DIY with Kaiser Chiefs

Clever, smart, attention-grabbing. So goes last Friday's unexpected release of the new album from Brit indie pop group Kaiser Chiefs.

Taking a page from the likes of NikeiD, Converse and Timbuk2, The Future is Medieval was issued on the Kaiser Chiefs' own web site, and it's customizable--there are 20 songs to choose from, select your 10 favorites in an order of your making, create your own cover art, download for £7.50. After you download, a page is created for your album, and you can share it. If others buy it, you get to keep £1.00. They're calling it a bespoke album.

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Unorthodox Performances

Earlier this week I had the fortune of having a conversation with Paul Haas. Paul is the Founder and Artistic Director of musical ensemble Sympho.

Sympho is grounded in a very specific vision for what classical music can be in the 21st Century: collaborative, engaging and mobile. Others innovating in the world of classical music are doing so by inviting new technologies and partners into the traditional concert hall venue. Sympho—which is described on its website as a concert production company--is getting up out of the concert hall, stepping into and being informed by unusual and unorthodox performance spaces.

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Awaken Possibility

Last fall I came across a two year old TED talk from Boston Philharmonic conductor Benjamin Zander, entitled "On Music and Passion". I'd heard good things about The Art of Possibility, the book Zander wrote some time ago with his wife, Rosamund. Passion and possibility are favorite subjects of mine, so I watched.

I grew up in a house full of music. Classical was one element of a repertoire that included pop, jazz, blues, broadway, bluegrass, folk, choral, and opera. As a result, my musical tastes run the gamut. Still, while I enjoy classical, these days I listen to it rarely, go to see it performed even less frequently than that.

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