NOW FEATURING: MY BLOGSITE!

In case you missed it, I have recently (June 2017) started a new blogsite to write my thoughts about music in relation to #iamablackhero.

It´s written in Spanish but translations are available in the sidebar.

From my point of view to your brain, the project keeps growing!

http://iamablackhero.wordpress.com

An inspirational video for music professors and students

TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is non-profit media organization founded in early 1984 to post talks online for free distribution. Their slogan is “ideas worth spreading” and although its emphasis in the beginning was technology and design consistent with its Silicon Valley origins, along these years it has opened the focus to include cultural, scientific and academic topics among others. And yes, music is one of the topics of the TED talks. As they say in this TED´s Lessons Series Clubs, “Music is a powerful communication tool–it causes us to laugh, cry, think and question. Bassist and five-time Grammy winner, Victor Wooten, asks us to approach music the same way we learn verbal language–by embracing mistakes and playing as often as possible”

Hear the words and ideas of Victor Wooten as an educator in this inspirational video for music professors:

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Humans vs. Robots. A music battle?

When thinking about the greatest electric guitarists of all time names like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page or Eddie Van Halen come to mind. Ten fingers, one guitar, and all the amplification that our ears can get along with are the basic tools to create the unique universe that these modern composers create alone or with their bands. Beyond technique, it´s the passion that they wrap around their sound what makes them different and what touches everyone´s soul from the very first note. It´s humanity transformed into music. It has always been.

Three years ago, a competition of robot bands – The Japanese Z-Machines and the German Compressorhead – began performing in front of live audiences. We can still found human compositions behind these playing-music machines and if you take a look into the sunglasses, long hair or cowboy boots that makes the machines a little less scary, perhaps you can imagine that there are real musicians behind all the steel, the cables, the screws. Perhaps.

But progress sometimes evolves into something that can be considered quite strange. Imagine a scenario where a robot can create music, where artificial intelligence is designed to contemplate all the scales, progressions and rhythms of harmony into something that could be considered as the music of the future. Music that has not been developed or imagined by a human being. Where are we going?

5 months of #iamablackhero: perspective

This project about the state of the art in music was born early in 2016, and it´s been 5 amazing months of interviews, great talks and many working hours trying to contribute to the perspective of where is music at present, discussing about it´s evolution and imaging where is it going.

Many musicians and related professionals have participated in this movement as you can see in the promotional video that I´ve done, and soon new interviews will be published in my youtube channel! So stay tuned!

Indeed, 7 handwritten notebooks have traveled to the New York City subway and the same number will be released soon in Madrid and other cities, trying to explore everyone´s feelings about music but... how can they evolve?

While I prepare some new stuff for this website & project, please take a moment (around 1.5min) to see the promotional video, and if you want to see some of the interviews remember that you can find them in www.iamablackhero.com/interviews.

Love, Miriam.

 

 

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The evolution of musical taste

Take a look to this amazing publicatin from Polygraph, a project that incites “cooler discussion about complex topics” in their own words. Indeed, they “avoid long-winded essays at all costs, using code, visuals, and animation to construct a different sort of story, one that’s often reader-driven, embeddable, and open-source”

This is the case of their work in “How music evolved, the Billboard Top 100 songs from 1958 to 2016”. More than 22,000 songs that can briefly explain the evolution of musical taste, and that gives arguments of the creativity and complexity of this contemporary age instead of the phrase “I still remember when music was still good”. Because it´s still THAT good.

http://polygraph.cool/history/

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Everyone intoxicated by jazz should be sent to an insane asylum?

louis armstrong

The answer is NO! of course not! Jazz is so great! The above title is related to one of the most unbelievable attacks to music, the “Jazz intoxication measure”, at a time when drugs and jazz music were considered almost the same. In 1933 in the US, William A.Allen submitted a bill to the Washington State legislature calling for the creation of a commission to monitor the damage done to society by jazz. Indeed, he proposed that “All persons convicted of being jazzily intoxicated shall go before the Superior Court and be sent to an insane asylum”. Sad, but true.

Maybe this and many similar reports along human history are the roots for the formation of “Freemuse”, a global independent organization to “advocate and defend freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide”. I mean, it is known that sometimes (somehow) some musicians are censored or criticized because of their art, lyrics or content. We all remember the case of the Russian punk rock protest group, Pussy Riot, one of the most extreme examples of censorship known by the audience. But beside the censorship associated to a concrete country, for example China, Nigeria or Iran, where human rights are compromised in every way and not only in music expression, I never thought that we could need an international organization like Freemuse to defend music as a human right. But here they are. And it leaves me breathless.

Censorship is always there. Not only by the laws of the countries, but also by the millions of anonymous citizens who ban some opinions not in line with their thoughts. By those who insult those ways of expression that they don´t understand. By many people who say “This is not music”. We should stop for a second to remember that great composers like Verdi, Stravinski or Wagner have been respectively banned in Europe, Boston or Israel. Paul McCartney was banned by the BBC and blacklisted by Russians MP´s in 2003. Many videos of Madonna have been prohibited in several countries because of their “explicit” content. Nowadays, for example, musical instruments are not allowed in Iranian TV. And all over the globe, many musicians are being censored, prohibited, and criticized.

Here, you can find a timeline of some music censorship mainly in America. Just to have a look.

Freemuse defend music as a human right. They say: “Like all other human beings, every individual musician is protected by a number of human rights. He or she has the right to freedom of association, freedom of religion, to family and private life, to food, housing and education, etc. — all according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.All human rights are as important for musicians as they are for everyone else. However, two of these rights are of special relevance for musicians: the freedom of expression and the right to participate in cultural life. Together, these two offer a special protection of musicians against arbitrary censorship and persecution.”

Great project.

#iamablackhero in New York City

Today, 7 beauties like this are travelling to New York City! The destination of these notebooks is the  NYC subway, where everyone can read the lines that I´ve written, and contribute to this project with their words. #iamablackhero expands! I just hope that at least one notebook will return to me (please please please).

Good luck, beauties! enjoy your stay! and find friends there!

See you soon.

Miriam.

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#myself

Hello everyone! I think it´s time for presentations 🙂

retrato blackhero-pola02My name is Miriam Blackbird, and the woman in the photograph is me. I´m blonde, 34 years old, and I live in Madrid (Spain). As you can see, I´m really enthusiastic about everything related to music. In the photograph, I´m showing some of the new stuff that I´m preparing for the website, hoping that my face can bring you some confidence to leave a comment about what music makes you feel. I know it´s hard to put down your thinking, to sum up years of memories and feelings about music in just some lines, but if you do this effort you will contribute to this innovating, amazing and exciting project called #iamablackhero, that we are building together.

I´m trying my best to make the difference with this project, I promise. It´s gonna be sooooo great!

Some news soon!

Love,

Miriam.

 

We can be heroes, by David Bowie

1977, Berlin. David Bowie, who has moved to the german city to escape from fame and drugs, shares a flat with Iggy Pop and is working on three albums. Since inspiration comes from anything and anywhere, one fine afternoon of july, Bowie looks outside the window from the Hansa Studios. He notices something outside, near the Berlin War. There is a couple kissing, and some fragments start to take shape in his mind, related to a basic track in which he had been working in with Brian Eno some weeks before. It was just five or six chords, since at that time Bowie and Eno were using “creative dilemmas”, consisting in the building of layered tracks using aphorisms to encourage lateral thinking, that would later inspire melody and lyrics.

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