Jacob Charles Wilson

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✓✓ Read Receipts: Silence is Golden

I am entirely musically talentless. Besides the mandatory classes at school, and even during them, I never put any effort in. My life is graphic: visual and textual. Yet my life isn't silent, from the moment I wake up, I'm listening to something - the inane chatter of cafés, drunken slurring, even the hushed silence of the British Library isn't entirely silent, and when I work at home I always have the radio on. The radio saves me having to think too much about what I want to hear, instead I can relax and focus solely on the act of listening. Of course, there are days I appreciate the silence of the early morning, until it's shattered by the clatter of the local mechanics.

  • SoundCloud's struggle is another age-old story of a vital cultural wellspring that loses its identity in a quest for profitability. It typically ends with a 21st-century graveyard of broken embeds, dead links, and lost sounds. The SoundCloud you Loved is Doomed by Marc Hogan for Pitchfork. SoundCloud is one of those sites I rarely use, but every now and then I found an artist who publishes nowhere else. The fact that 'SoundCloud rap' is even a genre - or perhaps a joke - shows how important the site is to an entire cultural economy. Its potential loss can't be overstated.
  • In a music era dominated by Spotify, SoundCloud has been, at the best of times, a startup in stagnation, and, at the worst of times, an organization in disarray. Once harboring aspirations to be the YouTube of sound, the Berlin-based company has struggled to remain viable, hamstrung by management missteps, an ineffective business strategy, and a stubborn music industry that would rather it had never existed. The Inside Story Of SoundCloud's Collapse by Ryan Mac for Buzzfeed. Here, Mac really hits home how Soundcloud, despite its popularity, remains an outsider, lacking the money and the political clout that the old music industry retains.
  • Even now, the site houses a large pool of musicians, many of them unsigned, who are part of international music cultures that largely do not exist anywhere else online… It was music made entirely to be distributed online, yet it created its own culture offline — something unlikely to have emerged from the imagination of your typical record-label executive. If SoundCloud Disappears, What Happens to Its Music Culture? by Jenna Wortham for the New York Times. Hopefully, this entire situation will drive people to other ways of distributing and archiving their music.
  • Ways of Listening on BBC Radio 3. Simon McBurney, Tom Overton, Gareth Evans, Jay Griffiths and others talk on John Berger and present extracts of interviews.
  • To take any one of a number of marine studies – Waves Breaking Against the Wind, for example – is to experience the illustriously greying waters of a British coast in a sempiternal state of mild annoyance. Sound by Lucy Watson, who writes so evocatively on sound. Read that quote aloud and listen to the sibilance.