A weekend break full of music as well as art

Two shows are taking place this weekend break as component of the Malta International Arts Festival.Today, the Malta

Philharmonic Orchestra and the Malta Young People Orchestra, under the instructions of Sergey Smbatyan, exist Mediterranean Soul.The joint show will discover the music heritage of the varied societies sharing the Mediterranean Sea by drawing on the region’s music practices, such as Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, as well as Charles Camilleri’s Mediterranean Dances as well as Joseph Vella’s Rapsodija Maltija for violin as well as string orchestra, with the MYO’s concertmaster Stefan Calleja in the solo role.Mediterranean Spirit is occurring at Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta at

9pm. Tomorrow, the Royal Concertgebouw Band (RCO)of Amsterdam is performing for

the first time in Malta.The concert types component of the band’s ongoing scenic tour of all 28 member states of the European Union, RCO Fulfills Europe, and also will see the engagement of members of the Malta Young People Band during the opening work Overture to Don Giovanni.Milanese chief conductor Daniele Gatti will certainly then lead the band in Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and also Beethoven’s Seventh Harmony in A Major. The performance will take place at the Manoel Theater in Valletta at 9pm. The celebration will also see various musicians– from singers to professional dancers to actors– showcasing along the streets of the funding city in a performance

titled Artibusk.Two events, Exile Homes by benefactor as well as photojournalist Reza Deghati, and also Watercolour Madness by neighborhood musician Kenneth Zammit Tabona, are opening today at the Master’s Palace in Republic Street as well as at the Malta Culture of Arts, respectively. Entry to both events is free.The Malta International Arts Festival runs till July 15. To learn more as well as tickets, see.

Optimisation is the enemy of creativity in marketing and music

No, you are not becoming crankier as you approach middle age – music is indeed getting worse every year. And the marketing industry’s obsession with optimisation is to blame.

In late 2017, the YouTube channel Thoughty2 published a video exploring how music has changed over the decades. After starting with The Beatles, the narrator continues with an example of classic British understatement: “Fast forward to 2010, when Justin Bieber released his hit single Baby. This is generally considered to be a bad move.”

According to the research in the video, lyrical intelligence, harmonic complexity, and timbral diversity have decreased while dynamic range compression has been used to make music louder and louder. In short, songs are becoming stupider – especially since every hit now includes the “millennial whoop” as well.

“Instead of experimenting with different musical techniques and instruments, the vast majority of pop music today is built using the exact same combination of keyboard, drum machine, sampler, and computer software,” Thoughty2’s narrator states. “This might be considered as progressive by some people, but it truth it sucks the creativity and originality out of music – making everything sound somewhat similar.”

As a rule, businesses do not like risk. The video states that record companies today must spend anywhere from $500,000 to $3m to sign and market a new artist. That is a lot of money to spend on a band without being fully confident of success.

To minimise the risk and maximise the potential return, these companies optimise the music to do whatever seems to have worked in the past. Same set of instruments? Check. Simple lyrics? Check. Is it loud? Check. Simple melody? Check. Can you dance to it? Check. Millennial whoop? Check check.

But that optimisation process is a downward spiral that will result only in songs that will make Rebecca Black’s Friday sound as brilliant as Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir. It is creating music by paint-by-numbers. It is ticking boxes rather than being creative. And the same thing is occurring in the marketing industry today.

The rise of optimisation

After my first career in journalism years ago, I went into marketing and at one point met with a recruiter who was looking for a digital marketer. “I need an expert in SEO, ASO, and SMO,” she told me, further rattling off a lengthier list of random acronyms.

“Optimisation” became all the rage after companies discovered in the 2000s how much traffic websites could attract from search engines. After the birth of search engine optimisation (SEO), marketers tacked on the latter word to create “app store optimisation” and “social media optimisation” as well as countless other uses where the term also made little sense.

App store optimisation (ASO) looks for hacks to increase a mobile application’s ranking and findability in places such as the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store – rather than, you know, creating and promoting a real, useful app that people will like. Social media optimisation (SMO) is a useless term because social media is simply a set of channels and tools that can be used for any specific promotion tactic.

