Harkive 2015 – The Numbers

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On 21st July 2015 The Harkive Project ran for the third time and once again invited people across the world to tell the story of How, Where and Why they listened to music on a single day.

This post is intended to give you a quick, initial overview of how Harkive 2015 went. I’ll provide some basic numbers before sharing some thoughts on how I thought Harkive 2015 panned out, before closing with some information on what happens next.

The Numbers

In total 536 people contributed to Harkive 2015, posting a combined 1,446 contributions.

75% of those responding did so via Twitter, with 403 people sending 1,229 tweets with the Harkive hashtag, which accounted for just under 85% of all responses.

In total there were 2656 Harkive tweets from 673 different accounts, meaning that around 270 accounts tweeted about Harkive without contributing to it. These non-contributory tweets mostly took the form of promotional information about the project (909), retweets of other peoples’ contributions (151), automated tweets from bots (32), or tweets from the Harkive account (335), which were either promotional or Retweets of interesting contributions.

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The remaining 15% of responses (217 in total) came from 25% of contributors. The new Harkive Platform provided 40% (87 in total), with Facebook, Email and contributions via the Submit form on the Harkive site providing the majority of the rest. Interestingly there were no video or audio entries this year (although there had only been a handful in previous years).

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In total 50,395 words were contributed to Harkive 2015, which is just under 35 per person. Stories posted to 3rd Party sites (such as blogs, etc) averaged at around 750 words per story, with the average Tweet being 16.5 words.

Below is a Word Cloud of those 50,000 words, excluding words used in almost every entry, such as ‘Harkive’, ‘Music’, Today’ and variations on the word ‘Listening’. This is a randomly generated cloud based on instances of words and is presented here as an interesting snapshot, rather than as anything conclusive. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to see that certain words appear with some degree of frequently; the word album appears more than the word song, for example, and certain music services and formats are more prominent than others. Beware of reading too much into this, however…it’s just a glimpse.

 

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Exit Survey

Of the 536 people who contributed stories to Harkive 2015, 105 have completed the Harkive Exit Survey, which is just shy of 20%, This is a great response and this additional information will really help us when it comes to the analysis stage.

If you did contribute a story in 2015 and haven’t yet completed the survey, please do take a moment to do so. It takes around 2 minutes, and includes space for you to include some optional feedback about the project, which will also be really helpful. We’ll post the results of this survey shortly.

You can complete the survey here: http://www.harkive.org/exit-survey

Prizes

Now that we have an idea of numbers, and who contributed stories, we’ll be drawing names out of a hat next week to find out who has won. The winners will then be announced here, and on Twitter, and if you’re a lucky winner we’ll be in touch to find out how to get your prize to you. We’ll contact you via the method you used to contribute your Harkive story.

Reflection

Some quick thoughts on Harkive 2015 ahead of a longer, more detailed reflective piece to come in the next few weeks…

Although overall numbers are down on previous years, this year has perhaps been the best Harkive so far. In 2013 there was a huge ‘spike’ in attention around 11am on the day of the project, where lots of people sent a few tweet and then didn’t engage with the project  further.  By late afternoon on Harkive day 2013, activity had slowed to a trickle. This happened again, to a much lesser degree, in 2014. This year, however, traffic on the Harkive site, and the flow of stories, was much more steady throughout the day.

This ‘trend’ towards a deeper engagement with the project can also be seen in the numbers – the average number of contributions per person (e.g. Tweets, Facebook posts, etc) was 1.98 in 2013, and 2.8 last year. This year that number held reasonably steady at 2.7, but there were considerably more ‘longer form’ respondents, with 15% choosing to use from places other than Twitter, compared to 8% last year. On Twitter itself, the average number of tweets per person contributing continues to rise year on year, from 2.07 in 2013, via 2.89 in 204, to just over 3.05 this year.

What happens now.. 

The 2015 stories will be added to those collected in 2013 and 2014. Some of the previous entries are already available in the Harkive Data Explorer, although at this stage we are only displaying tweets. The 2015 tweets, along with stories from all three years collected via other methods, will be added to the data explorer shortly. There are now 3 years’ worth of stories in the Harkive, and we’re beginning the process of building a mechanism for analysing these. We’ll keep you posted on how this progresses.

The Harkive Platform will increasingly be used as a means of disseminating findings and data – we hope to build in some nice features over the coming months that will enable you to engage with the Harkive data in interesting ways. You can, if you wish, continue to use the Harkive Platform throughout the year, recording any thoughts or observations you have about your music listening. You’ll find it at www.harkive.com

..and in addition to all that, we’ll shortly begin recording a series of Harkive Podcasts. These will feature interviews and reports on the progress of the project. Hopefully you’ll find these interesting. Again, more news on that shortly.

Any questions?

As always, if you have any questions about Harkive, or would like to get involved with the project, please do drop us a line: info@harkive.org

Thanks once again to everyone who told their story.

 

 

 

Harkive 2015 – Thank You!

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Thank you

A huge thank you to everyone who posted stories yesterday. We really appreciate you taking the time to tell us about your day.

The stories came in many forms. The vast majority came via Twitter, but there have also been numerous entries on other social media platforms, and the longer form pieces are still arriving via email, or popping up elsewhere online. There are LOTS of stories.

Thank you for making Harkive 2015 such a huge success.

Please take a moment to complete the Exit Survey

If you’ve contributed a story to Harkive in 2015, or are planning to, we’d really appreciate it if you’d also take a moment to complete the Exit Survey. This will really help us with the organisation and analysis of the data. It takes about a minute to complete.

http://harkive.org/exit-survey/

You can still tell us your story…

Although the sun has set on Tuesday 21st July around the world, you can still send us the story of your music listening day via email (submit@harkive.org), by posting it to your own blog, or by completing the form on the Harkive site.

As in previous years, the window for all methods of storytelling closes a week from Harkive day, so you have until the end of Tuesday 28th July to send us your story.

What happens next?

There is some tidying up and general admin to do around the stories we’ve collected. Once that is done we’ll post some info about numbers, stats, and so on. Shortly after that, the 2015 data will be made available for you to explore.

Harkive will return again in 2016 for Round 4, but hopefully we’ll have some interesting things for you in between now and then. Alongside keeping you informed with how the research is progressing, we also have a series of Harkive Podcasts planned, and the continued development of The Harkive Platform and Data Explorer.

The platform, incidentally, is there to be used year-round, and not just on Harkive days, and we have some exciting plans for that which will involve giving you the ability to interact with the project data in interesting ways. In the meantime, why not have a play and let us know what you think. Go to www.harkive.org/platform for more information.

If you’d like to know more..

If you have any questions about Harkive, or would like to get involved in any way, please do drop a line to info@harkive.org and we’ll get back to you. If you’d like to talk to us on social media, or share interesting things with us, the best way is to follow @Harkive on Twitter.

Without whom…

I’d like to take this opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to a few people without whom Harkive 2015 would not have passed off as smoothly and successfully as it did.

Nick Moreton did an amazing job with the Harkive Data Explorer and the new Harkive Platform. Please do take some time to have a play with Nick’s creations.

Thanks also to Aaron Howes (for the lovely new Harkive logo), and Paul Meggs for his previous work on the project website. I’m also hugely grateful to Lyle Bignon for his media advice and guidance, and to Neil Codling and Laura Snapes, who recorded Harkive audio diaries at very short notice for the BBC Radio 4 piece.

Thanks also to Capsule, Gramofon, Static Caravan, Marcus O’Dair, The HiLife Companion, LoJinx Records, Music Tech Fest, and Wichita Recordings for their donations of prizes to the Harkive draw (more on that soon…), and to all the people who spared the time to write the fantastic example stories we published in the run up to Harkive 2015: Phil Macy, Marcus O’Dair, Geoff Dolman, Wally Clark, Ian Fenton, Lindsay Bruce, Joe Bennett, Maryam SnapesRaphaël Nowak, Jon Troy, Tom Satchwell and Stephen Duffy.

