Edge Doesn't Like The Theme From Swan Lake - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-14-2006, 07:28 AM   #1
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Edge Doesn't Like The Theme From Swan Lake

http://www.boston.com/business/techn...wanted?mode=PF



So don't set it as your ringtone I find it hard to believe that he decides if he will like someone based upon that, but there you go

Short-form composers wanted
Market envisioned for original ring tones

By Geoff Edgers, Globe Staff | February 14, 2006

When he stays over at his girlfriend's place, Adam Boulanger wakes up to a harsh reality. Come morning, her cellphone, which she uses as an alarm, delivers a loud, cheesy arrangement of ''The Girl From Ipanema."

''It's horrible," says Boulanger, 24, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

When Boulanger decided on his own ring tone, instead of buying the latest Madonna clip, he composed ''Ambient -- 04857." The 21-second piece features a rhythmic keyboard tone too soft to wake up even the lightest sleeper. But it did catch the ear of U2's guitarist, The Edge, a judge in a ring tone composition contest run by Harmony Line Inc., a Cambridge music-software company.

Boulanger received an honorable mention, and along with the hundred people who submitted tones, placed himself in the middle of a potential new market within the multibillion-dollar ring tone industry. Instead of paying to download 50 Cent samples onto their cells, these computer composers want to create their own rings.

''A huge population wants whatever pop tune is hot at the moment," Boulanger says. ''But when I think of my friends, all these people want to make their own ring tones."

Ring tones are already big business, accounting for $4 billion in revenue worldwide, and jumping from $277 million in 2004 to $600 million in revenues in the United States, according to Jupiter Research. That consumers will spend $2.50 for a song clip to use as their ring tone when a full recording costs less than $1 to download has not been lost on the struggling music industry. It's pushing artists to create special ring tone messages and striking deals with phone companies. Meanwhile, start-up companies have emerged selling software that lets users turn chunks of their favorite CDs into rings.

Harmony Line is different. Founded in 2004 by MIT composer Tod Machover, whose work has been performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Pops, the company aims to market its Hyperscore software, a program designed to allow nonschooled musicians to compose fully conceived pieces with relative ease.

Harmony Line decided recently to offer a simplified version of the program for free to entice people to buy the complete software, which retails for $30. With the move, Harmony Line joins a small but growing group of companies that are trying to offer an alternative to the prerecorded samples sold as cellphone downloads that rule the Billboard ring tone charts.

''This is a little business and it's really tough to get the word out," says Harmony Line CEO Richard Resnick, a graduate of MIT's Sloan School of Business. ''So if you want to get to the kids, you go to their cellphones."

The ring tone contest, though limited to MIT students, graduates or school staffers, drew a range of submissions, from teenage undergrads to MIT employees in their 30s. To judge, Machover recruited The Edge, with whom he has worked in Ireland; MIT professor emeritus Marvin Minsky, considered the father of artificial intelligence; and Mary Farbood, who wrote the Hyperscore software. The group spent a night in January whittling the 20 finalists to two winners and two honorable mentions. They announced the results late last month. (The winning entries can be downloaded at www.h-lounge.com.)

Sherry Lawrence, 32, an associate director at the MIT Alumni Association, entered the contest because she's a huge U2 fan who put a clip of the band's song ''Vertigo" on her cell last year. Her submission, a country-tinged tune driven by a banjo, was a finalist.

''If you've got the ability to let your own creativity come out, why pay for somebody else's piece of work?" she says. ''People's phones are part of their fashion or personality."

As they developed their tones, most of the participants played them for friends.

''It was awesome, so original," says Kevin Schoenfelder, 19, after hearing his fraternity brother Lucas Hernandez-Mena's ''Trans" in a room at the Phi Kappa Beta house.

Owen Meyers, 24, and working toward his master's degree, took the top slot in the non-undergraduates category. Alex Vazquez, 20, took the undergraduate prize, which included a $500 donation for Chocolate City, an organization at MIT.

''I was never really into ring tones before," says Vazquez, a sophomore studying electrical engineering and computer science. ''I'm so afraid of my phone going off in class I always have it set to vibrate."

That, he says, will change.

''I definitely want people to hear it," Vazquez says. ''And I've already had some people approach me about getting my ring tone on their phone."

So far, Harmony Line's ring tones -- from the finalists in the contest and others who create and post them on the site -- can be downloaded only onto Verizon and Cingular Orange carriers. Resnick says most other North American cellphone companies will be available within weeks.

The question now is whether original ring tones will catch on.

Doubters include the already established companies marketing ways to download clips from existing CDs.

''I don't think people care . . . to compose their own ring tones," says Jonathan Schreiber, CEO of the Los Angeles-based Xingtones. ''I don't compose music because I don't want to. You could make it as easy as pie and I still won't. I'm not an artist."

Geoff Mayfield, Billboard's director of charts, also wonders whether there's a mass market for original ring tones.

''Making your own ring might have a certain kind of coolness, but another kid might say, 'Mine plays 50 Cent,' " Mayfield says.

U2's The Edge disagrees, contending that he sometimes decides whether he will like or dislike a person according to how their phone rings. Among his turnoffs: the theme from ''Swan Lake."

''Music you do in private," he says by phone. ''But ring tones become a public display, like a pair or sneakers or a T-shirt. People are going to use ring tones as a real expression of what they're about."

winners

http://www.h-lounge.com/ringtones/events/events_mit.php
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:01 AM   #2
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Edge, I love you, but don't be a twit.
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Old 02-14-2006, 09:25 AM   #3
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I sure hope he means that he doesn't like Swan Lake as a ringtone (because that would get annoying), and not as a piece overall! Swan Lake is one of the most gorgeous pieces ever created, and if he can't see that, I am horrified!!!
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:38 AM   #4
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I can't imagine Edge being so narrow-minded like that. This was probably taken out of context.
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:42 AM   #5
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Mrs. S, drop me an email (in my sig)?

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Old 02-14-2006, 04:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Edgette
I can't imagine Edge being so narrow-minded like that. This was probably taken out of context.
Especially as he was on the phone (so they say) and probably went through a tunnel and they didn't catch what he said, so they made it up. I wouldn't be surprised!
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mrs. Edge
I sure hope he means that he doesn't like Swan Lake as a ringtone (because that would get annoying), and not as a piece overall! Swan Lake is one of the most gorgeous pieces ever created, and if he can't see that, I am horrified!!!



I thought of you as soon as I opened this thread!
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:55 PM   #8
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Well I wonder what he would make of mine - my ringtone is currently "The Blackthorn Stick"
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:22 PM   #9
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I'm sure he meant the Swan Lake ringtone, not the music, I can't even stand U2 ringtones, I think ringtones are obnoxious and demeaning to the music they supposedly recreate, so I can understand his saying that. And the bit about liking or disliking a person based on, etc., I can SEE his tongue in his cheek from here!!
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Old 02-14-2006, 11:57 PM   #10
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he's probably just being funny [hopefully]
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Old 02-15-2006, 01:09 PM   #11
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He was probably telling a story about someone having that as a ringtone and it being annoying.
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