Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Chris Port Blog #256. Back-of-a-fag-packet note to musical composers

I’m currently drafting a back-of-a-fag-packet brief for musical composers which will be posted soon. This will answer FAQs about things like ethos, creative styles and influences, creative control and copyright, end products and money.

Two important points here:

First, in layman’s terms, I would like to make it absolutely clear what we are not doing. We are not copying other people’s work, fiddling a few words and notes to get around a few laws, then trying to make money out of other artists’ success. Marty Gull rejects such an approach as unethical and uncreative. Anyone who does this deserves to have the arse sued off them.

Second, all contributors to Marty Gull will reserve and retain full copyright on their submissions (whether used or not). Your work will not be publicized or used without your prior written permission. The money bit will be in the book (How To Write A Revenge Musical) and I will come to more detailed legal arrangements with contributors on this at a later stage.

For the moment, put copyright entanglements out of your head. That’s what lawyers are (highly) paid for. Just enter the project with an open and honest spirit and get your toe in the door. Don’t send me anything until you’ve had a good look round the many rooms.

I would suggest just having a curious poke around Marty’s blog to get a feel for the project. There’s rather a lot there, I know… so here’s a few pointers:

Think surreal. Think satirical. Think tragicomic. Think musical political theatre. Think novels and poems. Think TV and films. Think intertextual. Think naughty. Think fun.

At this fluid stage, probably the best thing to do is just go with your gut instincts. Some lyrics and influences will tickle your creative juices more than others. Obviously don’t get stuck into anything (unless the muse carries you away, in which case nothing on earth could stop you). Just dog-ear a few likely candidate songs and start humming a few tunes at the back of your head while doing the shopping or the ironing. It’s the best way in.

One of the key words of the whole project is “rhizomatic”, so just go where those random neuron connections take you. One of my jobs (later on) will be to draw all the different strands together to make them work as a whole… But this is the fun part where I just put my feet up and release creative control to everyone else… Have fun with it.


17th May 2011

1 comment:

  1. 'Report calls for overhaul of UK copyright law'
    guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 17 May 2011

    "The government is to be urged to relax UK intellectual property laws to make it easier for people's work to be parodied, potentially paving the way for the more robust humour..."