..and finally

Thanks once again to you for all the kind words about the project, your efforts in spreading the word in the weeks prior to the big day, and – of course – for all of your amazing stories.

All the best,

Craig

Welcome to Harkive 2015

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Welcome to Harkive

Harkive is an online research project that gathers stories from people about their music listening on a single day each year. For Harkive 2015, that day is Tuesday 21st July.

Since launching in 2013, the project has gathered over 5,000 unique stories from music lovers all around the world, creating a unique snapshot of how, where and why we listen to music.

We’d like you to tell us the story of your music listening, and here are 5 reasons why we think you should. You can also find out what’s happening as the project unfolds on Tuesday 21st July over on our Live Blog.

How, Where & Why

The project aims to collect stories about How, Where and Why you listen to music on a single day. We’re interested in the places and situations you find yourself in, the technologies, devices and formats you use, and the way that music makes you feel.

It’s quite hard to describe all of that without telling us What you’re listening to, so please do include that if you want to, but remember that it’s more about telling us your experiences than providing a list of songs.

Telling Your Story Is Easy

We’ve aimed to make the process of telling your story as easy as possible, and you can contribute your story in a variety of ways. Hopefully there is one that suits your habits already, and you won’t need to go too far out of your way to do it.

You can post to social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, simply by adding the #harkive hashtag to your posts, or you can email your story to us. You can also send us photos, videos, or even make an audio diary. A full list of the ways you can tell your story is available on the How To Contribute page.

Need some help?

If you have any questions about Harkive, please do drop a line to info@harkive.org and we’ll get back to you.

If you’d like to talk to us on social media, you can contact us on Twitter, where we are @harkive.

Other than the How To Contribute page there’s lots of other helpful information around the site. The About and FAQ pages will hopefully tell you all you need to know about the project. You can also look at some of the example stories we’ve posted to the blog over the last few weeks, or search the database of stories gathered in 2013 and 2014.

Please do join us…

On Tuesday 21st July people all the world will be listening to music. Your story is interesting and we’d love to hear it, so please do join in!

 

Harkive – The Final Countdown – 1 Day To Go!

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world about How, Where and Why they listen on the day. If you’re a fan of music, we’d love to hear your story.

Harkive 2015 is tomorrow, and we do hope you’ll join in.

Over the last week we’ve been posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music, and our last example story ahead of Harkive 2015 is something very interesting indeed: the music listening day of Stephen Duffy.

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A founder member of Duran Duran, Stephen had his first hit in 1985 with ‘Kiss Me‘, as Stephen ‘Tin Tin’ Duffy, before forming The Lilac Time in 1986 and releasing several acclaimed albums on Fontana. During the 1990s he recorded two solo albums, ‘Music in Colours‘ and ‘Duffy‘, before collaborating with former Duran colleague Nick Rhodes on The Devils‘ ‘Dark Circles‘ LP. He also scored another UK hit single, ‘Hanging Around’, as part of the ‘temporary supergroup’ Me, Me, Me, with Blur‘s Alex James and Elastica‘s Justin Welch.

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The Lilac Time reformed in the early 2000s and have worked together since, releasing the albums ‘Keep Going’ (2003) and ‘Runout Groove’ (2007). During this time Stephen also worked with Robbie Williams, co-writing and co-producing Williams’ 2005 LP, ‘Intensive Care’.

In 2009 Stephen’s work was the subject of a Douglas Arrowsmith documentary, ‘Memory & Desire: 30 Years in the Wilderness with Stephen Duffy & the Lilac Time’, which was accompanied by a career retrospective LP of the same name, released on Universal.

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The Lilac Time‘s latest album, ‘No Sad Songs‘, was released on Tapeste Records in April 2015, and will be followed at the end of this month by the ‘Prussian Blue EP, also on Tapeste, featuring the title track and 3 live recordings. The band will be playing The Port Elliot Festival in Cornwall on August 1st, rehearsals for which feature in Stephen’s listening day.

We’re very pleased to present Stephen’s music listening day from 14th July 2015. Here goes..

“Is it morning?” asks our daughter.
It’s around 7.00 am.
I may not listen to music for a while if that’s okay?

Whilst clearing up I listen to the first side of Pageant Material by Kacey Musgrave. From High Time to Biscuits skipping Late to the Party.

Then on finding the last track on the Flo Morrisey album is the title track and I hadn’t got that far I listen to Tomorrow Will Be Beautiful before going down into the studio.

There I answer some emails whilst listening to Album 1700 by Peter Paul & Mary because Apple Music thought I might like it. I did. I’m sure my Apple concierge is already compiling a Peter Paul & Mary: Deep Cuts playlist ready for the next time I open it up.

My record player is hard wired into my studio system which makes it sound unfairly awesome compared to other music listening arrangements around the place. I have just purchased The American Dreamer on eBay. It’s the soundtrack from the Dennis Hopper documentary. I have enjoyed a mp3 bootleg for years and am happy to have a hard copy. I have just discovered whilst writing this that the film will be released on DVD this autumn. (http://theatln.tc/1eZyj5T)

Then my brother arrives and together with Claire we rehearse for the Port Eliot Festival where we are playing as a trio on August 1st. We play 20 or so songs that cover most of our 9 albums. Some songs from the And Love For All album we haven’t played since it came out in 1990. Salvation Song from Looking For A Day In The Night 1999 we have never played. It takes time to get back up to speed as we haven’t played since the Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2007 and this will be only our 6th gig of the century. Wow this paragraph is chock full of numbers. . .

Time to eat.

After dinner I put on my old “Classic” iPod on shuffle. I fear for its demise as it is edited to within an inch of it’s life. Creating Apple Music playlists or whatever is something I don’t feel I have time for just yet.

These Hands from Robin Williamson’s last album, then Long Long Road from The Incredible String Band’s Tricks of the Senses. I Always Get Lucky by George Jones, Port Lairge – The Clancy Brothers, Long And Wasted Years from Bob Dylan, I love You A Thousand Ways- Lefty Frizzell, Galveston – Jimmy Webb Same Old Man – Karen Dalton, The Donor – Judy Sill, Fire And Wine – Anne Briggs, Come Go With Me – The Del-Vikings, To Make You Stay – Lal & Mike Waters. There’s a Bright Side Somewhere by Ry Cooder is still playing as I come downstairs to type up this and turn off all the little red lights. It’s funny I listened to new music this morning as I’m more of an old music by old or dead folk person.

I’m still here and listening to Ryan Adams’ amazing Live At Carnegie Hall album, or albums as its on six of them. It’s wonderful. I listen to it to frighten myself as he never makes a mistake or sings out of tune. Still I have a couple of weeks to go, surely perfection can be achieved by then?

There was a lot of music today. Tomorrow maybe not so much apart from the rehearsals and perhaps Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo for Daisy. On Thursday, if it’s fine, I’ll just listen to Test Match Special all day. I wrote a song with Booker T Jones years ago called Holes In My Shoes, it’s no Soul Limbo.

…and that was Stephen’s listening day. We’d love to hear about yours tomorrow. Here’s our 5-minute guide to all things Harkive.

You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post and we’ll do the rest.

Or, you can write something longer and email it to us, like Stephen did.  Alternatively you can post your longer story to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog/website – again, just remember to include a #harkive tag. We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. All available means of providing us with your story are detailed on the How To Contribute page.

We hope you’ll consider telling your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email us.

Thanks!

Harkive 2015 – The Final Countdown – 2 days to go!

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world about How, Where and Why they listen on the day. If you’re a fan of music, we’d love to hear your story.

All this week we’ve been posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music, and with just 2 days to go until Harkive day, we’re very pleased to bring you another.

