IMG_0087By Gigi Tsakiris

International Music Licensing is a class that prepares its students to expose themselves to and become aware of diverse practices found around the globe. We are given the opportunity to explore and learn about different approaches found within countries all over the world, as well as participate in an exchange program where we got the chance to travel to the Netherlands, and interact with its culture, ideologies, and approaches. Our stay in the Netherlands was filled with travel, education, and interaction. We got a chance to explore Amsterdam as well as attend classes at Inholland University in Haarlem, where we learned about copyright law, music supervision, management approaches, live entertainment, music licensing, and more.

Our program also included a negotiation that took place between the Inholland students and Berklee students whereby we had to satisfy two parties’ needs regarding copyright and licensing. As a whole, this experience showcased the relevance of exposure and understanding of global practices.

IMG_0085Arriving in Amsterdam, we had a weekend to explore and engulf ourselves into the Dutch culture. There was a plethora of selection in terms of cuisine, and no matter what you tried, it all tasted authentic and fresh. Walking around was simply an absolute pleasure; everything is within walking distance, and it is coupled with beautiful scenery and architecture that has been well maintained and adapted to fit today’s lifestyle. The city is also filled with people from all over the globe: you couldn’t walk five minutes without hearing multiple languages flowing all around you. Amsterdam was absolutely amazing, and everyone on the trip—if the opportunity arose—would return back in a second. While Amsterdam was amazing, Haarlem was also another great experience.

IMG_0104The rest of the week came with a visit to one of the most forward-thinking publishing houses—Downtown Music Publishing—as well as a visit to one of the biggest vinyl pressing plants in the world, Record Industry Europe’s vinyl pressing plant. Downtown Music Publishing in Amsterdam was a full-on treat to experience. We were given the opportunity to speak with one of their creative managers, music supervisors who deal with sync licensing, as well as their CEO. Our visit to Europe’s premier vinyl plant was an experience that none of us will forget. We were able to experience first hand and understand the entire process of what it takes to make and deliver a vinyl. The company is currently fully booked for the next upcoming months, and is not able to take in any more vinyl orders due to the high demand in vinyl consumption. The vinyl plant is producing 40,000 to 45,000 vinyls per day, and is projected to reach 10 million in production.  We all left the vinyl plant amused, entertained and blown away.

Gigi Tsarikis bio headshotMusic has always been an integral part of Gigi Tsakiris’s life for as long as she can remember. With Greek ancestry and born in South Africa, she has lived and traveled to multiple countries around the world. Gigi has had the opportunity to become increasingly culturally diverse, which in turn has influenced a lot of her own compositions. Music has provided Gigi with the ability to play an integral role in finding ways to bind humanity on a deeper level through music’s capability to converse in universal communication. She finds that it is her purpose to be able to translate her experiences into ways where people can find comfort, and be in tune with themselves and those around them.