Monday, April 16, 2012

Tafelmusik Goes Independent

Over the past month, the folks behind the scenes at Tafelmusik have begun the initial stages of running their own music label. Giving the organization total control over the production and direction of new recordings, as well as all of the profit, Tafelmusik is just one of many orchestras, both modern and baroque, who are switching to the independent model. Two orchestras running their own label which immediately spring to mind are Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco as well as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Though Tafelmusik hails their creation, Tafelmusik Media, as 'cutting-edge', I would argue it is more a symbol of the times. With major label contracts costing artists too much money and giving them a slim chance of return on investment, performance organizations with the proper infrastructure are making a go of it themselves. Thanks to the internet, anything is possible these days.

With their new label, Tafelmusik hopes to publish both studio and live recordings, dvds, and re-release older recordings from other labels, such as CBC and Sony, which have fallen out of print. Tafelmusik has also created a new website, Watch and Listen, which, though it mainly relays interviews and other promotional media from their Youtube channel at the moment, will eventually broadcast concerts and other events related to the Orchestra live.

There may be some time before we see the full potential of TM, but if the excitement over at Tafelmusik can be taken as a clue, then surely we won't be disappointed.

What I would be interested in seeing is if Tafelmusik Media will offer its services to ensembles formed by the members of the orchestra. As far as I can tell, independent labels such as TM haven't yet begun releasing CDs by artists operating under another name than the orchestra. I wonder who will take that step first?

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