Tone trusts distribution to her fans
The experimental musician Tone adds new dimensions to the free-music model that she and the label behind her launched in 2008 under the phrase “Please copy this record to all of your friends”. Her coming EP – that precedes her third album – will not be released in conventional sense. Instead Tone will leave it entirely to her fans to share the music with the world when she gives the music to them on USB-keys during three concerts in May.
Tone (aka. Sofie Nielsen) has always seen filesharing as an amazing opportunity for artists: “The Internet and the willingness of fans to share music with each other has been my primary help to an established career, prominent record sales and an international fanbase. That is why I have chosen to take a step even further on my new EP-release, where I have manufactured 100 exclusive USB-keys with new tracks and extra material, that I will be giving away during three select concerts around Denmark in May. This is the only way the music is made available to the public; no other distribution than that. After these concerts it is entirely up to the concert goers on their own initiative to share the music – and thereby distribute it – via online social networks and the various filesharing services,” she says. The EP is a preview of Tone’s third album which will be releases conventionally in the fall of 2012 on vinyl LP and, of course, free download under Creative Commons license.
Tone herself thereby feels that the music is given a new life and that her fans are given an even larger – and highly deserved – role in the release. “I think it is extremely exciting to give the listener a distinct role, so that they become part of the process and help create a musical community with each other. Additionally I also think that it is highly nerving to leave the fate of the music in the hands of the people attending my concerts and from there rely on simply following the mechanisms of the sharing culture from a distance.”
Since Tone broke through with her debutalbum Small Arm of Sea in 2008, she has been touring heavily in Europe, United States and of course her homeland of Denmark, as well as released the follow-up album Hanging By The Moon under the same concept; namely to share the music – for free – while also distributing it to stores in the traditional sense.
Christian Villum who runs the record label behind Tone, Uhrlaut Records, explains: “The Internet and filesharing is actually an amazing opportunity for musicians and labels. After having released several records with free filesharing as part of the business model, we’ve been able to confirm that the more downloads we give away, the more records we sell in stores and at concerts. And now we can book many more concerts than ever before. We want to highlight this positive tendency, so more artists and labels realize that it is much better business to open up their music rather than spend their energy and funds on lawyers and trials against music fans. With this release we want to instead nurture the music fans and emphasize their invaluable role in the music business.
Tones EP “Black Duck” will be given away at the following concerts:
Photos by Gitte Overgaard.