Music Venue Trust is a UK based network of grassroots music venues and their supporters. Their base concept, Agent of Change, was first introduced into the music scene in Australia, and then, three years ago, into the UK. Agent of Change is a term that is used to describe various approaches to controlling the relationship between newly built development (typically residential), and extant noise sources (typically, music venues).
The Agent of Change campaign believes that the cornerstone of the UK music industry is under threat and needs protection. Music venues are threatened with closure because of changes in planning laws to encourage residents to move into town centers. This change in policy was originally intended to address housing shortages (specifically, offices, car parks and disused buildings to be converted into residences. The problem arose with the UK’s music venues being next door to those offices and car parks. Music venues were subsequently forced to fight noise complaints, abatement notices and planning applications. The locations of the venues were deliberately chosen so that the music wouldn’t create problems for residents. With the aforementioned housing policy changes, residents made complaints about sound. The problem was exacerbated by the fact that the developers of the residential properties have no legal obligation to soundproof these new residences. UK law mandates that the business or person making the noise is responsible for its management.
On Tuesday, January 21st, 2018, the music world was saddened to hear that legendary trumpet player, composer, and music activist Hugh Masekelapassed away from pancreatic cancer. Thus ended a career of over half a century. He was 79.
Masekela began playing trumpet in his teens (an apocrypha of his biography holds that his first trumpet was a gift from Louis Armstrong. Another version of the story holds that the instrument was donated by Armstrong to anti-apartheid chaplain Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, at St. Peter’s Secondary School). At the end of 1959, Dollar Brand (later known as Abdullah Ibrahim), Kippie Moeketsi, Makaya Ntshoko, Johnny Gertze and Hugh formed the Jazz Epistles, the first African jazz group to record an LP. Their 1959-60 concerts in Johannesburg and Cape Town were hugely successful.
March 21st, 1960 the Sharpeville massacre saw 69 protesters killed by police, the South African government banned gatherings of ten or more people, and the brutality of the Apartheid state became intolerable (apparently, the Apartheid government couldn’t understand why human beings refuse to be oppressed and enslaved). With the help of Trevor Huddleston, Yehudi Menuhin, and John Dankworth, Masekela left the country. Dankworth got Masakela admitted into London’s Guildhall School of Music.
In order to be truly connected to a real event “NOW,” it may be necessary to be disconnected from the digital cyber world… In fact, the modern music business has delegated the sublimity of music itself to a zeitgeist of insignificance.
A Cultural Commentary By Dawoud Kringle
There was a scene in the movie Collateral, where the whole of modern popular musical culture was eloquently represented. A professional assassin (played by Tom Cruise) took a cab driver (played by Jamie Foxx, who Cruise forced his assistance in a series of assassinations) to a jazz club. The assassin loved the live jazz performance in the club. He was fascinated by the unpredictability of the music. The cab driver disliked the performance and found it incomprehensible for the exact same reason. His conditioning to accept uniformity and predictability in music – and life itself – could not allow him to let go of his illusion of control and allow the music to be itself.
On Tuesday, August 8th, 2017, following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s Disease, Glen Campbelldied.
Born in Billstown, AR in 1936, Campbell began to play guitar at age four. With no formal training, he was found to be a natural. At age six, he performed on local radio programs. He later said his biggest influence was Django Reinhardt. In 1954, at age 17, Campbell moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, to join his uncle’s band, known as Dick Bills and the Sandia Mountain Boys, and i n 1958, Campbell formed his own band, the Western Wranglers.
In 1960, Campbell moved to Los Angeles and found immediate success as a session musician. In ensuing years, he worked with artists such as Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, the Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Merle Haggard, Jan and Dean, Frank Sinatra, Phil Spector and Elvis Presley. After his solo career took off, he’d still do occasional session work with popular artists such as the Monkees and the Beach Boys.