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Tom Satchwell is a Campaign Executive at Live Nation, artist manager of Fitz and a contributor to Fortitude Magazine.

Tom kept a record of his music listening on Wednesday 15th July 2015. Here it is:

It took me reviewing this post to realise how much Spotify is just an everyday thing for me now. Sure I flick between straight up audio and music videos throughout the day and the lesser established acts I work with will generally occupy space on Soundcloud but it is probably fair to say 80% of my time is spent listening to music on one streaming platform across various devices – at least when I am out of the house.

7.30am – Walk into the kitchen to what I think is Selena Gomez playing from my housemate’s phone. I can’t remember if that’s exactly who it was but it sounded ‘Disney’ to me.

8.30am – I leave for work, headphones plugged into my iPhone running the Spotify app and playing my ‘New Music’ playlist, which I update regularly. I let it run of shuffle more often that not as it is my most listened to playlist so shuffle tends to keep it fresh.

10am – I get to the office and plug the office speakers into my laptop, again running Spotify but through the desktop app this time. I’d saved down a few debut albums that had recently come out that i wanted to listen to including; New Yorkers Joywave, Glasgow’s finest PRIDES and another band from the US Bleachers. I’d recommend for your easy going synth-pop and US indie-rock.

12pm – I get sent a link to To Kill A King’s video premier on The 405 for new single ‘World Of Joy’ from their brilliant record… ‘To Kill A King’ – the video of which features a few well known names in the form of Bastille, Keston Cobblers’ Club and Fitz, an artist I manage.

12.30pm – A large part of my daily music listening is down to research for tours, luckily I’m fortunate enough to work with acts I genuinely enjoy. Such is the case with Saint Raymond, today I spent a fair amount of time listening to his debut album ‘Young Blood’ on Spotify and for the first time today switching to the iTunes library on my phone for a short while to listen to some of his earlier EPs.

2.30pm – After lunch I put my Sennheiser headphones on and switch back to Spotify to start curating Fortitude Magazine’s ‘Best In New Music’ playlist which I do monthly. With a team of contributors it generally takes a good few hours to get a nice mix of genres and a well laid-out playlist – hopefully the work pays off.

5.30 – I take off my headphones and joint the office community again to find Beats 1 is playing, with the female American DJ who I haven’t been able to find the name of yet, because I still don’t know how to use the bloody app. I only remember Taylor Swift playing throughout the time listening to the station but that seems to be the general theme of Beats 1 so far.

6pm – The office starts to clear out, so my headphones go back on and I shamelessly chuck on Spotify’s own ‘Walking Like A Badass’ playlist to try and smash out my last bit of work.

7pm – After adding Bring Me The Horizon’s new belter ‘Happy Song’ to the Fortitude Magazine playlist, I crank up ’Sempiternal’ on the way home (again on Spotify, luckily I have these playlists and albums saved offline).

9pm – While writing this I’ve stepped away from my digital music drip that is Spotify and chucked on a bit of vinyl in the form of Enter Shikari’s ‘Mindsweep’ (it has a lovely white, blue and purple paint splash design) to drown out the pub over the road’s Rod Stewart obsession.

…and that was Tom’s listening day. We’d love to hear about yours next week.

You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post and we’ll do the rest.

Or, you can write something longer and email it to us, like Tom did.  Alternatively you can post your longer story to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog/website – again, just remember to include a #harkive tag. We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. All available means of providing us with your story are detailed on the How To Contribute page.

We hope you’ll consider telling your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email us.

Harkive 2015 – The 5 Minute Guide

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On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world. Here’s our 5 minute guide to all things Harkive.

What is Harkive?

Harkive is an online research project that gathers stories from people about their music listening on a single day each year.

Since launching in 2013, the project has gathered over 5,000 unique stories from music lovers all around the world, creating a unique snapshot of how, where and why we listen to music.

We’d like you to tell us your story on Tuesday 21st July, and here are 5 reasons why we think you should.

How, Where & Why

The project aims to collect stories about How, Where and Why you listen to music on a single day. We’re interested in the places and situations you find yourself in, the technologies, devices and formats you use, and the way that music makes you feel.

It’s quite hard to describe all of that without telling us What you’re listening to, so please do include that if you want to, but remember that it’s more about telling us your experiences than providing a list of songs.

Telling Your Story Is Easy

We’ve aimed to make the process of telling your story as easy as possible, and you can contribute your story in a variety of ways. Hopefully there is one that suits your habits already, and you won’t need to go too far out of your way to tell your story.

You can post to social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr, simply by adding the #harkive hashtag to your posts, or you can email your story to us. You can also send us photos, videos, or even make an audio diary. A full list of the ways you can tell your story is available on the How To Contribute page.

Prizes

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Just as in previous years, we’re really grateful to a number of record labels, artists, festivals and other organisations who have kindly donated items to the Harkive prize draw. Anyone contributing their story on 21st July will be automatically entered and the winners will be chosen at random shortly after Harkive day. Here are some of the 2015 prizes.

Example Contributions

Each year, in the run up to the big day, we post example contributions from interesting people working in and around music. This year we’ve had record label owners from Helsinki, Nashville and Birmingham, DJs, promoters, a forensic musicologist, artist managers, journalists and even a cultural sociologist. Take a scroll back through the blog to read them.

Harkive Data Explorer

If you are curious about the things people said about their music listening on the previous Harkive days in 2013 and 2014, you can now search through some of these using the new Harkive Data Explorer.

http://www.harkive.org/data

This currently contains all the Tweets collected in 2013 and 2014, which you can search according to formats, year and keywords. If people included photos in their original tweets, you’ll be able to see these, and any links to playlists, songs and interesting things related to music will also work.

If you contributed via Twitter in previous years you can also search for your entries by entering your Twitter username. Have your music listening habits changed much since 2013 and 2014?

The Harkive Platform

Another thing we’ve been working on alongside the Data Explorer is the Harkive Platform, which is currently in Beta phase (this means it’s far from the finished article, but it’s at a point where it’s ready to play with).

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A lot of the data collected about music listening by the online services that many of us use is hidden away (because it’s valuable, essentially), so one of the things we’d like to do with the Harkive data is make it available.

There are limits to that, of course, particularly when it comes to personal information (email addresses, and so on), but we hope that, within those limits, we’ll be able to show you some interesting stuff and let you play with it as the project evolves.

Ask Us Anything

If you have any questions about Harkive, or would like to get involved in any way, please do drop a line to info@harkive.org and we’ll get back to you. You can also find out more on the About and FAQ pages.

If you’d like to talk to us on social media, or share information about the project that way, you follow us on Twitter, or Like our Facebook page, or search for us on a variety of other platforms.

Please do join us…

On Tuesday 21st July the world will be listening…again. We’d love to hear your story, so please do join in!

 

Harkive – The Final Countdown – 2 Days To Go!

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world about How, Where and Why they listen on the day. If you’re a fan of music, we’d love to hear your story.

All this week we’ve been posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music, and with just 2 days to go until Harkive day, we’re very pleased to bring you another.

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Jonathan Troy, along with his brother, Matt, records as The Hi-Life Companion. Since releasing their first EP in 2008 on Cloudberry Records, the band have issued two LPs, ‘Say Yes’ (2009) and ‘Our Years In The Wilderness’ (2014), picking up radio play on BBC Radio 1 and 6Music along the way. Reviews have hailed their ‘joyous 60s pop’ and compared The Hi-Life Companion’s to bands such as The Beach Boys, Belle & Sebastian, early-REM and The Go-Betweens. Listen for yourself:

Jon created this music listening story on Monday 13th July 2015, and has also kindly provided us with 5 CD copies of ‘Our Years In The Wilderness’ to the Harkive Prize Draw.

