[Community_studios] Newsletter Issue #3: March, 2004
tompoe at amihost.com
Mon Mar 1 10:59:17 EST 2004
OPEN STUDIOS: RUNNING BOARD
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"Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence." -- Who said that?
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Open Studios continues its registration process with states throughout
the country. As a nonprofit organization, we seek donations and
contributions from the public. Many states therefore, require that we
register with them. Some five states permit registration without fees,
or don't require registration at all at this point. The rest,
apparently, require fees of $10, $15, up to $80 USD or more. We view
this process as an important and necessary, if not onerous, burden. Can
you help? The full story is at:
http://www.ibiblio.org/studioforrecording/statereg.html . We call it
our SPONSOR A STATE PROJECT.
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Each month, we'll highlight a few of the previous month's news articles
(hopefully with active links). Subscribers and supporters are encouragd
to email us with links you found to be interesting. We'll add them
here. It's a good way for collecting an archive you can refer to when
you need it as part of your Internet business strategies.
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Friday, Jan. 30, 2004- Reuters
Def Jam Sued for Allegedly Distorting Charts
By Samantha Chang
Rossi, a Billboard charts manager from 1986-1994, alleges that Giaco
artificially inflated sales figures reported to SoundScan, resulting in
distorted computerized reports. Rossi claims Def Jam offered free CDs to
independent retail stores in exchange for their agreeing to repeatedly
swipe the CDs across scanning machines to boost sales figures.
"Def Jam provided Giaco with free records for independent retailers to
scan more records than actually sold," the complaint states. It says
Giaco allegedly threatened to delay album shipments to non-complying
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Record Firm EMI Cracks Down on Beatles/Jay-Z Remix
Monday, Feb. 16, 2004
"LONDON (Reuters) - British record company EMI Group has taken action
against a DJ's attempt to crossbreed the Beatles' "White Album" with
hip-hop star Jay-Z, but the crackdown has not stopped the spread of the
"EMI, which owns the rights to the Beatles' sound recordings, sent
letters to independent record stores last week insisting they stop
distributing DJ Danger Mouse's "Gray Album," which mixes the lyrics of
Jay-Z's "Black Album" with music from the "White Album." "
In November of 2003 Jay-Z released 'The Black Album'....
Now, Producer and DJ - Danger Mouse, Presents....
' THE GREY ALBUM '
"The Grey Album is an art project/experiment that uses the full vocal
content of Jay-Z's Black Album recorded over new beats and production
made using the Beatles White Album as the sole source material.
Danger Mouse insists he can explain and prove that all the music
on the Grey Album can be traced back to the White Album and its
musical content via sampling. Every kick, snare, and chord is taken
from the Beatles White Album and is in their original recording
This Incredible re-interpretation will be one to look out for and
will be made available worldwide around Feb/March of 2004.
The resulting record is a unique hybrid of work from one of
hip-hop's fastest rising production stars via two of the most
important musical and cultural forces ever."
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Movie Industry Group Sues Over DVD Copying
By MAY WONG AP Technology Writer
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - "A film industry group that oversees copy
protection technology of movie DVDs filed a patent infringement lawsuit
Friday against 321 Studios Inc., the maker of popular DVD-copying
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York, is the latest salvo by the DVD Copy Control Association in its
larger fight against what the movie industry considers unauthorized
usage of its content.
The move also reflects the organization's strategic shift to go after
businesses instead of individuals. Last month, the group dropped its
trade secret case against San Francisco programmer Andrew Bunner and
hundreds of others who helped post on the Internet copies of a code that
cracks the movie copy-protection technology known as the Content
In two other pending lawsuits, the movie industry claims the software
facilitates copyright infringement and piracy. The company also faces a
patent lawsuit by encryption technology provider Macrovision Inc."
