"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Sounds
September 2, 2006

Free Derek Webb

FreeDerekWeb.com is open for business. Christian musician Derek Webb (formerly of Caedmon’s Call) is making his new album, Mockingbird, available free for download. As Derek puts it, “one of the things that excites me most about the future of our business is how easy it is becoming to deliver music to people who want to […]

FreeDerekWeb.com is open for business. Christian musician Derek Webb (formerly of Caedmon’s Call) is making his new album, Mockingbird, available free for download. As Derek puts it,

“one of the things that excites me most about the future of our business is how easy it is becoming to deliver music to people who want to hear it. i heard a story once about keith green caring so much that people were able to hear and engage with his music that he gave it away for free, which was a very difficult and expensive thing to do at that time. it’s actually never been as simple as it is today to connect music with music fans. and i want people to have a chance to listen to mockingbird and engage in the conversation.

so this is why, on september 1st, we’re launching freederekwebb.com, a place where anyone can go online and not just hear but actually download, keep, and share ‘mockingbird’ completely for free. In addition, freederekwebb.com will give you an opportunity to invite your friends to download ‘mockingbird’ in order to get them in on the conversation as well.

we hope this bold campaign will provide a jumping off point for conversations about all of these issues, and communicate my commitment to playing my part in starting them. so please help us spread the word: on september 1st, ‘mockingbird’ will be set free!”

Honestly, I doubt I would ever have heard this music if it were not available for download. My aversion to Christian pop turns me away from most new releases. But, I think there is a little treasure to enjoy and reflect on here. Download it yourself and see.

[tags] Derek Webb [/tags]

Responses
Rodd Jefferson 16 years ago

Fernando,
I went to start a thread of my own on this one, and decided I wasn’t doing anything other than what you’ve started.

This post bothers me a little – I applaud Derek’s approach to getting the music out there, but what about those artists, especially Christian worship writers, who seek to support some of their income from royalty payments and the like? Is this giveaway notion an emerging trend or a one off?

The other thing I wonder is how much of an indication this giveaway is to Christian music in general? I’m the same as you, Christian music frustrates me more often than it encourages me. Every now and then there are some really great artists who have not sought to imitate the Christian music culture, but are we giving music away because that’s the only way to get it out there?

PS: I’ve directed viewers from my site to this blog for further comments.

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Rodd – really, really good questions!

I think there are two quite brutal questions musicians need to ask themselves. First, how much are we ever, really, going to make from royalties and in particular, from music sales? Second, what role does the music play in our greater mission, in our bigger goals? Let me give you two personal examples.

For a while now I’ve been working on a solo jazz project. The market for obscure jazz is so tiny, even if the project did well as a CD, it would struggle to cover costs. However, that CD is really nothing more than a business card. My real goal with the CD is as a way to get gigs, maybe score some arranging or film work, that’s it. As soon as you look at the cost of a CD as a marketing cost to be recovered by future work, not a product cost to be recuperated in sales, it all looks quite different.

On another front, I keep toying with idea of blocking some time to try my hand again at writing worship music. In my current situation, the chance is any worship CD I made, would sell something close to nothing. Moreover, generating conventional CD sales would involve supporting a Christian marketing model I don’t like. Giving away the music, would increase the chances of getting it heard and increase the reach. That matters if my real goal is not CD sales, but getting the music into the hands of more worship leaders. Moreover, if the greater goal is changing the conversation about how we do worship – well I hope you get the picture.

I’ve got a few posts on worship coming up this week and I hope you find those helpful.

Mark Wilson 16 years ago

Pls keep us informed about the response. Can you expand on your goals for this giveaway, do you want to reach more non-chrisitian people or are you exploring a new business model? I look forward to reading your upcoming posts on worship.

Bless you,
Mark.

Rodd Jefferson 16 years ago

Fernando,

It seems we have plenty in common. I studied Jazz at Sydney conservatorium and enjoyed a wonderful life as a professional musician before I grew old and settled down. :-).

Have you any of your jazz available for a listen online?

And maybe on the worship music front, which is something I’m most passionate about, we could share a few ideas. I love having people to help me to my best in this regard, so here’s hoping.

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Mark, if you check out the link to Derek Webb, you can see his reasons for the free download. I would make any future worship songs available for free download simply because it is the quickest way to get them into the hands of other worship leaders. Unless you have a big ministry behind you it is pretty hard to get songs out there. Hope that makes sense, but stay tuned here for more discussions and examples.

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Hey Rodd, I was always too chicken to go to the Con. I have a small amount of clips on this blog, if you follow the music link above, but I really need to update that, it’s not a wide selection.

We need to keep the bloglines open so to speak on worship, it’s too easy to let other topics that maybe scream louder, get in the way. FWIW, I am probably going to start down a path of doing some Berklee songwriting courses soon.

Certainly I’d be happy to share ideas about writing and I’d love to hear what you have in mind.

FWIW, one thing that can work well with blogs is when people set up blog rings, where a set of bloggers post on the same day, or in turns on a topic. E.g., you/we could create a list of willing bloggers to post over a fortnight on the process of writing, maybe giving some examples.

Another idea might be to create a group of musicial bloggers committed to each writing one Advent/Christmas song. We can then blog through the process of writing and recording, then hopefully come December at least one of the songs (and with God’s grace more), would be decent and worth it.

What do you think?

Bill Power 16 years ago

You might want to check out my new online show which features interview with Derek.

The Urban Achiever Show with Bill Power – Episode 1 – Religion & Politics

Peace,
Bill

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