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Web of Ideas with David Weinberger and Special Guest Brad Sucks


Web of Ideas with David Weinberger and Special Guest Musician Brad Sucksweinberger.jpg
Monday, February 11, 7:00 PM
Griswold Hall Room 110

Harvard Law School
Map of HLS Campus

The traditional music industry is crumbling. From the dust comes … BradSucks. Brad Turcotte is the very paragon of a Webby, open source musician. At his site ( you can download his music for free or pay him a little money. You can reuse his music as you’d like, subject to the Creative Commons license. Not only can you remix it, but Brad posts especially good remixes. He has even open sourced the paint job for one of his guitars. At this Web of Ideas, Brad will play some music and talk with David Weinberger of the Berkman Center about whether he’s the future of the music industry.

Web of Ideas is an evening discussion series at the Berkman Center, lead by Berkman Fellow David Weinberger, co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto and author of Small Pieces Loosely Joined and Everything is Miscellaneous. Each session will begin with a 20 minute discussion-opener, followed by open conversation. Food will be provided.

This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to Amar Ashar at if you plan to attend.


  1. Sue Auclair

    February 7, 2008 @ 1:35 pm


    To me, music is the song of the human being. What’s happening now with the technology is almost eliminating the human song.

    Brad Sucks’ music is mostly computer generated. Where is the feeling in this kind of “music?” Or is this music at all?

    With more and more machines making “music” the missing link is EMOTION, the human connection and the human skill in making the music beautiful.

  2. Brad

    February 10, 2008 @ 5:33 pm


    I _wish_ my music was “computer generated”, it’d be a lot easier to make.

  3. gurdonark

    February 13, 2008 @ 7:04 am


    Sue Auclair is entitled to her view of music, and I would never say she is “wrong” when she does not prefer computer-assisted music.

    Yet for me, the song of the human being includes the song created with the assistance of computers, of electrical instruments, of electronic devices, and even of remixed sound samples.

    Brad Sucks’ music is not “computer-generated” in the sense of being programmed into software sequencers and then regurgitated. I enjoy a lot of music which is created in this way, and this music can be made with far greater feeling than some songs in tired pop,folk or rock conventions. Yet Brad makes a music which is very human, direct, and unassuming. He uses electronica and sound samples to make his music. Yet Brad’s workdeals with emotion and with human connection.

    Nobody need be a “convert” to Brad’s music, or to the new music that is being made by dozens of netlabel artists who are exploring new ways to make music real. Yet it’s important to realize that those of us who enjoy these musics agree that music is made by humans, but reject the notion that music assisted by technology is somehow not “real” or “music”. I will go this much further–without meaning to question anyone else’s taste. The most real music I hear these days is made not with extensive use of electronic technology and computer assistance. Perhaps my tastes favor different modes of music than a fan of acoustic music–but I find in the music I favor emotions and humanity I no longer find in many forms of “safer” commercial music.

  4. Marshal

    February 18, 2008 @ 8:54 pm


    Human beings are machines. A machine using a machine. What’s changed? The complexity of the machine being used? Get a grip Sue. He sings, he plays, he runs his own studio….. .on his own.

    So, he’s producer, writer, guitarist, bassist, vocalist, keyboardist..etc.

    No lack of emotion here.

    Brad Sucks is clearly passionate music made by a passionate machine, running a complex and diverse variety of machines. The only difference between this and any other mainstream music is that this guy is pretty much by himself.

  5. Sue Auclair

    April 20, 2008 @ 1:00 pm



    I never said I don’t like this music or that I don’t prefer computer generated music, I only wish to open up the discussion about how much of today’s music is built with drum tracks, bass tracks, electronically tuned vocals etc.

    I think the conversation about ‘what is music’ is a good one and perhaps it will be one that can be discussed without anyone being offended. I’m only asking that we consider the difference between say Tina Turner’s soulful singing with her crackerjack live band vs. the tune “Making Me Nervous” that Brad Sucks offers as a one man band on his myspace page.

  6. JP

    July 14, 2009 @ 9:05 pm


    What really scares me in regards to this kinda music is the overall sound of the instrument itself. People need to recognize the texture quality in instruments. Each instrument has its own sound texture that cannot be imitated. When somebody tries to compose a song with MIDI guitar files. Your going to get the same texture in that guitar every time. After awhile your music will sound generic and repetitive. You cannot imitate 25 violins in an orchestra. Because each instrument has its own texture.

    If you cannot hear that. You are deaf……

    Source : I am a music industry consultant and engineer

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