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Digital Independence.(jazz musicians use internet to reach fans)
Down Beat , July, 2000, by Jason Koransky
Saxophonist Greg Osby has a major label recording contract with Blue
Note, but this does not keep him from working tirelessly to promote his
own career. He has an e-mail list which he uses in a similar fashion as
Schwartz, and he's had a Web site since 1995 (now at Gregosby.com),
where in addition to the usual information such as discography,
biography and tour schedule, Osby posts information to give the public a
good sense as to who he is as an artist, such as theoretical
"I must get 50 or 60 e-mails a day, from people all around the world,"
Osby says. "Saxophone students write me with questions, musicians who
are stuck compositionally may ask for a suggestion, some people just
want to know what I'm working on. I try to help everyone with at least
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THE COMMUNITY SCENE:
Open Studios works with communities around the country and around the
world to build and operate community-based recording studios. You can
keep up with the latest happenings by checking this section each month.
Learn what others are doing, and get ideas for your community.
Did you know that in the future, grandparents will have refrigerators
with computers on the side, the monitor stylishly displaying files from
the Internet? Imagine the grandparents, each morning, walking over to
their refrigerator, loading up the day's drawing made by one of their
grandchildren? Nice, eh?
NO ENTRY THIS MONTH
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HOW THEY DO IT:
This on-going series explores potential business strategies and ideas
for musicians, artists, and authors interested in pursuing careers
outside mainstream industry practices.
WANT A MUSIC CAREER ON THE INTERNET?
" - - - the Internet has made me act like I have a career ahead of me!"
Buddy, DeFranco, 77 years of age when he said this; legendary
from: Digital Independence.(jazz musicians use internet to reach fans)
Down Beat Magazine, July, 2000, by Jason Koransky
* Getting "heard"
* Mainstream media/magazines
We won't discuss ingredient three. The first two ingredients are
interesting, though, because they are able to accelerate and
dramatically impact on a musician's career with the Internet in play.
Although world-of-mouth may be the single most important ingredient in a
musician's career, on or off the Internet, the second ingredient,
getting "heard", truly drives word-of-mouth.
In the old days, before the Internet, radio play was critical to a
successful career. Without radio play, a musician could not reach an
expanded audience. Each community would have to experience the same
"discovery" of the musician, at least until word-of-mouth began to
spread the musician's reputation further and further.
The Internet allows the musician full control of how she will be "heard"
around the world. Uploading songs, typically, in mp3 format, permits
listeners to download the file to their computer. If the listener uses
one of the P2P network clients, the song becomes available to others on
that particular network. The musician can then announce she's being
"heard" on the Jones P2P network, which helps spread the word. If the
network claims 3 million members, then one would expect she might be
getting fairly decent "radioplay", worldwide, no less. Wonder why the
RIAA thinks that's a bad thing?
The musician can upload the mp3 file to several sites that serve as
"stores" where her song is sold, such as iTunes, or mp3.com (now
defunct). These sites promise that if her song is played, they'll send
her all the money she's entitled to . . . . a dubious adventure, at the
least, but a lot of musicians will take whatever they can get, and avoid
discussing their poor business practices by dealing with these
"stores". Wonder why the RIAA thinks these "stores" are a good thing?
The Internet hosts a large number of Internet stations, college radio
stations, public radio stations, and commercial radio stations. To
date, there is no easy way to attract them all to the musician.
Instead, it is up to the musician to gather the information about each
station, contact the station, arrange to send a Demo CD, and then pursue
a follow-up strategy for being "heard". Some interesting possibilities
arise when the musician revisits this topic in relation to developing
her Digital Age Fan Club.
Getting "heard" on the Internet also follows the emergent software
"radios" such as www.gnomoradio.org and www.radioaid.com . These
desktop applications allow the user to click a button, and music is
played. The application fetches and plays lists of songs located on the
Internet. Web sites such as SONG STORM, seek to provide "one stop
shopping" for listeners. Artists, DJ's, radio stations are brought
together to provide the listener with search results that are intuitive
towards meeting the needs of the listener.
Getting "heard" on the Internet can be extremely time consuming, and
daunting for the musician not used to using the Internet. Digital Age
Fan Clubs present some interesting possibilities. A labor-intensive
project, in itself, forming a Fan Club has huge implications for the
musician who chooses to harness this unlimited resource. Jason J.
