In Brazil, in the small towns of villages of the backlands, there is something called a "mutirão". People join together to help somebody in the community build a house, or put a new roof up. At the end of the day, when the work is done, there is music, singing and dancing.
Relayed Open Music Curation is something similar, although it starts with the music. People are joined together to help other people discover musicians and their work.
We curate, or recommend, musicians (or anybody with musical opinions) we deem worthy. Others are welcome to follow those recommendations, or not, based upon what they know, feel, or have gleaned about the curator in question.
People who are recommended also recommend, as do the people they recommend, and on and on. And so develop furcating Euterpean trails leading from people we know, or know of, to people we don't know. Musicians who formerly may not have been heard beyond a bounded range can now be accessed from all over the world, through all sorts of people, including, ironically, people who don't even know they exist.
Relayed Open Music Curation is a musical mutirão then in which all are welcome to participate (in opening up the music world as it's never been open before).
When logged in, click on the gear icon (which will ONLY be visible when logged in) in a profiles's header image. Then click on "Recommend Me".
You will immediately appear on the THEY RECOMMEND ME list of the person being recommended, and they will immediately appear on your I RECOMMEND THEM list.
You can likewise click on the RECOMMEND ME's that are associated with profile names on people's incoming and outgoing recommendations lists.
In addition to recommending people in and of themselves, one may ALSO recommend people categorically by clicking on these categories on CATEGORICAL IN tabs. The people you so recommend, and the specific categories, will appear via a link on your CATEGORICAL OUT tab.
This allows people to search within categories, by types of music, or locations, for example.
In order to set this up for yourself all you have to do is type any category you wish (you can make up your own) on your CATEGORICAL IN tab. You can look at the categories on any page to get an idea of what's already there.
Our Primal Origins
The original impetus for this open music curation project came from a desire for a means of publicizing amazing but little-known musicians from the Bahian Recôncavo (heh-KOHN-cah-vo, the concave-shaped region around Bahia's great Bay of all Saints, cradle of Brazil's samba and analogous in Brazil to the Mississippi Delta in the United States in that the great root of the nation's popular music is here). We DO publicize by means of our specialty record shop in Salvador's Old Historical Center, but that of course means one must be here in Salvador and blow through our door (lots of people from David Byrne to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar have) in order to personally access information.
I also publicized by means of my site Salvador Central (originally Bahia-Online), but I wanted to go many steps further, not only allowing musicians to have their own page, whereupon they could write about themselves, put up their music and video clips, etc. etc. etc. ... but I further wanted this to be a place where THEY could recommend OTHER musicians. After all, who knows more about their music and their world than they do?!
One unheralded but extremely powerful result of this method is that when people recommend people who recommend people who recommend people... pathways are formed which can navigated step-by-step, leading people to people and music they would in many cases never, ever discover.
For the benefit of someone like João do Boi, for example, somebody almost impossible to previously find unless one wandered backroads (or into my record shop), a well-known musician in New York can link directly to him, providing a direct audience. Or a musician in Berlin might link to a musician in Cape Verde who links to a musician in New Orleans who links to João. The musician in Berlin doesn't have to know that João lives and breathes, but his participation helps João's discoverablility; as João's recommendations likewise help the discoverability of people he doesn't dream exist.
Has João ever heard of you?
Who am I? My name is Randy Roberts. Here in Brazil they call me "Pardal", which translates to "Sparrow". Take your pick. I work out of Cana Brava Records, located just around the corner from where my dear friend Bule Bule is seated directly above.
Years ago in New York City I rescued unpaid royalties for people and entities including Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Philip Glass, Led Zeppelin, the estate of Duke Ellington, Mongo Santamaria, Airto Moreira, and many others.
This current project is predicated on the truism that there is no correlation between artistic worth and fame. Fame is generated by paid media and most of the world's most amazing musicians aren't a part of it. Open Music Curation is a means for people to discover musicians and music independently of the publicity/media game by participating in a system with a strong resemblance to another game: Kevin Bacon / Six Degrees of Separation.
As per the concept and mathematics behind "six degrees of separation", open music curation is capable of bringing us all closer to each other than we might think!