An impressive number of people (thousands at this moment) were listening to my music. Most of the reviews were positive, which feels great.

And, best of all, I was contacted by someone from the other side of the earth who wanted to use one of my songs in a cancer fund video. Having my work used for such a noble purpose really makes me extremely happy and proud. I hope that maybe in the future more of these collaborations will happen.

Over the last 16 years, I've written, performed, and recorded between 150-200 songs, grouped into about 12 albums. I've worked on hundreds and hundreds of song bits--small ideas, musical parts that didn’t quite end up a finished song. My most productive period was when I was in high school and college, when I had more free time. I don't get to make as much music since I started working, but I like to think that I've improved the quality of my music over time, and that what I write and record now is better, though there might be less of it.

Every time I start creating a new song I try to make it completely different from the things I've done before. Maybe that’s why my music goes from easy listening to electronic, from rock to symphonic and so on. I've tried a little bit from many styles. In the beginning, all my music was computer-generated and I think it is easy to tell that. Maybe this is why in the beginning many people were saying that my music sounded like Jean-Michel Jarre.

Of course, I wouldn’t compare myself with the master of electronic music, but it is possible he had some influence on me since I listened to all of his songs. I am a huge fan of Genesis as well. The bands and groups like those influence me to always try new things, different kind of songs, different rhythms, different styles.

There are a lot of excellent artists on Jamendo, unfortunately I can’t recommend any because I never have enough time to listen. However I can recommend a computer-music artist who I am a big fan of, and listened to especially when I was getting started with my music. You can’t find him on jamendo, but you can find him at modarchive.org .

You can also listen to my music. I have an album out called Ten years later , which is a combination of old songs and new songs, kind of a "best of" 1996-2006. I highly recommend taking a listen if you want to see what kind of music I make. I hope you enjoy it.

 

About the author

In “real life,” I am a software programmer.

In my mind I still have a small dream that some day I could create music and earn enough money from it to be able to support myself. But I’m also aware that the chances of success are small, even at this moment when my music is free and open all over the internet.

I would like to thank Mike Esser for the opportunity he gave me to make my music heard by using it as a soundtrack for the a video they were producing and for the chance to write this article and let people know more about me and my music.

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4 Comments

Unidentified's picture

Listened to some of your stuff on Jamendo. In my opinion you should expound on what you've got, create a website, figure a way to do it live and go for it. What have you got to lose?

nobodyhere's picture

I have nothing to lose but it requires both time and money which is a luxury that I don't have a this point. Anyway I'm not sad about this, I'm happy that somehow my music can reach the people.

Unidentified's picture

As I type this comment. What I've listened to so far sounds very good. Easy listening and just plain enjoyable. I bet your story is similar for many artist/musician/writers. Very few make it big, yet many produce great pieces. I'm always amazed at how much creativity is out there, has always been out there, that I would have never known about had it not been for the internet. And if you do derive happiness from others listening to and enjoying your music, then please add me as one more who likes your music. Thank you for choosing to share your work via Creative Commons licensing.

nobodyhere's picture

Thank you very much for your kind thoughts.