Deburgo calls his Fan Club, a networking group. Whatever the name, let
the members help, be active, whether to gather information, be delegated
responsibilities for stirring up concerts/gigs, selling recording
merchandise, helping to spot performance rights abusers, or simply
providing support and encouragement.
The Internet offers an infrastructure that not only replaces the
RIAA/MPAA/ASCAP/BMI/SESAC/major record labels infrastructure, but also
promises huge economic and artistic control for the independent
musician. If the musician learns how to license the songs she puts on
the Internet, and uses the "tagging" advantages of a license such as
www.creativecommons.org , the ability to maximize the return on that
investment and time and effort is achieved easily. The single act of
licensing gives the musician access to all of the considerations
mentioned above. Eventually, the Internet will host sites that offer
distribution tracking, communities specializing in specific genres will
offer distribution to selected sites for listeners, and we will see
albums begin to take on a life of their own, with sites dedicated to the
A word about Cause-related marketing strategies. It just makes sense
for independent artists to pick a cause to promote with their music,
thus beginning a "branding" strategy. Both the cause and the musician
benefit from the association.
We all wish you much success, and look forward to hearing some great
sounds from you soon. If you have questions, or comments, please join
our Forums at: http://www.ibiblio.org/studioforrecording/phpbb/phpBB2/
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Introducing the all new "Up and Coming" with Billy Donald
drummerinterviews at yahoo.com
Running Board wishes to present Billy Donald, who has agreed to
syndicate his column (rather his interviews) with us. We hope you will
welcome him with open arms by sending an email to him and visiting his
web site often. Oh, and don't forget to spread the word to your friends
and family. Now, on with Billy:
New York singer/songwriter/guitarist Leah Zicari has been rising rapidly
as one of the most polished and talented indie artists across the east
coast music circuit today. The great thing about Leah is that she never
stops striving to evolve as a musician and songwriter. Through that
great maturation as a songwriter/musician comes her latest album Pretty
On Thursday, which is seeing a great deal of indie radio play and
critical acclaim. Leah was kind enough to sit down and chat a bit about
her roots in the music industry and her impressive resume of work!
Q: Leah, thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule to join
me for this interview! It is very nice to have you here! I wanted to
start off by asking you about your brand new CD Pretty on Thursday! This
is actually your third CD and I know that you have been hard at work for
a great deal of time on this album. Are you pleased with the results of
all of that hard work?
A: Thank you, Billy. It’s great to be part of your corner of the web! I
am beyond thrilled with how Pretty On Thursday came out. It is the
culmination of a long-time dream – to put out a highly polished
recording that truly captures my essence as a writer, musician, and
person. The songs are strong, the production is amazing, and I got a
chance to work with some great people.
Q: How do you feel you have progressed as a musician and songwriter
with each album you have recorded?
A: Well, certainly my technical skills have improved. As a writer, I’ve
tried to develop my style by crafting lyrics that are evocative, paint a
nice picture, and aren’t cliché. You can hear a lot of trite writing in
my earlier songs. Also, I’m always doing new professional musical
projects and I learn from them, so my skills as a player and musician
improve. As I’ve progressed from one recording to the next, I’ve tried
to make the guitar parts more interesting, utilizing my classical
skills, and I’ve wanted to do more vocal colors. Pretty On Thursday has
a whole lot of vocal harmonies and textures that aren’t heard in
previous recordings. My ear has also improved, as has my knowledge of
studio “magic” and production. So I’ve become more critical in my
listening, which has resulted in better sounding recordings.
Q: Can you tell us about some of your influences as a songwriter and as
a musician? I know that you are actually a very accomplished guitarist,
and you play a wide variety of stringed instruments, including the
A: Yeah, the banjo! It’s a very cool instrument, and I’m not a
brilliant banjoist by any means, but I use it a lot when I’m doing
theater gigs, and occasionally get called to play symphony pops
concerts. I have a banjo student, too, and the more I teach her, the
more I learn, and I’m really growing to love the instrument.
