is a composer, performer, singer, and bandleader who creates personal and multi-dimensional works. He has written works for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Ensemble dal Niente, Roomful of Teeth and Ensemble Klang of The Netherlands, among others. Attending Manhattan School of Music and then pursuing a Master's degree at Yale School of Music, Hearne is now an Associate Professor of Composition at USC Thornton School of Music.
Ted describes Thornton as adhering to the conservatory model. "Institutions that lean so heavily on conserving practices of the past can be slow to introduce ways of teaching that use current technology or that engage hybrid conceptions of composition," he begins. "Understanding that Thornton is susceptible to that blind spot means we need to try extra hard to incorporate new and different thinking about music into our practice, and keep updated [on] what it means to be a composer and artist today."
Looking into the future, Hearne tells me he feels very worried. "The economy for artists in this country — and for so many working people — is bleak," he claims. "It's harder and harder for most people to make a living wage, and of course we see the work of musicians being increasingly devalued." The composer talks about how often the measure of a musician's success is rooted in the amount of money they can make with their work, and with platforms like Spotify occupying so much space in the market while offering low payouts to independent artists, that number keeps getting smaller. Wired
paints an imaginary example to illustrate how payouts are calculated. For instance, Apple Music is paying out £100 to rights holders. "If ten percent of the total streams on the platform for that month were Ariana Grande songs, then Grande — or the rights holder for those recordings, which in this case is Universal subsidiary Republic Records — would receive ten per cent of the total payout, or £10," the media states. With this system, the musicians with the most streams receive revenue from listeners who haven't played any of their songs. "It means that most of your ten pound subscription actually goes to Ed Sheeran or Drake or Lady Gaga rather than the other musicians whose music you may have been listening to."