Category Archives: Music: Making it, Listening to it.

Inside The Great Stalacpipe Organ: The World’s Largest Instrument

The Great Stalacpipe Organ

In 1954, on his 5th birthday, Robert Sprinkle was given a choice by his father, Leland Sprinkle: have a traditional birthday party, or take a tour of one of Virginia’s most famous caves, Luray Caverns. Robert chose the cave tour, and soon the Sprinkle family descended below the surface of the small town of Luray […]

Also posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, Technology | Comments closed

Building the Practice Habit: 6 Science-Supported Steps to Great Musicianship

Django Reinhardt

“Good habits are worth being fanatical about.” ―John Irving Research shows that developing a skill is nothing like cramming for an exam. Creative ability, like physical strength, is something that develops slowly, almost unconsciously over time, given the right stimulus. Because of this, the most fundamental determinant of how great your musicianship will become lies […]

Also posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, March 2014 | Comments closed

Brian Eno – “Ambient 1: Music For Airports”

Music for Airports

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden. It’s early 1975, and Brian Eno strains to hear the recording of 18th century harp music a friend has given him. Eno is in recovery after being hit by a car and can barely get out of bed. After putting the record on with great difficulty […]

Also posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, From The Vaults, Guest Posts | Comments closed

NYC Indie Labels: Captured Tracks — Instinct, Intellect, and Artistic Expansion

Mike Sniper started the indie label Captured Tracks in 2008, working nights out of the basement of Williamsburg’s Academy Records, which he helped run during the day. Within a year, he’d be putting out a constant stream of new releases. Although 2009 was an especially rocky year for the global economy, that didn’t slow things […]

Also posted in All Stories, February 2014, Industry Trends, New Releases, SonicScoop, Sub-Feature 2 | Comments closed

A Brief History of Popular Home Recordings

For recording musicians of my generation, the first experience of turning a dual cassette deck stereo into a multi-track recording device, by dubbing the output of one deck to the input of the other while playing a new instrument through the stereo’s mic/line input, was a bit like sorcery. Sure, the original Casio drumbeat is […]

Also posted in All Stories, December 2013, Featured Stories, Guest Posts, Industry Trends, Producers and Studios, Technology | Comments closed

Extraordinary Desire: How Child Prodigies Are Made

Image by Flickr user David Simmonds

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden When I was just above child-age, and not at all close to being a prodigious musician, stories of musical child prodigies seemed to pop up like clockwork. There I would be: 12 years old, just having finished struggling my way through the opening to Nirvana’s “Come […]

Also posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, Guest Posts, October 2013 | Comments closed

From The Vaults: Miles Davis – Live-Evil

This is a post by associate editor Blake Madden. “QUEEN ELIZABETH: Shall I be tempted of the devil thus? KING RICHARD III: Ay, if the devil tempt thee to do good.” – William Shakespeare, Richard III For Miles Davis, tension was the release. By 1970, the famously caustic Davis had grown tired of even saying […]

Also posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, From The Vaults, Guest Posts, July 2013 | Comments closed

Your (Long, Arduous, Doubt-Inducing, Bipolar) Surefire Path to Success

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle The modern musician cares about time, probably because we’re so often reminded, in ways both funny and sad, of how little we actually have. Musicians who feel the pressure of time look outside themselves for shortcuts to success. […]

Also posted in All Stories, Featured Stories, Guest Posts, June 2013, Most Popular, Rants and Raves | Comments closed

Time and Cost of Making an Album Case Study: NIRVANA

This story, “Time and Cost of Making an Album Case Study: NIRVANA“, lives on at, where Justin Colletti now serves as director of content and publishing. Check it out here. . . . . .

Also posted in All Stories, Behind The Release, Featured Stories, June 2013, Most Popular | Comments closed

Reinventing The Album: Keeping Releases Relevant in The 21st Century

These days when listeners do buy music, it’s predominantly in the form of ones and zeros on a hard drive or a broadband stream. It was just this past year that paid digital downloads finally surpassed CDs as the most popular consumer format, but to put it that way only tells part of the story. […]

Also posted in Featured Stories, Industry Trends, May 2013, New Releases | Comments closed
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