Now, businesses have always discussed general best practices. My last job in journalism in the 2000s was serving as the editor-in-chief and executive director of the Boston non-profit newspaper Spare Change News. (It is one of the newspapers in the United States that are modeled on The Big Issue in the UK.)

In that role, I once attended an annual convention of the North American Street Newspaper Association that was held in Halifax, Canada. There, the assembled staffers discussed the best practices in terms of pricing, circulation, and countless other topics. Today, marketers talk about optimisation, which often means the best practices in line with someone else’s algorithms or what has purportedly worked for others.

Buffer has published studies on the ideal lengths of everything from blog posts to tweets to headlines to Facebook updates. HubSpot has reported the best times to post on social media. But in the end, both best practices and optimisation come down to the same thing: doing what everyone else is doing.

The perils of optimisation

Once, I was in a meeting where people were discussing how to get more traffic from blog posts spread on Facebook. The ideas focused on using psychology and gaming the social network’s algorithm: “Let’s ask people to comment on posts to increase engagement!” and “Let’s change the posts so that they are lists whose headlines start with numbers!”

“Make a funny, creative video advertisement instead,” I suggested, noting the reach that humorous videos receive on Facebook. But no one listened. Everyone cared so much about optimising the form of the creative that no one thought about the creativity of the creative. They prioritised the form over the function.

The perfect example of this is when marketers see studies on which headlines get the most “engagement.” In June 2017, Buzzsumo analysed 100m headlines and found this information on which headlines receive the most clicks, “likes,” and shares on Facebook:

Too many digital marketers use such information and focus on producing whatever marcom is cheapest and then optimising it. Here is a sample of recent blog posts on Medium from a certain prolific marketing writer:

  • 5 Strange But True Habits of the World’s Richest People
  • 5 Smart Reasons to Create Content Outside Your Niche
  • 5 Simple Hacks to Sharpen Your Emotional Intelligence
  • 10 Insanely Good Reasons You Should Publish On Medium
  • 3 Unusual Hacks to Completely Up Your LinkedIn Game

Bored now.

Too many marketers go overboard and focus on optimisation to produce rubbish marketing such as clickbait blog posts with the same headline format such as this: [number] [unnecessarily strong adjective] [noun] to [achieve some goal].

The internet will continue to be flooded with boring, optimised posts that all have the same title formats in an effort to get clicks or satisfy other short-term metrics. But optimisation is the enemy of creativity and leads to worst long-term results. (Just look at how many reboots of successful TV shows from the 80s and 90s have failed today. The studios likely thought that copying what was done before would guarantee another success.)

Redundant optimisation quickly becomes cliched, hurts the brand, and is obvious to consumers. If Oxford Academic were to title journal articles in the above manner, the Oxford brand would become laughable. The only way for BuzzFeed News to be taken seriously – and the publication is indeed doing excellent journalism – has been to decouple its brand from the notoriously clickbait parent company.

Optimised reflects only short-term thinking. Using clickbait to get people to a website is the same as knocking people over the head and dragging them into your store. They may be there, but they will not buy anything because they will hate your brand.

When everyone optimises for everything, it is no longer a competitive advantage. The only true competitive advantage that people will have is what rests in their brains – creativity. Without that, you will only be as good as everyone else.

The benefits of creativity

According to an updated study in Admap magazine by Data2Decisions founder Paul Dyson, creativity is – by far – the second-best profit multiplier after market size:

Optimisation and best practices aim to do what someone else defines or the best of what everyone else does – but nothing more than that.

“Best practice is like training wheels – it keeps you safe whilst you’re learning how to excel in your industry,” Helen Pollitt, head of SEO at the British digital marketing agency Reflect Digital, said. “To really differentiate yourself from the competition you need to be open to experimentation and growth, true optimisation requires facing failure. The issue with sticking to the safe zone of best practice is it stifles creativity.”

The best depiction of the benefit of being different that I have seen comes from this BBH ad:

People notice what is different. And if your marketing does not get noticed in the first place, nothing else you do matters. As BBH London strategy director Lucian Trestler recently put it:

“‘Difference’ isn’t just a two bob philosophy or a frivolous creative penchant. It is the most powerful communications tool there is to deliver commercial results. We have a vast amount of data to support that. Evidence from neuroscience, marketing science and creative effectiveness data all agree on this point; difference is commercially safer than ‘safety.’”