As for influences, I always say that I’m influenced by everybody and
nobody, meaning that I listen to a wide variety of music, but try not to
copy any one particular style. But one can’t help find that certain
influences will show up in one’s music, and I think that I have a large
amalgamation of all my favorite artists in my style. That being said, my
biggest influences and favorite artists through the years are/have been
Joni Mitchell, Pat Metheny, Shawn Colvin, Rickie Lee Jones, Heart (the
earlier years), Michael Hedges, Pat Martino, Sarah McLaclan, Tori Amos,
Kate Bush… I could go on. Also I’m a theater pit musician, I grew up
listening to a lot of jazz and I went to college to study classical
music, so those have been big influences. These days I’m listening to a
lot of Indie artists like Edie Carey, Holly Figueroa, Ani DiFranco, and
find that they’re influencing me as well.
Q: You are very active in helping to promote female indie musicians
through websites such as www.indiegrrl.com. How important has the online
element been to getting the word out about your music?
A: It has been an invaluable tool. Through sites like Indiegrrl
(www.indiegrrl.com) and Go Girls Music (www.gogirlsmusic.com) I’ve been
able to really get my name known and to network with other artists and
find all sorts of opportunities. There is a huge amount of marketing and
publicity that can be done for free via the internet now that there
never used to be. Back in the old days you’d have to take out a
ridiculously expensive ad in Billboard or some other trade journal,
which was cost prohibitive to artists who were not signed to one of the
big labels. Now, Indies can get their names out quickly and usually at
no cost. It has also been a great way to find venues and radio stations,
to hook up with other performers, or to get advice from colleagues.
Q: You and I actually became acquainted through an interview I did with
Tony Levin, who played on some tracks for your second album, Hard Road.
How did you enjoy working with Tony, and how did having such an
incredibly seasoned veteran in the studio affect you as a musician and a
A: Well, I’ve known Tony since I was little, because my dad was in the
music business and he knew Tony. But even though I’ve known him for most
of my life, it was still scary to work with him in the studio. I mean,
here’s a family friend that offered to play on my CD, but he’s still
Tony Levin! And I was thinking, God, is this recording going to be
worthy of him or will he be embarrassed to be part of it? How am I
supposed to “produce” Tony Levin? Like I’m going to tell him what to
play? It was nerve-racking, but it was also a huge learning experience
to watch a world-class player like him work and lay down tracks. You
can’t get a lesson like that from a master class or workshop. I remember
the day he was in the studio, my drummer Nick (who I went to music
school with) came down to watch, too. I let the engineer take care of
everything, and my only instruction to Tony was “Do what you want.” And
Nick and I just sat on the couch and watched him all day. We didn’t say
a word. We just watched and learned.
Q: Do you have a special location or getaway that you like to do most
of your songwriting at, sort of a sanctuary for creativity?
A: Well, I suppose it would be quite romantic to say I steal away into
the mountains and hang out at a lake and meditate while I listen to the
birds and smell the flowers, but the fact is I get most of my ideas when
I’m in the shower! And once I get them, I just go into my bedroom and
start writing. Once in a blue moon, when I’ve got a lot of noise going
on in my head and need to clear it out, I’ll go into a church. Any
church at all, no specific denomination, as long as it’s empty. They’re
the most peaceful, calming places I’ve found.
Q: Leah, I want to thank you so much again for joining me for this
interview. I am looking forward to seeing what kind of great things we
will hear from you down the road. I just wanted to give you this chance
before we wrap up to plug anything you like, such as your great website,
upcoming gigs, or where we can purchase your new Pretty On Thursday CD!
A: Thanks, Billy! The website is www.leahzicari.com, and everything is
there: The tour schedule, photos, my monthly ramblings, and a whole page
of merchandise: Pretty On Thursday, Hard Road, T-shirts, stickers. And
since we mentioned Tony Levin, I have a few copies of Hard Road
autographed by him for sale at my website.
People can also sign up on the mailing list there. Oh, and people can
keep updated on news, such as the upcoming Grammy nomination…I am a
featured vocalist on a CD that is up for a Grammy. I’ll know next week
if we’ve won!
