Can the creation of music be crowdsourced? Ericsson and DJ Avicii think it can


New internet and social networking tools have let us to crowdsource our work, our code, the curation of news and even our investments. So why don’t we crowdsource the next hit song? Swedish DJ and producer Avicii and mobile networking giant Ericsson(s eric) think that the creation of music can be turned over, in part, to the masses. They’re launching a project at CES 2013 in which producers and Avicii fans around the world can collaborate to make the producer’s next single.

The project is called Avicii x You, and on its website, you can listen to and download the basic chord progression for the song’s planned melody. Starting on Wednesday, the site will begin accepting submissions (the process is still a bit vague) for audio samples of a fully developed melody using the chord layout, pitch and key Avicii has indicated. Over the next two months, the site will begin accepting submissions for the song’s bassline, effects, rhythms and vocals. The finished single will be released as a single on Feb. 26, coinciding with the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

It’s not clear whether participants will have any say in the samples used for the various tracks or any other input on composition beyond their initial submissions. But it looks like Avicii will have the final say on the finished single. In that sense, the crowd isn’t so much composing the song as providing a huge repository of raw audio materials.

Ericsson is spearheading the project with the help of Avicii’s label Universal Music Sweden as part of its Networked Society initiative, which aims to discover new means for industries, institutions and people to interact through real-time broadband communications. According to Ericsson, the music industry has already embraced the digital network as a means of distributing music and connecting to fans. The project will explore whether the network can be used as means of producing music as well.


Seth W

Crowdsourced music is currently experiencing a little bit of an upswing. Ryan Walsh, lead singer/guitarist of indie band Hallelujah The Hills, just released his new song that was composed from over 100 individually-submitted samples of people singing the sentence “You can escape your fate, but it’s not considered polite.” The track ended up being a kind of haunting, ethereal meditation melody, completely unlike what Walsh had in mind when he started it.

It’s cool that all these people came together to create something that hadn’t been there before, and that’s probably the goal of this project as well: just to create something new with a relatively unexplored method.

You can hear Walsh’s crowdsourced composition and read an interview about the creative process here:

Lucas Borja Peinado

soooo it seems Avicii has so far not used anybody else’s drums, taps, effects… or not credited anybody for those at least. I don’t know, let’s see his latest release for mention of drum machine manufacturers, plug-in developers, sound designers, etc… and now he feels righteous for giving credit where it has long been due (deflating sound).

I’m not sure the Ericsson/Avicii team understood the idea of crowd sourcing, where all collaborate in the cause for a common good: in this case a better electronic track NOT a better Avicii track (although a welcomed contribution).

@Ericsson I would recommend scrap the Avicii factor (or any big star trying to ride on the initiative) and you might be a bit more convincing. You got plenty self-motivated creators out there ready to contribute and spread the word of a genuine crowd sourced initiative.

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