Optimising based on data or algorithms is easier than being creative – but it is not always better, according to Wistia co-founder and chief executive Chris Savage.

“Today, everyone scores their leads with Marketo and A/B tests thirty different varieties of their landing page. You can’t get a competitive advantage doing that stuff anymore. You could say that as the percentage of marketers with a certain tech stack or using a certain tool approaches 100%, the competitive advantage you reap from it approaches zero,” he once wrote. “Using data to scale your marketing is critical. But when we all have access to the same types of data, it won’t be the data that differentiates us — it’ll be the art.”

Tom Goodwin recently said something similar: “A/B testing seems to be getting out of hand. Seems to be a way to offload decision making, not have a strategy, or gut or courage. What great art/music/products would ever be made this way?”

But tell that to those digital marketers who think only in terms of optimisation. Tell that to high-tech chief executives who want to mimic the marketing of competitors and think that they need only a differentiated product to be successful. (Just like record companies, startups are risk-averse because they do not want to lose the millions of investor dollars.)

In a quote attributed to John Ward from B&B Dorland in England, “advertising is a craft executed by people who aspire to be artists but is assessed by those who aspire to be scientists. I cannot imagine any human relationship more perfectly designed to produce total mayhem.”

At Digital Annexe University in 2015, Dave Trott gave a classic speech on creativity. Effective communications, he said, needs to have an impact, needs to communicate, and needs to be persuasive. “Impact” is the most important part.

“Impact will get you on the radar,” he said. “Without impact, there’s nothing there. There might be a bloke outside on the street right now telling us the secret of all life, and we’ll never know because we can’t hear him. Without impact, nothing happens.”

Now, take the desire of so many marketers to optimise all collateral to match some alleged universal standard. How will their work be different from that of everyone else? How will their work stand out? How will their work have an impact?

“Optimisation might work for certain businesses for a certain amount of time,” Steve Daniels, an independent graphic designer in the UK, said. “This course of action may feel safer, but it only remains safe if there are no competitors who disrupt the market or start playing the brand game in a strong way. As soon as that happens, focusing on creativity is a great a way to play the long game – and to invest in your future success.”

If your business wants to remain safe, no one will notice you. Taking creative risks is how you become memorable.

A quick recommendation

So, if you want to listen to an album where the musicians wrote their own material, played dozens of instruments, and created songs that are lyrically intelligent, harmonically complex, and timbrally diverse, I have an assignment for you.

Listen to records or remastered CDs of the Moody Blues album In Search of the Lost Chord (1968) and The Smiths’ song How Soon Is Now? (1985) with a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones and some refreshment of your choice. Maybe it will kickstart some creative inspiration.

After all, the Beatles will be remembered forever. Justin Bieber will not.

The Promotion Fix is an exclusive biweekly column for The Drum contributed by global marketing and technology keynote speaker Samuel Scott, a former journalist, consultant and director of marketing in the high-tech industry. Follow him on Twitter. Scott is based out of Tel Aviv, Israel.

Radio station pulls anti-medical marijuana ad after complaints

A minimum of one Salt Lake City-area radio station has actually stopped airing a promotion opposing Utah’s Recommendation 2 after complaints that the place included false as well as deceptive declarations regarding medical cannabis.

Kayvon Motiee, head of state of Broadway Media, said the ad by the Medicine Safe Utah coalition is no more broadcasting on 101.5 The Eagle (KEGA), the only Broadway station that had been running the opposition message.

“We wish to draw the ad up until we can confirm the truthfulness,” Motiee said. “All in all, we had 53 grievances over the weekend about it.”

Broadway Media likewise possesses X96, U92, Mix 105.1, ESPN700 and Rewind 100.7, but Motiee said the place had actually not yet operated on those terminals.

Federal Communications Commission documents show that Drug Safe Utah also acquired $3,000 of radio airtime on KSL, set up to run between Sept. 5 as well as Sept. 11. And also the coalition acquired roughly $2,500 of airtime on Talk Radio 105.9 KNRS, which holds the popular “Pole Arquette Program,” according to FCC records.

