One of the most enduring and endearing music communities on the Internet has to be ccMixter, a site dedicated to musical collaboration between all kinds of music makers: from singer / songwriters to DJs, from blues guitarists to EDM producers, from highly trained classical composers to self taught ukulele players, from poets to beat-makers. The community includes individuals from every conceivable walk of life and age group from around the world, celebrating the ability of music to connect with everyone of their uploads, from individual vocal tracks and instrumental loops to finished remixes.
While there are quite a few websites dedicated to musical collaboration, ccMixter has endured against some pretty well funded “competition” arguably because it’s open source music, using only Creative Commons licensing, allowing people to re-use musical materials for non-commercial purposes (some licenses even allow commercial exploitation), as long as credit to the musical creator(s) is given.
And it’s worth mentioning: At ccMixter participants are very nice to each other. Musical beginners are not only tolerated, but warmly encouraged. Top notch professionals are admired and cheered on.
Music from ccMixter has become very popular to be used in video soundtracks on YouTube and other video sites.
ccMixter had originally been founded by the Creative Commons non profit organization, who also funded it’s operation for the first 5 years. Since 2009 ccMixter has been held together entirely on a volunteer basis under the leadership of ArtisTech Media, a small privately held company in California.
And now the volunteer site admins have just put together a lovely video in support of a ccMixter fundraising drive to keep the site going:
For fans of ccMixter this holiday season brings a unique musical treat with the release of a holiday themed 2 album set “Season of Gratitude” featuring music makers from around the world, who are participating in this venerable creative commons licensed remixing community.
If you’re not familiar with ccMixter, there’s a bit more info about the album here.
It also a represents a chance to deposit a little something into something akin to a virtual tip jar for the community, by purchasing one or both sides of the album via iTunes, the Amazon music store or via the “Green Room” at tunetrack.net.
ccMixter – Season of Gratitude A on iTunes
ccMixter – Season of Gratitude B on iTunes
ccMixter – Season of Gratitude A at Amazon mp3 store
Or for downloading both albums and some additional goodies, you can join the “Green Room” at ArtisTech’s tune track site:
If you prefer your music the old-skool way on physical media, you can get yourself CDs by joining the ccMixter “Blue Room”:
ccMixter “Blue Room” at tunetrack.net
Big news from the world of open music: ccMixter.org is has changed hands from the Creative Commons to ArtisTech Media.
Victor Stone, ccMixter’s heart and soul is endorsing this evolution wholeheartedly.
While change is always accompanied by uncertainty, I’m personally quite pumped about this particluar one.
However, let me start out by saying that there aren’t enough words to describe how grateful I feel about the contribution of Victor Stone – one of the understated and under-famed giants of open music. As regular readers of this blog know, ccMixter has been the at the core of my musical life for a bit over 2 years now. This site continues to be one of the most amazing places for music makers to mingle and make noise together. While every member of the community deserves varying amounts of credit for that, there’s one person who deserves a very largely disproportionate share of credit: Victor Stone. He has not only diligently and innovatively continued to work on the technical infrastructure of the site, but above all, he has set and enforced a tone of mutual acceptance, respect and even caring for each other, which reverberates throughout ccMixter and is extremely hard to find in any larger community on today’s web.
So while it remains to be seen how much and which way Victor remains involved (I hope it will be a lot!), this is a good a time as any to say THANK YOU, VICTOR!
Looking forward, I’m am very excited about the new management being led by Emily Richards (at ccMixter she’s known under the handle of Snowflake). She is amongst that very rare of combinations of being a great musician and an accomplished business person. She has shown in words and in deeds her passion for developing radically different business models based less on exclusion and greed and more on openness and sharing. It’s always been really hard for artists to make a living from their art and maybe that’s even more so the case today.
So I wholeheartedly cheer Emily, Alex, Jason, Derek, Kirsten, Dale and the whole current and future team at ArtisTech Media on while they try to figure out artistic and economic models that aren’t evil or stupid. While they figure out how to evolve free and commercial side by side and mutually benefiting from each other. There will be bumps on the road. That’s ok. Good and open minds combined with good and open hearts can overcome a lot of issues and build something special.
May ccMixter’s next 5 years be even greater than the first 5!