itsumiomoyashi asked: May I make a request? >.< Can you do jonathan coulton's song RE: your brains? Much appreciated Thank you! :) Love your work btw~. I 'm a musician myself. ^^
OK so here’s the crazy truth about JoCo RE: Your Brains - it’s one of my favorites, right next to “You Ruined Everything”.
Anyway, I arranged ‘Nemeses’ last year, which was his A side single on his new album. However, it barely sold.
By barely sold, I mean that I made about $11 off it so far.
So I spent 70 hours on the arrangement, and made 11 dollars. That’s 30 cents an hour. Like, it’s great when people share my music and the support is awesome. But when they say they want me to arrange a song, it doesn’t guarantee they’ll buy it. And if I get 4 consecutive weeks making $10, then I’m out of business overnight.
So that’s why I quit this idea 3 times, it was because no one was buying some releases even when everyone voted and demanded me to do something. So I’m very careful about the songs I choose. And I can’t sell sheet music because it’s a licensing issue.
No pity. No guilt trip. But I’m cautious about songs now. My Kickstarter failed, everyone is on Spotify, and I’m worrying about making 45 cents per song so I can save enough money to buy a faster laptop and print up t-shirts (again not sure if anyone would actually buy them haha).
The reason I haven’t released a song these past few weeks is because my computer can’t keep up with my arrangements now. So I have to wait until iTunes pays (45 days) so I can buy a new one. You may be saying “just put it on your credit card!”. No way - I used to be $15,000 in debt and was laid off 3 times. Being poor sucks, but being in debt is even worse. So I’m not going that route again. Ever.
Anyway, I’m rambling, it’s 3am and I’m tired :P You’re a musician? Please don’t say piano, because then I’ll be incredibly jealous (slowly learning).
I also spend most of my time answering every email when I should actually just be writing more music for everyone. And if you want to know why I do that, then this will answer that question.
From Experience: Jonathan Coulton Vs Glee
As you know, I write cover songs and have had my music stolen and used commercially almost in the same matter as JoCo (though nowhere near as large in scale as Fox’s Glee). So I’ll try to explain how this insane-ness is legal. Also, I’m not a lawyer, just an independent musician like JoCo (and a huge fan since 2006)
Here’s my 2 cents on what I think happened:
When I arrange a song, I don’t own in. At all. By copyright rule, my arrangements (or anyone’s arrangements) are owned by the original artist. That’s right. It’s my understanding that if you write a cover song on guitar, orchestra, banjo, anything - then the original songwriter/publisher (by default copyright law) owns your arrangement in full.
So I’m led to believe that Fox loved JoCo’s cover version, then reached out to Sir Mix A Lot’s publishers and licensed the song from them since they own JoCo’s arrangement of ‘Baby Got Back’. Jonathan Coulton doesn’t have to even be notified.
However, if JoCo’s original audio (like the duck quacking) is used in the song, then that means they used his sample - which is illegal. But it’s only illegal if his actual duck quack recording was taken from his cover song. If they used their own duck toy to create a similar quack, then I’d imagine they’re OK because it doesn’t sample JoCo’s original audio file.
To be clear, a song you listen to has basically 2 copyrights:
1. The actual mp3 recording (usually owned by the recording engineer)
2. The underlying composition (usually owned by the songwriter for things like sheet music, or to make another recording of their song, etc.)
This is why I’m starting to venture out on original songs, because all 150 arrangements I’ve made are not owned by me. I can’t license them, sell the sheet music (unless I get approved by the publisher), make them creative commons, or really do much of anything except sell them on iTunes.
(Here’s) a clear scenario in layman terms, skip to 15th paragraph to get to the meat of it.
I’m kind of for and against this default copyright law. The idea is that if I write a song, then you can’t make 200 cover song variations of it in the hopes to sue me if I ever re-arrange my music in the future. To be fair, it would suck to get sued for re-arranging my own music. I’d imagine there are also other purposes for this law, too.
As I stated, I’m not a lawyer, and this is not advice. It’s just an opinion article.
Anyway, welcome to the crazy world of copyright law that independent musician’s face. What do you think about it? I’m interested to hear your thoughts.
iTunes Is Reviewing My Latest Release
I just wanted to update you guys and let you know that Apple’s iTunes is reviewing my latest release - the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Theme Song.
They said it could take up to 10 days. So I obviously missed last Friday’s launch date. Rest assured my new weekly song should be up by this weekend - ‘Nemeses’ from Jonathan Coulton’s new album. And then I do more Daft Punk.
I’m also working on some big things that we’ll all be a part of, which I can’t wait to launch.
Is everyone cool with that?
Thoughts On Jonathan Coulton Nemeses
“Unless you find the one you’re destined to destroy”
This is a free download at the Bandcamp link above (choose “BUY NOW”, then type “$0”). I’ve also licensed it Creative Commons 3.0 NC (so use it in a film, video, or remix if you want). It’d be cool if all my arrangements were free and CC licensed, so I love arranging JoCo’s music for this reason.
I’ve always wanted to arrange this piece since I first heard it months ago. I’m a big Coulton fan, obvious by how many of his pieces I’ve arranged. I love this song’s concept, because it talks about how we need each other - even our enemies. Our enemies make us work harder, run faster, and be stronger. Ironically, they bring out the best in us.
There’s a lot to gain from that - of how much we need each other. I’ve been there before, as a geek being made fun of. Or as an arranger starting out on this idea of ‘For Orchestra’ and being told I’d give up on week 4. Well, now I’m on week 99, and I’m just getting started.
We have our Nemeses to thank for our growth, passion, and desire to prove them wrong. As many Coulton fans have asked, I made this arrangement much lighter and less complex. However, I did want it to be somewhat aggressive - both to capture the lyrical content of the original, and because I know how much Sea Monkey’s enjoy a good rock tune.
Be sure to check out my other Jonathan Coulton Orchestra arrangements. Thanks - more awesome music for you all next Friday!