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A] Anatoly Volynets - Culture vs. Copyright
Synopsis of Previous Issues
One of the basic points I stand for is that culture and copyright
clash completely. To illustrate my understanding of culture I took
arts as an example. A piece of art proves to be the representation of
a new virtual world: one that is strange and, at the same time,
important to us. As such, it is also a message that invokes a new
alter ego in its author as well as its audience. Some other topics
covered were: people-to-art relations, arts and dialog, creativity,
11 Creator and Audience: Who Owes Whom?
A work of art develops a new way of free human communication
(dialog), and, precisely because of that, it is actually a form of
communication. And vice versa: free dialog is always in some form a
work of art. Dialog is a creative process. I believe, many of us
can recall countless times when ideas popped up in a friendly
conversation or in an unfriendly quarrel absolutely unexpectedly, out
of nothing. The same thing happens in inner dialog, whether the
person is arguing with themselves or another person in his mind.
Thinking being, in fact, a dialog is especially evident when an
outer conversation transitions into an inner one. Two people may have
a conversation or an argument and continue pondering the situation
long after the conversation itself is over. They continue discussing
and arguing with their absent opponents, but looking at them from the
side, we can see that they are really talking to themselves. Thus, an
interlocutor is always a hidden co-author in any work of art.
Even in inner dialog the author is as much a contributer as a
receiver. In fact, the hidden interlocutor is representative of the
audience. He and the audience are on equal positions in creation of
the artwork. So who owes whom? Each owes the other. The more
creative a work is, the more ideas of others it implements.
Generally speaking, the audience is anyone who will
understand the work-- any place, any time. In
actuality, we have to talk about the entirety of
mankind here. Mankind and the creator are always on par.
12 Creator and Culture: How Does it Work?
So, how does culture really grow? It is not measured by the quantity
of the works produced. First and foremost, it is measured by the
appearance of many different voices. This seems to be an obvious
assertion now. Given that the most general developing mechanism of
culture is dialog, we have to conclude the necessity of different
voices. Interlocutors bearing different views have something to tell
each other, and in doing so develop their views. For example, it was
crucial for the Antiquity to produce Plato and Aristotle, who are
extremely different in their approaches to philosophy. Because of
this difference, they caused tremendous development of the Antique
culture. Naturally, it would be essentially less effective to
culture, if there were many Plato's close followers, but no
But if they are so tremendously different, what does it mean that
both of their contributions belong to the same culture?
We assumed already that some generic ideas or thought patterns which
are specific to a concrete culture must be represented. In Antiquity,
for example, we can point out one such mainstream idea/thought
pattern: "The thing is true, which is beautiful. Beautiful is that
which has perfect form." This view of the truth led, for example,
many philosophers to believe that the Earth is a sphere (in V BC!),
simply because the sphere was considered to be the most perfect form.
No other data was involved! Of course, this is one small example of
an idea at work which propelled the Antique authors and was developed
13 Culture and Freedom
Finally, what is culture? With all this said and done, I would put it
this way: culture consists of the most generic patterns of mainstream
thinking and dialog at the given point of time and space in the
history of mankind. It develops in different works of different
authors and represents humanity in all its dimensions. Two of these
dimensions deserve to be mentioned above all: freedom and creativity.
We have discussed creativity already. Let us now talk about freedom.
Generally speaking, culture and freedom interrelate in many aspects.
I mentioned already that an author must feel absolutely free to build
his new world. It just cannot work otherwise. This is true in respect
of ideas, emotions, art forms and techniques, genres, personages,
events, chunks of text from other works of other authors, use of
language, whatever else, you name it. A work of art represents a new
world and, at the same time, is a a form of dialog. Therefore, it
requires ultimate freedom in that same way as people require and are
entitled to freedom of speech. Actually, inter-relations are even
deeper here, because art represents some new ideas and/or new
assembly of ideas and/or new form of expression of ideas, which
amounts to the seed of an entirely new virtual world. Thus, art
represents some new dimensions in understanding of the human way of
life, humanity itself and, particularly freedom. Let us look at it
from another point of view.
A human being is essentially a free one. This is one of the
definitions of humanity. And we know just empirically that freedom is
valued by humans above all else. We know from history, understand and
feel compassion for people who sacrificed their property, health and
even lives for the sake of freedom.
