Taylor Swift opens $4 million Country Music Hall of Fame youth education center
But he is not so sure about some of the services slated to come to market early next year. Merlin, a UK-based organization that represents the global digital rights of indie labels from more than 35 countries, is currently talking to Beats Music, Samsung and others about licensing its repertoire to their subscription services. However, Caldas told me that he may not be able to reach a deal with every new service. There is a possibility that we will have to say no, he said. Subscribe to gigaom.com The dispute turns on much the new services are going to pay independent labels and thats something that largely depends on the deals music services strike with the majors. Caldas alleged during our conversation that major labels artificially inflate their digital market share by equating it with what they sell in the physical world. Thats a misguided analogy, he argued, because shelf space at major retailers is limited, and dominated by major label releases. On music subscription services, those problems dont exist, because shelf space is virtually unlimited. Its like a megastore of a 1000 doors, Caldas said. Because of that, independent music does far better on Spotify than at Target. However, Caldas alleged that major labels try to obfuscate this reality, demanding that new services pay them huge minimum guarantees advances on royalties that have to be spent regardless of whether the music is actually consumed, or whether the service is even able to go to market. These demands are based on their physical goods market share, in turn not leaving enough money on the table for independent artists, he alleged. Majors wouldnt just harm independent labels with those tactics, but subscription music in general, because the result would be inferior services, set up to frustrate consumers and eventually fail. Thats not what Merlin has in mind, Caldas told me: We want them to get it right.
It might as well be Taylor Swift weekend in Music City. The pop star opened her $4 million Taylor Swift Education Center at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum on Saturday morning, and will accept her record sixth songwriter-artist of the year award from Nashville Songwriters Association International on Sunday. Swift cut the ribbon on the new education center she donated to the museum as part of its expansion campaign and showed reporters and area high school students the new classroom and exhibit space before the museum opened. “I’m really excited about this music education center and the fact that right now they have three different classes going on today,” Swift said in an interview after the ceremony. “It’s really exciting that we can be here on a day when they’re not only unveiling it, but they’re starting to actively use it today.” The center will have classroom space, a hands-on instrument room and ongoing education opportunities. Museum officials say the new center will increase educational opportunities sevenfold going forward. And who knows? Maybe users will find the 23-year-old Swift hanging around some day. “We’ve been talking about different programs I can be involved in,” Swift said. “I hate to call it a lecture because that sounds like I’m yelling at people, but we could do a Q&A talking to students here and a songwriters discussion would be really fun to have at some point.” ___
“It was one of those bright spots in your day when you knew she was coming in to see you.” Ma said she got to know Ms. Liu when she first participated in one of the annual music competitions held by the Chinese Fine Arts Society. She won several times as a solo pianist and also as a member of a chamber ensemble, Ma said. “She was just an amazing little pianist, so talented,” she said, As she got older, Ms. Liu started volunteering at the society, and interned there the last couple of summers. She eventually became the coordinator of the society’s Music Festival in Honor of Confucius. Ms. Liu also performed several times on WFMT, the primary classical music station in Chicago, which rebroadcast several of her recordings on Friday, Ma said. Whenever the society took its young performers to area nursing homes or libraries, Ms. Liu was always willing to play or accompany other musicians, Ma said. She was “such a well-rounded musician,” she said. Ms. Liu was the pride and joy of her parents, who immigrated to the United States from China, Ma said. “This perfect little kid so good, a great musician, the nicest kid ever, and beautiful.