On Monday, I was fortunate enough to be able to attend San Francisco’s ninth MusicTech Summit. It was a wonderful and thought-provoking day, and this review for the Owl Mag sums up only a fraction of my thoughts. Feel free to ask any questions–I’d love to get into some stimulating discussions about this stuff. An excerpt of my review is below, along with the link to the rest.
San Francisco is the perfect location for the MusicTech Summit. Beyond its stellar views of the Pacific, it also has the right ethos for a conference about music technology: with its pioneers, artists, and entrepreneurs, the city never stops innovating. In the face of global uncertainty, San Franciscans are still looking ahead and driving the future—all while sipping their cups of Blue Bottle coffee. And whether or not they call this city home, the speakers and attendees at Monday’s event are doing the same thing. The message of the day was one of promise, and one that echoed San Francisco’s own mantra: we will move forward.
My one stipulation, though, is that the nature of ‘forward’ seems open for debate. The panels I saw at the Hotel Kabuki left me with a sense of pasta being thrown against the wall; many panelists cited the problem of meaningless innovation, and Gang of Four bassist Dave Allen spoke of the lack of a ‘big idea’. If labels provided that structure in the past, their absence on Monday was noteworthy and conspicuous. Although many panelists were looking back in history for cues, they weren’t embracing that sort of large-scale (or top-down) model. Unsurprisingly, the focus seemed to be more on empowering individuals, or connecting and building communities. (Read the rest.)