Even if we are not taking dramatic examples of sacrifices in the name
of freedom, let us just pay attention to that known fact that people
constantly try to reach beyond all boundaries of the life, no matter
how well they have been "adapted" to current circumstances. Thus, we
have to state that the human way of life is essentially breaking out
of adaptation, and we can specifically blame culture and culture only
for this inconvenient feature. A real work of art, that very nucleus
or element, in which culture is built, always takes us from our world
(to which we have adapted) to another, new one (where we have to
adapt ourselves from scratch). It puts forward demand to feel free
to go, to be courageous to go, to stand up and go and reach new
horizons. This is why, all kinds of tyrants normally hate and fight
culture; can never come to terms with it. I think I encountered once
a quotation of a Nazi, which sounded like: "When I hear the word
'culture,' I want to fire my gun." Creators, people of culture, put
themselves on the line all throughout history. These phenomena, by
the way, are in direct relation to another known reality of art: that
people do create regardless of reward or punishment. Likewise, they
try to reach freedom regardless reward or punishment, for freedom and
creativity bear their rewards and punishments in themselves despite
outer circumstances. This is another dimension of freedom in
relation to culture.
14 So, What Is the Law? Freedom!
This idea has actually been articulated, implied, hinted on, and, in
fact, developed in the above text. The general law of nature of
culture is freedom. Freedom is the only natural framework in which we
can move within the horizon of culture. A creator must be absolutely
free to be inspired and create. His creation must be absolutely free
to revolve between people. The audience must be absolutely free to
access the creation. Culture is the realm of ultimate freedom.
Again, in my view, this is the law of nature.
To be continued.
Topics to be covered: Culture and Personality, Culture beyond Arts,
Discrepancies between worlds: tangibles and intangibles, Economics of
Culture and others.
Anatoly Volynets, Board member of Open Studios, and President of
Total-knowledge.com, will continue his thoughts next month about the
copyright implications on culture. You can contact Anatoly at:
av at total-knowledge.com
This article licensed under Authoright:
Literary editing by Alexandra Volynets
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COMMONS GALLERY BEST OF THE BEST:
The Creative Commons Project offers musicians, artists, and authors a
nifty way to meet their legal needs for licensing their works for
distribution across the Internet. If readers discover interesting
material that sports the Creative Commons tag, let us know, and we'll
link it here. Attach your photo with your suggested link, to be added
to the gallery. Let's spread the word!
NO ENTRY THIS MONTH
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OPEN STUDIOS:SONG STORM is LAUNCHED!!! You can take a look at:
http://www.ibiblio.org/studioforrecording/php/playlist.php . Please
visit soon, and comment on what features we should add. SONG STORM is a
project designed for fun, great listening pleasure, super exposure for
independent artists and Internet stations, and more. Submit your
favorite independent artist song sets, and win a prize. Sound good?
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Remember when cars sported running boards out of practical necessity?
Most roads back then weren't paved like our roads, today.
The Digital Age, still in its' infancy, requires the use of electronic
running boards. People are out there that have never used a computer.
Most people don't understand how computers work [I just raised my hand],
let alone how to make CD's, DVD's, MP3's, OGG, WAV, and the list goes
And, in the arts and sciences, from musicians to artists to authors, the
knowledge that recordings no longer requires an expensive recording
studio is restricted to just a few. This newsletter intends to help
musicians, artists, and authors to step out and enter the Digital Age.
We'll provide the running board to help you avoid the "mud". If you're
involved in the arts, we hope you'll join us each month.
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OPEN STUDIOS:RUNNING BOARD is available as a loose-leaf binder
subscription for your home or office. Tastefully done, I might add, to
impress your friends and visitors, or to give as a lovely gift to
friends and relatives. Help support Open Studios by ordering your
subscription, today. Visit our online gift shop at:
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To subscribe or unsubscribe to Open Studios email list:
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To subscribe to RUNNING BOARD newsletter ONLY:
send email to tompoe at studioforrecording.org
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NOTE: Check our wish list for contributions we need:
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Licensed as Public Domain with the Creative Commons Project, August 1,
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