Text by Dawoud Kringle
In 2016, the World Economic Forum released a Facebook video with predictions it had for the world in 2030. One of these is that by 2030, technology may, in all likelihood, have advanced to the point that owning physical devices may become obsolete.
There are advantages to owning less things. There are fewer commitments and responsibilities, and have the freedom to sever ties whenever you want. But the downside is that when you buy a device that requires proprietary software to run, you don’t own it. The money you pay does not offer actual ownership; it is a lease where you agree to a life defined by terms you had no part in deciding. When hardware is merely a vessel for software and not a useful thing on its own, you don’t really get to decide anything. The company or corporation that built it will decide when to stop pushing vital updates and what you do with the product after it’s dead or obsolete. Anyone who owns an older computer will recognize this. The power has shifted so that companies set the parameters, and consumers are forced to choose the lesser of several evils.
Much of this can be traced back to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA https://www.copyright.gov/policy/1201/) makes it illegal to circumvent digital locks that protect a company’s proprietary software. Manufacturers have exploited this loophole brilliantly. It allowed software developers to essentially lock up the whole world behind software with the intent to turn the entire planet into a permanent renting class. The oligarchy / elite who actually own everything will, inevitably, make you pay money to access the things you use and own.
“If one person’s sense of value as a human being is renewed, their family, their community, all of us are affected by it in a positive way. We all benefit”
In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, our guest is Alina Bloomgarden. Alina was the original producer of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC), the Lincoln Center Reel to Real series, and Director of Visitors Services for 23 years, where she received the Directors Emeriti Award for outstanding achievement. Proposing that jazz had a rightful place at America’s preeminent performing arts center, she invited Wynton Marsalis to participate as Artistic Advisor. She produced the first critically-acclaimed seasons of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Alina is also the founder and executive director of Music On the Inside (MOTI), an organization that works with professional musicians to bring the transformative power of music education and mentorship to people who are incarcerated, facing the challenges of re-entry or impacted by incarceration.
Music featured on this episode:
Artist: Amy Denio
Label: Spoot Music
Genre: singer songwriter/no genre
Buy and listen here: https://amydenio.bandcamp.com/album/amy-denio-pandemonium
Review by Dawoud Kringle
“Music is service.” – David
This episode of MFM Speaks Out will be different from our usual format. Dawoud Kringle will be interviewing his guest; a professional musician and recovering drug addict and alcoholic. Out of respect to our guest and the tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous and other substance abuse recovery programs, we are protecting our guest’s anonymity and referring to him as Dave. Our discussion will center around alcoholism, drug abuse, and substance abuse recovery among musicians.
Topics discussed: How did substance abuse and music enter Dave’s life and how they intersected, the presence of drugs and alcohol, stigma of addiction among musicians, how it affected his life and career, the turning point where he decided he’d had enough, the difficulties of cleaning up and staying clean, and advice to musicians (and all others) who are suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.
Music featured on this episode:
By Dawoud Kringle
Photo by Chris May
This is the second of a series of articles devoted to the women of jazz. It is a small attempt to give props and respect to an inexcusably overlooked segment of the music community (the first installment featured Emily Remler. This installment features Alice Coltrane, because there are few musicians in the history of jazz who successfully embodied the balance between music and spirituality as she did.
Born Alice McLeod in Detroit, MI in 1937 to Solon and Annie McLeod, Alice developed an interest in music in early childhood. By the age of nine, she played organ during services at Mount Olive Baptist church. She pursued music and started to perform in various clubs around Detroit, until moving to Paris in the late 1950s. By 1960, she worked as the intermission pianist at the Blue Note Jazz Club. She studied classical music, and studied jazz with Bud Powell, and also appeared on French television in a performance with Lucky Thompson, Pierre Michelot and Kenny Clarke. In the early 60’s she returned to Detroit and began playing jazz with her own trio and as a duo with vibraphonist Terry Pollard.