21 days to go...

shopping-cart-hiHappy NZ Music Month! A week has gone already and that means my music month project is well underway. Here is an overview of the first things I have considered... WHAT AM I GOING TO USE The biggest decision, which could make or break this project is what software I am going to use. There are three options:

  • Manual - things could just be listed on the website with purchase details and if someone wants to buy it they will notify me and we will organise payment and distribution. That's far too much work - not a good option.
  • Shopify - is an appealing option, I can still host it on my site if I wish, can have automatic PDF downloads, automatic payments, manage on my iPhone and more, much more - it's a great service! But, it's so expensive. US$348 a year for the most basic option - I'd prefer to keep that money in my pocket.
  • Shopp - this is a platform that you install on your Wordpress site and you can do everything you can do on Shopify (basically!) and all for just a single license of US$55. There will be a bit more work on the backend, compared to Shopify, but it still makes it the absolute best option for me.

WHAT PIECES AM I GOING TO LIST I've decided on the following list of pieces to start with. Generally my most popular pieces and a nice whole number of ten. A mix of orchestral, choral, chamber and solo pieces:

  • bubble (wind orchestra)
  • blimp (orchestra)
  • Wild Daisies (choir)
  • Dancing Lilies (choir)
  • Dancing Thistles (strings)
  • In Their Light (string quartet)
  • as pen meets paper (viola)
  • This Day (piano)
  • Picture for Emily (piano)
  • A Holiday Thought (piano)

Very soon after, my microscores will follow, but this is a good place to start.

NEXT STEP In the next post I will look at:

  • What to think about as a publisher.
  • Editing the listed pieces.

A project for NZ Music Month...

In 2011 I celebrated NZ Music Month in style by writing 31 microscores in 31 days. It was a huge success, they all got recorded, are hugely popular and I use them almost weekly when talking to students about composition and instrumentation. In 2012, while I was involved in many Music Month events, I didn't have a music composition project and I was pretty disappointed about it.

So in 2013, it's back!

NZ-Music-Month1

What I like about this project is that usually all of my time is spent on other people's music - an absolute joy and honour - but it means I never get any time for my own composition. So NZ Music Month is a great annual opportunity to make sure that I work on my own music and have something worthwhile to show at the end of it.

I have debated for some time exactly what I would do this year - more daily microscores, weekly ensemble pieces, fortnightly larger pieces - or perhaps something slightly different.

I'll go for something slightly different.

For a long time, years in fact, I have wanted an online store to sell my own music - easily and automatically. Aside from works for professionals, I have a lot for students, community and school ensembles - and there is a great market for this. Sure, people can already buy it - through SOUNZ and by emailing me - but that doesn't quite cut it. People should be able to search on the internet, find a piece, discover and experience it, buy it, download it, play it. And I don't want to just export or print a version from the latest Sibelius file, I want to have properly published music - finalised, stylised, done, dusted, complete.

Initially, I thought I would finish a collection of piano music to sell - editing the current four pieces I had and writing four new ones - but I decided that I was still avoiding the most important step of all - to get this online store of music up and running and full of the music that I already have. So, now it's going to happen.

By May 31, my birthday and the final day of NZ Music Month, people from all around the world will be able to buy my published music easily and automatically from this site.

Here are the main things I will need to consider:

  1. What to publish
  2. Editing and publishing
  3. Selling method, charges, etc
  4. Cataloging
  5. Promotion and launch

It's going to be a big month - I've got an Auckland Philharmonia premiere, Auckland Symphony rehearsals, the 48 Hour Film festival, 10 days in Australia, a trip to Hawke's Bay, plenty of music prep, arranging and teaching commitments, and my 30th birthday!

It'll be a big month, but I'm really excited and I look forward to writing several posts along the way - addressing the points above and no doubt discussing the setbacks and triumphs. Stay tuned.