On melodium and the internet.

Let me do this in the key of #4.

First: how I know of melodium aka Laurent Girard.

Roman Mars, of 99% invisible, tweeted that we should listen to him and buy all of his music on bandcamp. I know of 99% invisible only because I happened to come across his kickstarter video. I was on kickstarter mostly because I backed Zach Braff’s movie, Wish I Was Here. (I had heard of it before, from random tech websites in the past. I read those websites as a part of my daily routine. I have that routine because I’m bored otherwise. Root.) I had heard of the movie’s kickstarter because Zach tweeted it. (I’m on twitter partially because I thought I needed an account just to have an account, but mostly because I follow mathematicians and other people who usually tweet nice links to stuff to read. Because bored. Root.) I follow Zach because of Scrubs. I know of Scrubs because I randomly came across season 8 (?) of it on Star World, at home, in Hyderabad, class 11. TV. Root? Let’s call it a root. TV because TV because bored.

Now.

Melodium is one man. The aforementioned Laurent Girard. He lives in Anger, a small town in France. He is a civil engineer. He is married. He makes music.

He makes beautiful music. You should listen to it.

I fell in love with his music. Recently, I’ve been on an “indie” kick. Indie games. Indie music. And a rethinking of my pirating policy. I’ll talk about this in depth later, but suffice it to say for now that I wanted very badly to pay for his music. To support him. Because he deserves it.

I refused to download anything of his illegally. Of the 21 (!) albums of his on bandcamp, one was free/pay what you want. I downloaded it for free. Each of the other albums was €6, or about ₹500. 9 of his albums were on iTunes at ₹120 each. I told myself I’d buy these eventually.

Today, he sends out a newsletter announcing a sale. 10 of his albums are free/pay what you want till Christmas. I cannot believe this. I wouldn’t have known if not for downloading that one free album and getting on the mailing list.

I tell mother about him. And sister. I sit them down, and talk about him. Play some of his music. And the other indie music I’ve been listening to lately. We have a lovely conversation about music and people. I keep squealing over how awesome it is that this guy, halfway across the earth, in France, makes music in his room because he likes to, and I get to listen to it. Here. Sitting in my room. The world feels so small. So warm. And cozy.

I say I would like to pay for one of his albums. She says okay. I didn’t technically need her permission. But I have a tendency to overthink and guilt-trip on purchasing decisions so I let her make them for me. I decided to pay €7.14 (about ₹600). Because it was over the €6 that it would normally be, and it felt like I was robbing him for not paying for the other (now free!) ones.

This post will overlap a lot with the piracy policy one.

This felt bad because I felt like it was dealing with another person. Like if I torrented his stuff, it would be equivalent to breaking into his house and stealing it. I would never feel that way about, say, an Eminem album.

So I did. I bought Lullabies for Adults (2009). And it is beautiful. I’m listening to it right now, in fact. You should, too.

While paying for it, there was an option to send him a message. Oh dear. What could I say? I ended up with:

Your music is beautiful, and I just wanted to let you know that you have fans in India 🙂 My mother and sister enjoy your music as well! I hope you keep making music for a long time to come.

And that was that. I didn’t really expect a reply. But, a few hours later:

thanks for your purchase
it’s really incredible for me, to discover people can listen to my music in INDIA
thanks for liking my music
i’ll try to go on making music as long as i can and i enjoy it
best
laurent

I was indescribably happy. I rushed over to mother and sister to tell them of this.

The world felt ever so smaller. Ever more cozy.

I love the internet.

This was #15.

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