"CASH Music Is Now" by Kristin Hersh, November 26 2007 (originally published on kristinhersh.com)
Welcome to my sparkly-new CASH Music project.
As many of you may already know, CASH is an acronym — it stands for the Coalition of Artists & Stake Holders.
The name indicates just what we’re all hoping to build here — a coalition through which we blur the line that’s
traditionally stood between creators of content and the consumers of that content.
Just to head off any potential confusion, CASH Music is not “me”, or “mine”. It’s a group
of people that have built a framework that is not meant for any single artist. I’m only the first. Look for more artists
soon. The next featured artist and a co-founder of the coalition is Donita Sparks. CASH will soon be open to any and all independent
artists who want a set of tools to offer their music directly to their audience for collaboration as well as financial support.
We’re all stake holders here. We all stand to gain from a productive relationship. Maybe it will help to think of this relationship
as a conversation. For instance, I start the conversation by writing and recording a song every month, like the one I’m
posting here this month, “Slippershell”. You respond by listening & sharing“Slippershell” with others.
Sharing is encouraged, I license my work through Creative Commons.
If you’re unfamiliar with Creative Commons, do yourself a favor and check out the licenses I use. They’re in plain
English and provide better, more realistic and rational copyright protection.
Here are some beautiful things from a world none of us remember:
• a folk song is carried across the ocean,
altered by the voices which relay it. Chord progressions, lyrics and instrumentation change as the original material is shaped
according to different concepts of beauty in sound.
• a blues player walks a song from town
to town, playing on street corners, in dance halls, at parties and bars. The song stays when the musician leaves, adopted
and adapted to suit various personalities, voices and life stories.
Art is by nature a conversation. I’d like us to make it a community. Think about
what you have to offer. Read-only culture is not enough anymore. We’d like you to treat this stuff as read-write. I’d also like to hear your comments on the songs
I post each month. I’ll read them all and reply too.
What does read-write mean? Maybe as you’re listening to “Slippershell”, you’re inspired to DO something: paint a picture, write an essay, make a video, remix, or even re-record the song. Please do so. And share your work with me and the rest of
the CASH community by uploading it somewhere and sending me a link. I’m offering my Pro Tools mix stems to make it easy
to work with my recorded material. We will review all the links submitted, I promise. At some point, I’ll release the
songs I post here in the form of a CD. It’s my intention that the CD release should also include lots of the stuff you
send me. I think that would be incredible.
What we’re doing today is just the beginning.
It is in the nature of a share and share alike community to grow. Gradually, over the next weeks and months CASH Music will
be revealing it’s “real” self. Other artists will be involved, the final and fully-capable site will be
launched and new features will be added — all incorporating your input and creativity. CASH is a community that in the
end will be defined by itself.
Here’s an ugly thing we all see every day:
• Big business tries to replace your opinions because this makes big business money. But big business
isn’t me and it isn’t you.
Here’s something you can do about it:
• Demand substance.
Substance in music, in education, in art, in health, in film, in information, in everything. When you find people doing something
you like, support that endeavor as an investment in the future of quality output.
CASH asks for your financial support. Please consider
contributing or subscribing in whatever amount is comfortable to you. Your money will support not only me and my work but
CASH directly, allowing this community to grow and become something to be proud of. A forum for all of us as creative individuals
to collaborate, creating “read-write” culture from user-generated content.
This should make for an exceptionally interesting conversation, don’t you think?