In the car on the way to/from work: Silver Jews ‘Bright Flight’ CD. I have a 20-30 minute journey in the car and there has to be music available,usually CDs. I like radio but it’s a bit unpredictable. It’s great to hear Bruce Springsteen but not so great to hear the Lighthouse Family. The car has CDs stacked into every orifice but I am slowly coming around to the idea of MP3s, although my current car doesn’t have an MP3 player.

I play it loud because it’s just me in the car. I always have to wait until a song has completely finished until I get out of the car, whether I’m late or not. And I hate not finishing a CD so if it’s still playing by the time I get home I drive around for a bit so I can hear the end. This is hard to explain to people.

CDs in the car is where I mostly listen to music. I travel around for work during the day and if I can listen to 2-3 albums in a day I’m delighted. Yesterday in the car – in-between swapping CDs – I heard Ed Sheeran’s ‘Photograph’ and thought bloody hell that’s a tune.

Occasionally something I hear will make me well up – songs that have recently made me cry in the car include:

Eels – PS You Rock My World
Sun Kil Moon – I Watched The Film The Song Remains The Same
Jonathan Richman – That Summer Feeling

Often it’s just a word, or a line, like Stephen Merritt singing ‘…and when the wind is in your hair you laugh like a little girl…’

In the evening cooking tea: Tony Christie ‘Made In Sheffield’ via MP3 in docking station. I like music on when I’m cooking or eating tea. Occasionally if someone is talking at me during this period I’ll nod politely and then play the song again later on when I get the chance. My wife knows by now that I’m listening to her with one ear and the other is trying to work out what the tambourine is doing. ‘Louise’ is a song that stops me in my tracks – maybe as you get older it’s the nostalgia in music that gets you, the reminder of times past, of how you used to be.

Later in the evening – Spotify, You Tube or Soundcloud. I have my headphones on and play demo’s of our own new songs and then browse through recommendations from friends. I like the way headphones bring everything right  to the forefront Recently I found myself listening to The Walkmen, Crybaby and The Triffids as a result. There’s nothing better than a strong recommendation from a friend: the excitement of a new thing, a new sound, a new discovery, its like being a teenager again.

…and that was Jon’s listening day. We’d love to hear about yours next week.

You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post and we’ll do the rest.

Or, you can write something longer and email it to us, like Jon did.  Alternatively you can post your longer story to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog/website – again, just remember to include a #harkive tag. We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. All available means of providing us with your story are detailed on the How To Contribute page.

We hope you’ll consider telling your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email us.

Harkive – The Final Countdown – 3 days to go..

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world about How, Where and Why they listen on the day. If you’re a fan of music, we’d love to hear your story.

All this week we’ve been posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music, and with 3 days to go until Harkive day, we’re very pleased to bring you another.

Raphaël Nowak is a cultural sociologist. His research examines music consumption in the digital age. He will be releasing his first manuscript ‘Consuming Music in the Digital Age: Technologies, Roles and Everyday Life’ (Palgrave Macmillan) in late 2015 .

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He currently lives in his home country – France – but will soon be moving to ‘another, more exciting place’ (he tells us). You can follow his activities on Twitter, where he is @raphahead.

Rafa sent us a long, thoughtful entry, reflecting on his music listening in great detail, so we’re doing something slightly different with this one. We’ve provided Rafa’s intro here and posted the full entry over on our new Medium page, where we’re collecting some of the more ‘long form’ Harkive responses.

Here’s is Rafa’s story..

I am very thoughtful about my everyday listening practices and taste in music. I have conducted sociological research on such topics for several years now, and it has only increased my reflexivity about how I interact with music, and why. So I keep track of both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of my everyday listening practices. One way I do this is by using Last.fm. I am a user of the social media for almost 8 years now. At first, I met some people on the site, whom I went to gigs with for instance. Now, I feel like it has — like many other social media — lost most of its potential to connect with like-minded people. However, I still visit my profile regularly — sometimes several times a day — to check what I have been listening to lately (my 3-month charts are a good basis), to get ideas of what to listen to, and even to try to fight any sentiment of ‘choice fatigue’.

In terms of devices, I usually listen to music on my two computers (a Macbook pro and a desktop), on my iPod Nano (through earphones, or sometimes plugged onto my stereo), and once in a while on CDs or on vinyl discs, and rarely through the radio…..

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I rarely listen to music in the morning, except if I have to commute somewhere. It takes my brain a while to wake up and be fully functional. In that time, I do not enjoy the sound of music. Basically I feel like it would ruin the joy of hearing sounds that I normally find pleasant. My listening habits generally correspond to how I feel. Since I am not a morning person, I avoid music in that time. At the contrary, evenings are usually the time when music has the most affects on me… And evenings also are the time when I am the most functional to complete certain tasks.

I live in-between places. Today I’m at my parents’ house. This is where I get to listen to more music. My digital library, my CD collection and my vinyl discs are all there. So I have the options to choose how I want to engage with music.

The first music I interacted with on that day was a couple of tracks — by American electronic artists Tycho and ODESZA — that I recognized in a YouTube video that compiles the buzz videos of the week. Basically, it’s full of animals doing funny things, Russians driving like crazies, drones filming great sceneries, humans falling from skateboards/motorbikes/bicycles and drones getting smashed by rams (my favorite).

This was probably one hour after waking up — yes, I am a slow riser.

….to continue reading Rafa’s piece, head over to his post on our Medium page.

If you’re enjoying reading the music listening stories we’ve been posting this week and would like to tell yours on Tuesday 21st July, there are a number of ways you can do that.

You can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many short entries as you like across the day – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post and we’ll do the rest.

Or, you can write something longer and email it to us, like Rafa did, or post it to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog/website – again, just remember to include a #harkive tag.

We also accept photos, video and audio diaries.

Hopefully there is a method that suits you. All available means of providing us with your story are detailed on the How To Contribute page.

We hope you’ll consider telling your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email us.

Thanks!

Harkive – The Final Countdown – 3 days to go

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world about How, Where and Why they listen on the day. If you’re a fan of music, we’d love to hear your story.

All this week we’ve been posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music, and with 3 days to go until Harkive day, we’re very pleased to bring you another.

Mazzy Snape has been DJing and promoting since October 2002, as well as promoting live and club shows using her own brands, Chicks Dig Jerks, Hott Date and Come Together. She has also worked with countless venues and clients, from Rizzle Kicks to The Queen Of Hoxton and produced radio shows, fanzines and blogs, interviewing bands such as Franz Ferdinand and LCD Soundsystem.

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Mazzy is best known in her hometown of Birmingham for DJing, spreading the word, and putting on some of the craziest parties around. She also manages ‘Next BRIT Thing’ award winning band Jump The Shark. You can follow Mazzy’s activites by following her on Twitter, where she is @_chicksdigjerks.

Mazzy kept a note of her music listening on Wednesday 15th July and emailed over the following:

My day started off when my alarm went off and I switched on 6 music on my DAB radio to listen to Shaun W Keavney’s breakfast show.

I started off with a client meeting at The Green Room, they were playing some classical music in the background. Next I went to meet my personal assistant at the Urban Coffee Company, they were playing Lauren Hill ‘Doo-Wop (That Thing)’ in the background and we both had a little sing along!

After catching up we went to Selfridges and heard them playing Justin Timberlake ‘Senorita’ which I am not very familiar with.

I then went to work at The Old Crown to use their Wi-Fi. They were playing their DJ Spotify playlists, I recall hearing ‘Tears Dry On Their Own’ by Amy Winehouse. I actually have my own playlist on there, as I am one of their resident DJs.

When I’d finished my working day I put my iPhone on my headphones for the bus journey home, I selected ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’ by McFadden and Whitehead to start me off on the walk to the bus stop as I knew it would put me in a good mood. I then deliberately selected ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell for the same reason.

When I got on the bus I let it go onto shuffle, I remember hearing ‘Big Six’ by Judge Dread which always makes me chuckle due to the rude lyrics. ‘D’yer Mak’er’ by Led Zeppelin also came on which reminds me of when I had to perform a dance to it at the International Convention Centre with my school dance troupe.

