Music Activism

Musical Activism? Okay, exactly what is that? And why does Tao Mokoda engage in it?

The answer is simple: The music 'industry' stinks as a vehicle for promoting the ART of music! That needs to stop! From taking the lion's share of artists' money for their creative works to the stupidity of the 'loudness war' to MP3 compression, this business of music is giving you, the public a pathetically thin slice of the vast pie of music that is available in the world, then charging you an arm, a leg and two teeth for it!

So, what is Tao Mokoda doing about it? One, we record, produce and release our music completely independently. This is a problem for us because we dont' have the huge marketing and distribution machine record companies have. But we're committed!

Two, we use audio compression for its intended purpose, to enhance recorded music by preventing unwanted distortion and volume irregularities. We don't use compression just to make our music as loud as we can, or as loud as other artists' music.

Three, we distribute our music as high-quality WAV or AIFF files and try to abstain from lossy MP3. However, we realize many people like MP3, so when we are asked, we provide that format, but only at the highest possible quality levels.

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About Tao Mokoda

Inevitably, the question is asked, just exactly who is Tao Mokoda?

Tao Mokoda is an indivudual, but also a band and also an idea. Confused? Good! That's how we want it. We want you to enjoy our music; we are not interested in fame or in excessive riches (no kidding). While it would certainly be nice to be rich, and we certainly wouldn't turn down the opportunity, we will not compromise the integrity of our music for the sake of being rich, and most certainly not to be 'famous'.

That said, a little history. As an individual, Tao Mokoda was exposed to music at an early age, but was largely disinterested in doing anything more than listening to it and lip-syncing "performances" along with popular records as a child. The making of music started at age 18, with the decision to learn to play the bass, and out of that eventually grew the learning of other instruments and then composing. Over the years, there were memberships in many, many bands playing just about every genre of music that typically had electric bass in it. Long before that, an appreciation for different genres came about because of a birthday gift of a radio at a young age, when fear of the dark robbed much sleep. The only AM station at the time that played music 24 hours had a format that featured about 40% soul, 40% rock and 20% country. Also there were memberships in several of those old 'record clubs' where they send you 2-3 albums a month covering all genres regardless of what you selected as your favorite genre. Absorbing all this, it soon became apparent that many different genres had something wonderful to offer and were explorered thoroughly.

As a band, Tao Mokoda is a group of somewhat esoteric musicians with various stylistic backgrounds but who share an appreciation for multi-genre music, not as some would say, attempting to completely erase the lines between genres, but rather to be at the same time faithful to each genre and to inject elements of each into the others. It's fun! We come together in the studio to make music, then we go off and be weird in our own separate corners of whatever worlds we live in. We do not do concerts or live shows, make appearances at malls or record stores, endorse any products (yet anyway), weasle our way into celebrity circles or hobnob with powerful music industry moguls. We make music we like, with the belief that if we like it, someone else will also.

As an idea, Tao Mokoda is one person's concept of how people should obtain the music they listen to, and that people should have access to every bit of music that's created anywhere in the world. We don't believe in 'crafting' music according to some formula from which we are afraid to deviate because we worry that it won't 'sell'. People should decide what music they like and don't like, not some record company! They can't do that unless they can get access to it. It's a shame that many talented musicians have given up creating truly original music and have resigned to working at some music store rather than making music, all because they never got a "break" from a record company, and that break never came because no record company was convinced they made sellable music! Who the heck cares if it sells big? I mean it's great to make a living making music, but profitable or not, creating music truly is a reward in itself. We will simply always make music, even if no one pays us a quarter to hear any of it.