Tanya Vea, general supervisor of KSL, validated that the ad began airing on Wednesday. KSL is possessed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Saints, which has appeared in resistance to the ballot step.

“There’s been no difficulty to the advertisement on our part,” Vea claimed.

On Tuesday, the Utah Sufferers Coalition– which funded the tally initiative to legislate clinical cannabis in Utah– filed a formal complaint with the state’s political election workplace pertaining to the ad as well as various other anti-medical marijuana project materials. The team affirmed that Medication Safe Utah– a union that consists of the Utah Medical Association as well as the LDS Church– has actually made incorrect claims regarding Proposition 2, including that the effort would certainly help with leisure use cannabis.

If accepted by citizens in November, Recommendation 2 would allow patients with qualifying clinical requirements and also a physician’s suggestion to get a clinical marijuana card as well as lawfully buy clinical cannabis from a privately possessed dispensary.

“These brand-new initiatives are part of a larger pattern on [Drug Safe Utah’s] component to exist to the public,” the Utah Sufferers Coalition states in its grievance. “While we respect those that differ with the legalization of clinical cannabis in Utah, the Utah Sufferers Union takes into consideration using incorrect declarations to be repugnant, particularly when their effect would be to proceed criminalizing individuals in Utah.”

Drug Safe Utah responded to the complaint with a statement that implicated pro-recreational cannabis teams outside the state of trying to silence the realities of Proposition 2. Those teams, Medication Safe Utah claimed, do not want Utahns to know that some forms of clinical marijuana are already lawful in the state, that Proposition 2 consists of eye doctors, podiatric doctors as well as dentists in the list of medical professionals that could advise marijuana as a therapy, which the effort does not have the conventional safeguards of medical method.

“Medicine Safe Utah stands by its public statements and advertisements and also will certainly respond to this initiative to silence debate,” the union said. “Unlike prescribed medicines, there is no dosage [of medical cannabis], no doctor follow-up needed, no disclosure of dangers. This develops a setting for recreational cannabis to prosper.”

Justin Lee, Utah’s supervisor of political elections, confirmed invoice of the Utah Person Union’s issue Tuesday.

State regulation forbids individuals from purposefully releasing incorrect declarations concerning election problems, Lee said. However it has actually not been determined whether an infraction occurred, he claimed, or what repercussions would certainly comply with a violation.

“We are reviewing it,” he claimed. “There’s not a certain fine attached to this law.”

Best Kitchens Design And Planning

If you are in possession of a little total up to spend it is still feasible to fix up your cooking area substantially. Before you start to redesign your kitchen area, make a plan which has a spending plan and also which attributes of the cooking area that you want to make far better. As a result, obtaining a new kitchen installed can approve you the opportunity to prepare more ambitious meals. Or you may have selected a vintage style kitchen area and also right here it is vital that the drapes fit in with the era you have chosen.

A kitchen pantry is among the area of the very best use you may develop into your newly renovated cooking area. When choosing drapes, consider the design you’re aiming for with your cooking area. The kitchen is regarded as the middle of your house. The largest kitchen areas are normally around 7000. Exists any type of fashion that you may have a sensational deluxe kitchen area without needing to spend way too much or needing to utilize an indoor designer to provide you with suggestions.

The Ultimate Cheap Cheshire Kitchens Trick
Do not also think about renovating your kitchen area without plans for an island as large as you are able to afford the room to make it. There suffices area on the range in order to make use of each of the burners.

kitchen design ideas

It’s important to select something that makes your cooking area show up fashionable as well as stylish. The look has to do with functioning appropriately and also showcasing your personal design. In any circumstances, you may need to have a great take a look at which of things that resulted in the separate were your fault as well as which were not your fault.

Whispered Cheshire Kitchens Tricks
Obtain the layout right, and also you’ll have your dream kitchen area prior to you understand it. One of the significant points to take into account when it’s currently time to restore the aesthetic appeal of your kitchen area is the closets as well as its timber accompaniments. You might not genuinely understand simply what you require but you do have an idea of the style you take pleasure in and also what your spending plan is.