When I got home I made myself a drink and sat on the sofa, turned the television on it was ‘The One Show’, I didn’t pay much attention to it although I do remember vaguely some music being on it. I put my laptop on and was working, I did listen to music on some video clips that had been made for a client ‘The Night Owl’ (a new Northern Soul & Motown club). I listened to ‘Uptight’ by Stevie Wonder several times whilst reviewing this video:

When I went up to bed I put my laptop on with my headphones and watched ‘Orange Is The New Black’ on Netflix, I remember hearing the title song ‘You’ve Got Time’ by Regina Specktor and ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis during the programme. These were the last songs I heard before going to sleep.

…and that was Mazzy’s listening day. We’d love to hear about yours next week.

You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post and we’ll do the rest.

Or, you can write something longer and email it to us, like Mazzy did.  Alternatively you can post your longer story to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog/website – again, just remember to include a #harkive tag. We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. All available means of providing us with your story are detailed on the How To Contribute page.

We hope you’ll consider telling your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email us.

Thanks!

Harkive – The Final Countdown – 4 Days To Go!

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world about How, Where and Why they listen on the day. If you’re a fan of music, we’d love to hear your story.

All this week we’ve been posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music, and with 4 days to go until Harkive day, we’re very pleased to bring you another.

Joe Bennett is a musicologist, music journalist and author, composer, songwriter and music educator based in Boston USA. He is Dean of the Boston Conservatory and acts as a ‘forensic musicologist’ consultant in music copyright disputes.

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Often music copyright disputes are resolved quickly and quietly, but some of you may remember that recently there was very high profile case, involving Robin Thicke‘s song ‘Blurred Lines‘ and the family of Marvin Gaye, that made the news around the world. Joe wrote a fascinating piece about this, applying his considerable forensic skill to the case in this post on his website.

As you’ll see below, Joe very recently moved to a new country, so we’re really grateful that he was able to make time to provide us with this music listening story, which is from 14th July 2015.

0750: In the car on the way to work – it’s only my second week in the new job (and my 10th day in the country) so I’m trying to figure out what my new favourite radio stations are while remembering to drive on the wrong side of the road. I start with WCRB 99.5 – the classical music station in the city. It came to my attention last week because one of the students of the Conservatory wrote the ‘sounder’ (what in the UK we’d call a station ident). So I’m listening for the sounder between tracks, but find myself getting engrossed in the playfulness of Rodrigo’s Concierto di Aranjuez (Harp). Lovely call and response lines between the harp and orchestra, and some of the joyful rising melodic lines and arpeggios feel like they could have been penned by Aaron Copland.

0810: Stationary traffic and I decide to explore US FM rock. And there’s a lot of it on the dial. http://myradio929.com/ (“90s to now”) is a good example, and I find myself nostalgically rocking out to Pearl Jam and Nirvana, while marvelling at how 1980s-sounding some of the production values appear now. Early 90s rock seemed so fresh and exciting at the time, probably because it contrasted so well with the soulless aceeed-rave 120 BPM Cubase music that previously dominated the UK charts. But oh how the production dates it to that era. Every year I’ve lived through has been characterised by a statement where people say (regarding both music and fashion) “there were so many set styles in the past – now, pretty much anything goes”. We even said this about the 80s hair gel period. I can remember a time when DX7 sounds seemed new and fresh – we thought they would be the future forever, but they were anathema to producers by the end of the 1980s. A film composer once told me that he never uses snare drums in his work because EQ, compression and reverb fashions change so fast that it freezes the composition in time.

0845: Parked, coffee shop, and KT Tunstall on the stereo. Proper old-school singer-songwriter material, even though they’re playing the big hit Suddenly I See. She’s a very important artist for me because this was the first gig I took my teenage daughter to (Colston Hall, Bristol, 2013) – and KT’s loop pedal work then (on both guitar and voice) was extraordinary. I’ve always been fascinated by loops in music, and by repetition/similarity generally; it is inspiring to watch such a confident and appealing performer use loops to engage the crowd and build arrangement texture (while nailing the barline loop-point every time with her left foot!).

0900-1735: Meetings, so hardly any music around, not least because school’s out right now. One of the paradoxes of an academic administrator role is that you’re appointed because of your scholarship and knowledge of the subject, which prepares you for a role where this knowledge is not needed most of the time. It’s the same with schoolteachers – some of them are strong enough teachers to be promoted to leadership roles where they don’t teach. But really I love administration – it’s a chance to make a big difference because the faculty (musicians, dancers, singers and theater practitioners) are all so motivated. One of the main jobs of the administrator is just to set up organisational systems so that everyone can give their best. I’m reading Robert Freeman’s The Crisis of Classical Music in America right now, which helpfully has a chapter dedicated to incoming Deans in US conservatories!

In the breaks between meetings it’s Apple Radio in the office – some instrumental 1950s jazz and a crooners channel. I’m road-testing the Apple Music three-month trial right now, and like many people I’m considering whether to cross-grade from Spotify Premium. I’m irritated (mainly with myself) that I don’t yet understand how the phone syncs my own Mac-based MP3 collection. I may have to read the manual, damn them.

At this time of year we have our summer schools or ‘extension programs’ so I hear fragments of Sondheim and some Beethoven piano drifting through (different) practice room windows as I walk to the car park, creating a strange but somehow evocative unintended real-time mashup. Lovely.

1725: Driving home through Boston and still exploring the airwaves. More FM rock, including, er, Boston, and some early-20th-century orchestral piece that I can’t identify on WCRB; it sounds oddly similar to Noel Coward’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen and I wonder if he used it as inspiration. That’s the problem with forensic musicology – you hear similarity everywhere. Temperature outside is around 85°F/29°C, but I have aircon and feel nothing. Englishmen detest a siesta.

1800: Home, and back to some client musicology work. This week I’m working on a TV show which features songs that are all parodies of existing hits. I’ve been asked to identify whether the melodies or lyrics are similar, working from draft MP3 recordings. One of the common requirements of a forensic musicologist is to separate similarities in the core compositions (i.e. melody, harmony and lyric, which are generally protected by copyright) from similarities in the production and arrangement (which are usually not protected in the same way). This one’s a relatively easy gig because the melodies are mostly very dissimilar, even though it’s clear from the production which track the composer is parodying. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, because UK and US law allows for ‘fair dealing’ whereby parody is exempt from some copyright restrictions. However, this TV show will be distributed worldwide so the composer still needs to stay the right side of actual plagiarism. So I spend a couple of hours listening to Katy Perry, Michael Jackson, The Lego Movie and Pharrell Williams. After which I feel strangely happy.

2025: James Taylor documentary on TV about the making of Before This World. There are some lovely new songs here, and JT has achieved enough respect/love/fame to be able to call on some notable musical guests, resulting in wonderfully restrained BVs by Sting and remarkably folky ‘cello by Yo-Yo Ma. James Taylor is a Bostonian, as I now am. For no justifiable or rational reason, this warms my heart.

…and that was Joe’s listening day. We’d love to hear about yours next week.

You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post and we’ll do the rest.

Or, you can write something longer and email it to us, like Joe did.  Alternatively you can post your longer story to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog/website – again, just remember to include a #harkive tag. We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. All available means of providing us with your story are detailed on the How To Contribute page.

We hope you’ll consider telling your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email us.

Thanks!

Harkive 2015 – Prizes

Harkive is tremendously grateful to a number of organisations and individuals who have kindly donated items for us to give away to those who tell us their story next week.

Anyone contributing their stories on Tuesday 21st July will automatically be entered into the hat, with names drawn at random shortly after Tuesday 28th July, when the window for 2015 closes.

Here are some of the items on offer this year.

