July 23, 2010
The Wall Street Journal just ran a Q&A with Michael Tilson Thomas, music director of the San Francisco Symphony. Quite a lot of blather in the article, but the one thing that stood out for me was Thomas' remark about using skype:
WSJ: Are you incorporating technology in your work here?
Mr. Thomas: I use Internet technology a lot. I regularly rehearse with people on Skype. Usually it's the first time they've ever done it, but I have my computer right over my piano keyboard, and we work out whatever we need to work out.
Skype has arguably changed the face of collaboration in all sorts of milieux both artistic and non-artistic.
I personally would be lost without the technology, as my AT&T iPhone service is failing me more and more as each week passes. (I blame all those new greedy iPad users and the cellphone company's gross network inadequacies.)
Some other ways in which artists I know are using Skype:
1. For co-writing songs, where the lyricist and musician are living remotely.
2. For handling edits to a manuscript between a writer and editor.
3. For discussing a painting or sculpture commission with a buyer.
4. For negotiating contracts.
5. For exchanging ideas with a playwright who can't be present in the rehearsal room.