With My Head in the SoundCloud

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SoundCloud, which turns 5 years old today, at first glance would seem to be a sort of audio-only version of YouTube – a place where people upload music and other audio files to the internet.  But in the two years or so I’ve been using it, I’ve discovered that it’s as different from YouTube as a library is from a video arcade. Almost all the people I interact with on it  are creatively engaged. They’re musicians, composers, sound designers, singers and songwriters. Some are relative beginners, others are experienced and accomplished. Anyone can post a “sound” on SoundCloud – a song, a piece of avant-garde electronica, a sound effect, a radio broadcast, your baby’s first words – anything that can be contained in a digital audio file.  I culled the following lists from a longer article about SoundCloud that I posted at storypassage.com:

Three ways in which SoundCloud is not an audio version YouTube

  1. It’s a community.
  2. The comments are generally free of sexism, racism, homophobia and misogyny.
  3. No kittens.

Ten amazing musicians you’ve probably never heard of before:

  1. Tom Adams [virtuoso Chicago-style blues guitar]
  2. Barbara Browning [She covers all manner of songs, from bossa nova  and samba to blues and cabaret, with infectious vocals and witty ukelele accompaniment]
  3. Phillipe Craste  [Experimental electronic music and sampling, from France,  that I find very beautiful]
  4. Dwayne-Xtr3me [Jamaica]
  5. Laurent Guine  [Piano improviasations]
  6. Laura Montenegro [sings like Bessie Smith. From Buenos Aries]
  7. The Monstieurs  [Unique and unlikely covers of great songs]
  8. Chris Okunbor [Slide guitar and traditional blues from Australia]
  9. Walt & Vervain [Electronic songs with understated vocals]
  10. Wazir Gray [Spoken word, sampling]

Four things members have said about SoundCloud

  1. “SoundCloud has replaced my old 4track.”
    – Robin Thomas Martin, Singer-Songwriter, London, UK
  2. “For me SoundCloud was a life saver when I came upon it several years ago. It opened up a whole new thing for me, and I have been quite (happily) surprised by the responses I have got from others (all unsolicited).”
    Phutz, Singer, Songwriter, Sound Artist, Western Massachusetts
  3. I’ve found SC has been a way of getting a little of the same joy I get from gigging back into my life without the live nerves”
    Idris Davies, Singer-Songwriter, London, UK
  4. If you believe in craft, and I strongly do, than a community like SoundCloud is inspiring. However, a lot of musicians do like I did at first: automatically post their tracks from CD Baby (you can just click a button), see zero comments / interaction, and let it lie fallow.”
    Alexa Weber Morales, singer-songwriter, Oakland, California

Corey’s own SoundCloud tracks

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About the author

Corey Fischer

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Corey Fischer is a writer, theatre-maker and musician from the San Francisco Bay Area, He was a cofounder of Traveling Jewish Theatre, with whom he worked from 1978 until its closing in 2012. His music can be found at https://soundcloud.com/corey-fischer and his writing at http://storypassage.com

  • http://www.ludwigmanhattan.com Mike McKoy

    Hi Corey! Ludwig has landed… so I’m dropping by to send a friendly ‘hi’ and a wave across the pond. Great article; I’ve signed up to Disqus and look forward to learning more. Peace. Mike