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We have a Gramofon, which is a very clever device that will turn your home sound system into a WiFi music player. Once installed, you can use Gramofon to stream music wirelessly from music services and internet radio stations, straight to your sound system, and directly from the cloud.

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The nice people at Supersonic have provided us with a some festival-related goodies. Since launching in 2003, Capule’s Supersonic Festival has been “a celebration of the expressive, challenging and generally out there” (The Times), and played host to a bewildering range of acts, from LCD Soundsystem to Sleaford Mods.

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Marcus O’Dair has given us a signed, hardback edition of his acclaimed ‘Different Every Time: The Authorised Biography of Robert Wyatt’. Shortlisted for the Penderyn music book prize, this was a BBC Radio 4 book of the week upon release late last year, and a book of the year in the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Uncut magazine.

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We have CDs of from the impressive catalogue of Wichita Recordings, one of the UK’s finest independent labels, including albums from Los Campesinos, Gold Panda, Waxahatchee, Girlpool, and The Cribs.

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Goodies from Music Tech Fest, which a ‘festival of music ideas’ and has been bringing music tech creators and thinkers under one roof in cities all over the world since 2012. Their events include demonstrations of cutting edge technology, hackathons, performances and symposia.

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With releases from Brendan Benson, Blitzen Trapper, Fred Abbott and The Lost Brothers, LoJinx is another fine UK independent label who have kindly provided us with a selection of their wares, as have….

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Static Caravan Recordings, who are approaching the 300th release and have previously brought acts such as Tunng, Beth Jeans Houghton, The Memory Band and others to a wider audience through their beautifully packaged releases.

In addition to the above, we also have CDs from The Hi-Life Companion, James Summerfield and several others.

We’d love to hear your music listening story next week, so please do join in with Harkive 2015.

 

 

Harkive – The Final Countdown – 4 days to go…

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world about How, Where and Why they listen on the day. If you’re a fan of music, we’d love to hear your story.

All this week we’ve been posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music, and with 4 days to go until Harkive day, we’re very pleased to bring you another.

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Lindsay Bruce is a teacher by day, and one half of Scottish DJ duo Bonnie Rockers by night, ‘bringing you the tunes you didn’t know you wanted’. Lindsay made some notes on her music listening on Wednesday 15th July.

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Here is Lindsay’s music listening day.

Today has been a weird day for me, listening to music when I don’t normally listen to music during the day. I listen to Radio 4 on my way to work, and on the way back, and then will put on music channels at home.

I’ve let the students in my class listen to the radio today while they work (you can tell it’s the end of the academic year!). They insist on listening to Capital, so I’ve heard the same songs just repeated all day. Things like Nick Jonas ‘Jealous’ and Tiny Tempa feat Jess Glynn ‘not letting go’ (which I like a lot).

I think I listen to the music differently when the kids are there – I’m more aware of lyrics and how it seems every song is making a reference to shagging. I’ve also listened to the Bonnie Rockers playlist on my Spotify as I cleaned up my classroom.

It was odd to listen to music in my classroom, we are normally analysing music when it’s on, so I have had a very out of the ordinary music listening day.

We had a lunch for some people leaving and I put on a Northern Soul playlist because it seemed the best crowd-pleaser! I

’ve not found listening to music at work all that relaxing as I feel that it says too much about me.

I really just want to play ‘Spice’ by the Spice Girls on repeat.

…and that was Lindsay’s listening day. We’d love to hear about yours next week.

You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post and we’ll do the rest.

Or, you can write something longer and email it to us, like Lindsay did.  Alternatively you can post your longer story to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog/website – again, just remember to include a #harkive tag. We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. All available means of providing us with your story are detailed on the How To Contribute page.

We hope you’ll consider telling your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email us.

Thanks!

5 Reasons Why You Should Tell Your Music Listening Story To Harkive 2015

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On 21st July 2015 Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world. The aim is to capture for posterity a global snapshot of the way in which we interact with the sounds and technology of today. We’d love to hear your story.

Here are 5 reasons why we think you should consider contributing your music listening story to Harkive on 21st July:

1) You are interesting

Millions and millions of people will be listening to music 21st July, but no two people will listen in precisely the same way, or for the same reasons. That makes you interesting.

You might use certain products, services, formats and technologies that are common to many others, but your motivations for doing so, and the situations you find yourselves in as you listen, will be unique. It is the unique nature of your story that we are trying to capture.

How, Why and Where you listen to music is fascinating, so please tell us all about it.

2) The World is Listening.  Join in! 

Since launching in 2013, Harkive has so far gathered over 5,000 stories. These have arrived from all corners of the globe and together create a fascinating snapshot of how people were listening on 9th July 2013 and 15th July 2014.

Listeners of BBC Radio 3 joined in after DJs talked about the project on air, thousands and thousands of people using the #harkive hashtag made it the number 1 trending topic on Twitter, and people from 57 different countries visited the Harkive website.

It’s all going to happen again on 21t July 2015, and we’d like you to be part of that.

3) We’re speaking to the future

Harkive aims to provide a record of what it felt like to be here right now, and your contribution to the project will enhance the picture we can put together.

Just as we look back with fascination on pivotal years in the history of popular music, people in future years will be almost certainly look back on the 2010s. They will want to know about the music that was made, but they may also want to look at the way we listened, and what it felt like to be there.

We hope Harkive will be useful in that regard, and our new Data Explorer is the first of a number of online, interactive resources the project will be building over the coming months and years which will help us do that.

4) There are prizes…

As an extra incentive, there are a number of cool prizes on offer to those who contribute on 21st July. There are CDs, vinyl record, t-shirts, tote bags, badges, and other items. Everyone contributing to Harkive 2015 will be entered into the hat.

…and finally

5) It’s really easy

We’ve aimed to make contributing to Harkive as easy as possible. You don’t even need to make a special effort to listen to music in order to contribute. In previous years people have talked about the songs that popped into their head, or of the music drifting in through open windows. Music surrounds us almost everywhere we go during our daily lives, so just tell us your thoughts on what you hear, and how it makes you feel.

How you tell us the story of your music listening day is simple, and it breaks down like this:

– Talk about how, where and why you listen to music on 21st July.

– You can email that story to submit@harkive.org, or post your thoughts and observations to social networks such as Twitter or Facebook – just include remember to include the #harkive hashtag.

– Write as much or as little as you like. You can send one tweet, or a hundred across the day. You can email a two-line snapshot, or a very long essay. There are no word limits.

For a little more detail on the different ways you can tell your story, have a look at the How To Contribute page, where you’ll see that as well as emails and social network posts, you can also take photos, record some audio, or even make a video.

If you’re still a little stuck as to how you might tell your story, we’ve posted a number of example contributions from musicians, journalists and fans over the last few weeks. Take a scroll back through the blog to get an idea of how others have told their stories.

If Harkive sounds like your thing, we’d look forward to hearing your story on 21st July. And if you can help us spread the word in the meantime, that would be fantastic. You can do that by pointing your friends in the direction of www.harkive.org, or by directing them to Harkive on Twitter, or to our Facebook page.

On Tuesday 21st July 2015 the world will be listening. We’d love to hear your story.

Thank you

Harkive – The Final Countdown – 5 Days To Go!

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world about How, Where and Why they listen on the day. If you’re a fan of music, we’d love to hear your story.

All this week we’ve been posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music, and with 5 days to go until Harkive day, we’re very pleased to bring you another.

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Ian Fenton is a Scotsman living in Helsinki, Finland, who runs a record label called Frozen Reeds. They produce records and books, such as Morton Feldman – ‘Crippled Symmetry: at June in Buffalo’, and a forthcoming volume of interviews with composer Jakob Ullmann. You can keep an eye on the label’s activities by following them on Twitter.

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Here is Ian’s listening day, from 13th July 2015.

