The Sound of Paintings – an interview with painter and sound artist Mark Rushton – published November 2018
I’ve been accepted into the Leopold Gallery in Kansas City as of November 3rd and they currently have 10 paintings. They’ll also coordinate any commissions. The gallery’s address is 324 W. 63rd St, in Kansas City, Missouri.
It’s exciting. I definitely wouldn’t be where I am without having taken the courses in the Art Business Academy. There are other factors along the way, such as people who have encouraged my work.
I’ve changed so many things in the past 10 months. It just makes my head spin. You really have to be open to changing everything you think you know. These days, I’m now working almost entirely on synthetic paper. I’m working on a much larger scale. There’s many other changes happening, even now.
I’m just trying to get to a point where everything is more automatic and any adjustments or experiments I do in the future are smaller in scope. It’s a learning process. But when people who are far more experienced in certain areas say, “Why don’t you try this?”, I’m listening and am willing to give it a go. There’s been a lot of that lately. I’ve got growing pains.
And what have you been doing on the music / sound side?
In the past couple of months I’ve released four new tracks of ambient / electronic sounds: “Refactoring Rainy Dreams”, “Starwaves”, “Radio Transmission From the Large Magellanic Cloud”, and “Docking in Outer Space”.
If you follow me on Spotify then you should receive notice of these tracks either in an email from Spotify or in your individual weekly “Release Radar” playlist that comes out every Friday morning.
I really like the Release Radar playlist. I follow a lot of artists on Spotify and I would have a difficult time staying aware of new songs and sounds without checking Release Radar on a weekly basis.
Why have you been releasing singles?
Spotify has a web site for artists called Spotify For Artists. It has a lot of data and information about how my music, and the sounds I release under pseudonyms, are doing on Spotify. And now, independent musicians like myself can submit tracks for Spotify editorial playlist consideration. “Editorial playlists” are all the playlists with large numbers of followers, several hundred thousand or more. That’s why I’ve been releasing new tracks every couple of weeks – I have to give Spotify a certain amount of time for them to consider the track for their playlists. So far, I haven’t gotten any tracks accepted into their playlists, but I’ll keep trying. Once I release 7 or 8 tracks, then I’ll compile them into an album.
I think this is the best time ever for independent musicians. It’s so cheap to get your music distributed worldwide. You get paid regularly. There’s accounting and analytics. It’s not like the old days.
Like with my fine art side, I have to be open to changing things on the music side. Why should I be married to releasing albums? Why not regularly release singles and then release compilation albums once I get a certain number of singles out? It’s just a different process. Releasing singles every couple of weeks does get the new tracks a lot more listens in the first month than releasing an album. I see that in the reporting data. Plus, I’m showing up on the radar of a follower/fan/patron more often than once or twice a year. And I now have the chance to get into a Spotify editorial playlist.
Recently, Spotify’s Daniel Ek revealed that in the past few months around 67,000 artists had submitted tracks for playlist consideration, and 10,000 tracks have been added. It’s difficult to know how many overall tracks those artists have submitted as they need a minimum of one week for submission consideration, and how many individual artists made it into playlists that way since an artist might have multiple tracks into multiple playlists, but that’s still around a 15% acceptance rate. Compared to the literary publishing world and the odds of getting accepted for representation in a commercial fine art gallery, that’s an excellent percentage. Is there any guarantee that I’ll ever get a track on a Spotify editorial playlist? No… But there a chance!
My next track scheduled for release, on November 22nd, is called “Deep Hover”. You can “Pre-Save” the track on Spotify by going to this link: https://distrokid.com/
On the Pandora side, I’ve been regularly submitting to them using their submissions process. Since 2008, I’ve gotten a lot of releases into their system. You just have to keep at it. Pandora is partnered with Next Big Sound and I receive reporting data every Monday on how things are going.