What to Expect From Cheshire Kitchens?
There are great deals of ways to begin designing your kitchen as well as you have the ability to pick something off the strategy or a designers layout. Luxury kitchens can be achieved on a smaller sized spending plan if you have actually obtained the appropriate know-how. Most high-end kitchens will supply you with an area that you really can appreciate not merely cooking and preparing food, but additionally time with your loved ones. Surf by all means, at the outstanding luxury cooking areas you may not manage.

Cheshire Kitchens Aid!
Examining present websites as well as publications that feature trendy cooking area layouts will offer you with a remarkable suggestion about how to produce a modern-day kitchen area. Deluxe Kitchens implies a lot more than simply minority things we’ve pointed out above however it boils down to great design, fantastic cabinets and countertops, remarkable devices and also a fantastic area to commit time. In years past they were made without any correct design or beauty. The secret to any kitchen area that’s most likely to be appreciated is that it’s a handy area with very easy availability to every little thing.

The government of Canada makes saying ‘Thank You’ illegal | CBC Radio

The government of Canada makes saying ‘Thank You’ illegal

The new initiative, which will forever change the way that Canadians express appreciation for each other, will make Canada more inclusive, says its staunchest proponent, Heather Tiffany Anderson.

The new initiative, which will forever change the way that Canadians express appreciation for each other, will make Canada more inclusive, says its staunchest proponent, Heather Tiffany Anderson.

“Okay, no. I’m triggered,” Anderson said after Pat Kelly thanked her for coming on the program.

“You’ve affronted me with your thanks,” she said. Anderson believes that the phrase ‘Thank You’ places too much emphasis on the singular accomplishes of an individual.

So instead of saying, ‘Thank You’, Anderson and the new government initiative are asking that Canadians begin saying, ‘Thanks All’.

“I was born and it wasn’t my idea,” Anderson says. “It was the idea of my parents. And when you say ‘Thank You’ to me, you’re kind of slapping them in the face.”

To find out what happens to the tongues of people found to be still saying ‘Thank You’, listen to the full story.

This Is That is an award-winning satirical radio program that doesn’t just talk about the issues, it fabricates them. Each week, hosts Pat Kelly and Peter Oldring introduce you to the voices and stories that give this country character in this 100% improvised send-up of public radio.

More from this episode

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada’s online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain More than Any Other Activity – Brain Pickings

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How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain More than Any Other Activity

“Playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.”

By Maria Popova

“Each note rubs the others just right, and the instrument shivers with delight. The feeling is unmistakable, intoxicating,” musician Glenn Kurtz wrote in his sublime meditation on the pleasures of practicing, adding: “My attention warms and sharpens… Making music changes my body.” Kurtz’s experience, it turns out, is more than mere lyricism — music does change the body’s most important organ, and changes it more profoundly than any other intellectual, creative, or physical endeavor.

This short animation from TED-Ed, written by Anita Collins and animated by Sharon Colman Graham, explains why playing music benefits the brain more than any other activity, how it impacts executive function and memory, and what it reveals about the role of the same neural structure implicated in explaining Leonardo da Vinci’s genius.

Playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout… Playing an instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once — especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices. And, as in any other workout, disciplined, structured practice in playing music strengthens those brain functions, allowing us to apply that strength to other activities… Playing music has been found to increase the volume and activity in the brain’s corpus callosum — the bridge between the two hemispheres — allowing messages to get across the brain faster and through more diverse routes. This may allow musicians to solve problems more effectively and creatively, in both academic and social settings.

Because making music also involves crafting and understanding its emotional content and message, musicians also have higher levels of executive function— a category of interlinked tasks that includes planning, strategizing, and attention to detail, and requires simultaneous analysis of both cognitive and emotional aspects.

This ability also has an impact on how our memory systems work. And, indeed, musicians exhibit enhanced memory functions — creating, storing, and retrieving memories more quickly and efficiently. Studies have found that musicians appear to use their highly connected brains to give each memory multiple tags, such as a conceptual tag, an emotional tag, an audio tag, and a contextual tag — like a good internet search engine.

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Published January 29, 2015

https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/01/29/music-brain-ted-ed/

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