The night before the day I chose to describe for this project, I found myself wondering why, upon tuning in to WPRB via their Internet stream on several Thursday afternoons prior (early morning in their local broadcast area), I hadn’t found Teri Noel Towe playing and discussing his usual trove of classical music, with a particular emphasis on the work of Johann Sebastian Bach. I’ve come to rely on him over the past two or three years. There is so much music available these days that having an expert voice to talk you through even a tiny portion of what interests you – particularly a voice as amiable as that of the erudite, charmingly prickly, and always immensely entertaining Mr Towe – has become increasingly important to me.

Scrolling down his program’s Facebook wall, past all the news about gay marriage and the Republicans-are-absurd memes (Mr Towe is both community- and politically minded when he isn’t sharing gems from 18th-century Middle Europe), I discover a saddening little note that leaves me feeling quite flat. Mr Towe is taking an indefinite sabbatical from the show, after years behind the console. Citing tiredness and, to some extent, the fulfillment of his aims, he explained that he is taking a well-earned break.

I sat in silence for a while, when I should really have been brushing my teeth. After a few minutes of reflection in the dark, I resolved to do a degree more listening and research in this area for myself. While I can’t hope to build up the repository of fascinating background knowledge Mr Towe possesses, I’m sure a new emphasis will prove rewarding. My listening to music is often very closely tied to reading, whether following up articles or reviews, literary references, or just plain research. No big change in the offing then, perhaps, but I resolve to apply more focus. More focus on Johann Sebastian Bach.

So, the Harkive day.

The first thing I listen to, less than an hour after waking, is ‘The Legendary Busoni Recordings’, by pianist Paul Jacobs on the Arbiter label. I often return to the Bach-Busoni Organ Chorale Preludes on the second CD, and now I listen to them twice, then let the disc play out with the Brahms-Busoni pieces that follow.

Brian Eno complains somewhere about the failure in classical music making to recognize the value of what they call production in rock music. A particularly rewarding performance is one thing – and rare enough – but to capture the sound itself in such a way that transports the listener in its own right is every bit as desirable. Find the combination of both and you have a genuine classic on your hands.

Records like that should come with a special sticker on the cover. One of the first I’d apply it to would be this Paul Jacobs release. Nonesuch’s recordists often really knew what they were doing, whether they found themselves in front of a gamelan orchestra in Java or sipping coffee in the wee hours at Columbia’s Thirtieth Street studios. Some of them were into Gurdjieff, I’ve heard. Anyway, they made music like Charles Wuorinen’s pleasing to the ear somehow, so hats off.

When I hear a piano recorded to its best advantage, particularly playing repertoire with slow, brooding passages, it reminds me, for some reason, of velvet. A bit of mild synesthesia, maybe. This recording has that effect on me (as does Aki Takahashi’s recording of Morton Feldman’s ‘Triadic Memories’ on the Japanese ALM label – seek it out!) So, fair to say I’ve started the day on a high point.

I leave the house for a while. Though I have a good pair of headphones with me, usually used to listen to progressive rock albums of late, I don’t feel like using them this afternoon. No musical experiences of note outdoors today either.

Getting back to the flat to continue the afternoon’s work, I usually put a CD on repeat, one that I can tune in and out to at will, but one that will make a pleasing background too. Usually it’s something by The Necks, or maybe Satie. A few years back, for a long stretch it was Marin Marais performed by Jordi Savall.

Today it’s Andrew Lawrence-King’s ‘The Secret Of The Semitones’, Bach performances for baroque harp. This is a fascinating record. Maybe too fascinating, considering that I’m trying to work. You could call it Bach for Lou Harrison fans.

Though I wasn’t consciously thinking of Teri Noel Towe when I put this CD on, as it plays through I remember that I bought it on his recommendation – I believe he played it during one of the long Christmas Bach marathons on WKCR, another great American radio station you can listen to online.

It’s one of those records that reminds you of all the nonsense accompanying classical performance practices. Stuff like: ‘Bach shouldn’t be played on piano’. Forget all that. Never allow pedantry get in the way of beauty.

Eventually, predictably, I get round to The Necks: their first album, ‘Sex’. If by some chance you don’t know this incredible group, please rectify this immediately. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t become completely absorbed in their music at first hearing. Of course, they are old news to many people, but I never shut up about them, just in case.

Then a break from music for an hour or two. Business in the house, comings and goings. Making the evening meal.

In the evening, Ms Reeds and I watch two episodes of Bargain Hunt on YouTube. I usually get bored of television programs quite quickly, but there is no sign of this happening with Bargain Hunt so far. Wish we could be contestants on this one day. Doesn’t everyone?

Since the laptop is now in front of the stereo, and plugged into it, the temptation to find random things on the Internet to watch or listen to is too great. A snippet of a shit Blur song on the TV program triggers a succession of YouTube video views, ranging from Madonna (‘Vogue’) to The Cult (How did they get away with it?), to Metallica, to Genesis (live 70s stuff with daft interview segments).

Finally, I put on Genesis’ ‘Foxtrot’ on CD and skip to ‘Supper’s Ready’. It’s fantastic. Transporting as always. I listen to the full 25 minutes or so. Just sitting on the couch, while Ms Reeds waters the plants on the balcony outside. Then back to brushing my teeth and the cycle continues.

…and that was Ian’s listening day. We’d love to hear about yours next week.

You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post and we’ll do the rest.

Or, you can write something longer and email it to us, like Ian did.  Alternatively you can post your longer story to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog/website – again, just remember to include a #harkive tag. We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. All available means of providing us with your story are detailed on the How To Contribute page.

We hope you’ll consider telling your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email us.

Thanks!

Harkive – The Final Countdown…6 Days To Go!

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world about How, Where and Why they listen on the day. If you’re a fan of music, we’d love to hear your story.

With just 6 days to go we’re posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music. Earlier today we had Geoff Dolman from Static Caravan Recordings, a UK independent label with an impressive catalogue approaching 300 releases, and now we’re we really pleased to bring you a music listening story from Wally Clark, the Nashville-based DJ and producer behind the incredible Gummy Soul label.

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Wally and his collaborators achieved a certain notoriety in 2012 with the release of their ‘Bizarre Tribe’ remix album, which recreated classic A Tribe Called Quest beats using the original source samples, and then placed Pharcyde rhymes on top. The release went around the internet like wildfire, before eventually attracting the attention of copyright lawyers who soon forced the album’s withdrawal. Nevertheless, music fans having discovered Gummy Soul were pleased to discover previous work that had remained available, including ‘Fela Soul‘, which remixed De La Soul with Fela Kuti-sampled tracks.

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More recently they came up with the fantastic ’93 Still’, created in collaboration with the Souls of Mischief on the 20th anniversary year of their ’93 Til’ Infinity’ debut (which is a particular favourite here at Harkive HQ), and in early July 2015 Wally released his new album, ‘Fling’.

We’ve included an embed of ’93 Still’ below. This and much, much more can be found on the Gummy Soul Bandcamp page. Releases are either free, or else ‘Pay What You Want’, so head over there and get familiar.

Here’s Wally’s story of a day in July 2015..

On a typical Friday in the Summer, I wake up around 2.

I play 8 Ball and Mg’s “Comin Out Hard” in my Mercury Zephyr as I do errands. It’s so hot usually, that I then sneak into one of the pools in my area, then go home and chill from 5 til 8.

Then I put on my Jukebox, which is full of Soul and Doo Wop, and clean then house or do whatever chores need doing. Then I take a shower and get dressed up, then go to my studio to pregame and make music. I usually do that from 9 til 1, then I go out.

During that time I’m digging through my record collection, for samples to use. On the way, the the bar, I like to get into player mode by listening to Roc Marciano, or the WVOL AM 1470, the soul station in Nashville. When I’m lucky enough to have a lady accompany back to my place, I usually put on Little Dragon or Jungle Pandora to set the mood.

Then I wake up, and rinse and repeat.

…and that was Wally’s listening day. We’d love to hear about yours next week.

You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post and we’ll do the rest.

Or, you can write something longer and email it to us, like Wally did.  Alternatively you can post it Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog/website – again, just remember to include a #harkive tag. We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. All available means of providing us with your story are detailed on the How To Contribute page.

We hope you’ll consider telling your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page. If you have any questions in the meantime, please feel free to email us.

Thanks!

Harkive 2015 – The Final Countdown – 6 days to go!

On Tuesday 21st July Harkive will once again be collecting stories from music fans around the world. The aim is to capture for posterity a global snapshot of the way in which we interact with the sounds and technology of today.

With just 6 days to go we’re posting some example contributions from interesting people involved with popular music. Today’s example comes from Geoff Dolman, owner of Static Caravan Recordings.

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10″ vinyl release by The Memory Band on Static Caravan Records for Record Store Day 2014

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Yellow Moon Band 7″ on Static Caravan

Geoff started Static Caravan as a 7″ single label in the late 1990s and is now approaching his 300th release. Static Caravan has released critically-acclaimed records by Tunng, Beth Jeans Houghton, Darren Hayman, The Yellow Moon Band, Laura J Martin, Hannah Peel and The Memory Band. This video, featuring many of the artists released by the label talking about working with Geoff, provides a fine introduction to the Static Caravan universe.

Along with providing us with the fine example shown below, Geoff has also kindly provided a selection of Static Caravan releases on CD and vinyl to the Harkive prize draw. To be in with a chance of winning these goodies, or one of the other 2015 prizes, just tell your story on 21st July. Details of how to do that are to be found on the How To Contribute page.

Here is Geoff’s listening day from June 2015:

06:20 Radio 6: Chris Hawkins. I can remember only that he played The Gin Blossoms and went on about Glastonbury.

07:00 Radio 6: Shaun Keavney. He opened with Dinosaur Jr, but then please spare me, son of Tornados guitarists band, Muse.

07:55 Car: last track ‘At Least Show That You Care’ from the very good SLUG album. The Phoenix Foundation CD ‘Give Up your Dreams’. Did not connect so fast forward to Field Music: CD ‘Music for Drifters’. All hail the genius that is the Brewis brothers.

09:00 desk – Jacco Gardner : Hypnophobia (Full Time Hobby) Media Player (rather tasty joyful psych Barret Hitchcock album)

10:00 CD – David Kauffman and Eric Caboor – Songs from Suicide Bridge

13:00 CD – Some Some Unicorn – The Golden Periphery

14:21 media player – James McMurtry – Complicated Game
Boat To Row – Soundcloud – tracks from debut album (I Found You Here) yet to be released. Porcje Rosołowe – Soundcloud – Demo “Ballet/Semifoul”

16:05 Soundcloud – Wide Skies – Gold Dust (possible new Static Caravan single).

Download ‘ Owen Tomans – No Heart EP

CD – Ned Doheny – Hard Candy/ Prone (doesn’t everyone listen to this once a day?)
Car CD player: Field Music – Music for Drifters

Home 18:15 to 19:50 BBC Radio 6, DAB radio, Steve Lamacq and Marc Riley. To be honest I heard none of this due to family noise and feedback

20:45 Ironing! Vinyl –
Bobby Moore and the Rhythm Aces (side 2 only)
Saun and Star – Look Closer
Cosmic Ground – Deadlock (deep distance 30)
Placebo – Placebo (not the cack indie band)

Then a bit of Gideon Coe as I make packed lunches and bed.

…and that was Geoff’s listening day. We’d love to hear about yours next week.

You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day, creating a diary of posts – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post, and we’ll do the rest. Or you can write something longer and email it to us, or post it to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog or website (again – remember to include the harkive tag). We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.

We hope you’ll tell your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page.

Thanks!

Harkive 2015 – The Final Countdown – 7 days to go!

We’re into the final countdown now, with just 7 days to go until Harkive 2015. As we’ve done in previous years, each day between now and the big we’ll be posting example contributions from interesting folks involved with popular music. Today’s example comes from Marcus O’Dair

Marcus is a music journalist (Guardian, Pitchfork, Wire, Uncut), one half of the group Grasscut (Ninja Tune, Lo Recordings), and lecturer in popular music at Middlesex University in London. He is also the author of Different Every Time: the Authorised Biography of Robert Wyatt (Serpent’s Tail, 2014), which was shortlisted for the Penderyn music book prize and was a Radio 4 book of the week, and a book of the year in the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Sunday Times, the Evening Standard and Uncut magazine. You can follow Marcus on Twitter, where he is @marcusodair.

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Along with providing us with his example contribution, shown below, Marcus has also kindly provided a signed copy of his Robert Wyatt biography to the Harkive prize draw. To be in with a chance of winning this lovely hardback edition, or one of the other 2015 prizes, just tell your story on 21st July. Details of how to do that are to be found on the How To Contribute page.

Here is Marcus’ listening diary from early July 2015.

I’m listening to Dusty In Memphis on Spotify. This despite the fact that I’m writing about Massive Attack. Occasionally, though, to check a particular detail, I’m flicking back to Massive Attack, or to musicians whom Massive Attack have sampled. This too is on Spotify. In fact, I assume when I first contemplate this Harkive exercise that everything will be via Spotify – that I happen to have chosen to document a day that is, at least in terms of the ways in which I’m listening to music, spectacular only in its monotony. I wonder briefly why I didn’t choose the previous day: iPod on the train, Soundcloud in the hotel room, then videos of student performances in my role as an external examiner. Or the day before, when I was reviewing records for Uncut, both via PR-sanctioned download and direct from Bandcamp.

In the end, though, the day’s listening is more diverse than I’d anticipated. There’s plenty more Spotify (Gene Clark, Four Tet, Black Uhuru, The Focus Group, Sam Prekop, Kendrick Lemar, Jessica Pratt): I’m working from home today and, with two young children, that means headphones. But I’m not only using music as a more enjoyable version of cotton wool in the ears. I’m emailed at one point by a poor chap tasked with translating my Robert Wyatt biography, and flick through to a specific track in order to help him render in Italian my description of a particular guitar part as ‘swooping’. (Does the word, he wants to know, imply only downward movement?) I also listen to CDs: The Animals, Terry Riley and Tito Puente, picking up my double bass to play along – badly – with the last. In the evening, I go the whole hog, sticking on a Jamey Aebersold playalong CD for a bash at Satin Doll on my new melodica. Seriously. I also listen to a track via Youtube, when selecting a ‘track of the day’ to post on social media for my band Grasscut. When I get in the car with my wife and children at the end of the day, for a quick trip to the beach, we have the radio on, then a children’s CD (the only one all four of us can tolerate, being in Spanish and vaguely reminiscent of Gogol Bordello). Later in the evening, I listen to 6Music in the kitchen, happening to catch one of my mates in session. And I manage a few minutes on the piano myself, a stiff-fingered bash through Bach, Bartok and boogie-woogie.

Vinyl, throughout all this, sits there accusingly, leaning against the wall behind me. ‘I’m having a revival,’ it says. I reply that I’ve just moved home and don’t even have a deck set up, but it pretends not to notice.

…and that was Marcus’ listening day.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this and would like to tell Harkive your story on July 21st, we’d love to hear it. You can tell that story in any number of ways: you can use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or other social networks to post as many entries as you like across the day, creating a diary of posts – just remember to include the #harkive hashtag in each post, and we’ll do the rest. Or you can write something longer, like Marcus has, and email it to us, post it to Medium, Tumblr, or to you own blog or website (again – remember to include the harkive tag). We also accept photos, video and audio. Hopefully there is a method that suits you. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us.

We hope you’ll tell your music listening story next Tuesday. In the meantime you can keep an eye on the project by following us on Twitter, or by liking our Facebook page.

Thanks!