Two  things about internet affairs - they are at a distance and they are intense. Researcher Anthony Giddens describes this phenomenon as “space and time disjuncture”.

And a third thing - they are fun. If romance can be found on the internet it makes sense that musicians can harness their passion at a distance to make songs. As technology has become more advanced that is exactly what is happening all over the world.

It’s a good day in Dovedale Valley when I open my laptop before breakfast and find an mp3 file has been sent to me by a musician I am collaborating with. Like last Monday when I opened Outlook and there were three files – bass lines which had been sent to me by Auckland bassist Chip Matthews. Later today I will download his funky bass tracks and drop them into a song I am working on.

It works for me. Thanks to satellite broad band I can live far from the madding crowds and still create music with musicians anywhere  in the country, or even in another country. Thanks to inexpensive apps anybody can create music on their laptops or cell phones.

Last weekend I sent off seven mp3 files of synthesised string arrangements, horn lines and an orchestral harp sample to be added into a recording project- a country album being produced in the Waikato. I am still able to collaborate with the Narcs brothers online: last month I was able to collaborate with Narcs bassist Tony Waine and singer songwriter Shona Laing to produce a song together - we all live in different towns; and in Sydney Andy Dickson recorded  vocals for a Narcs remix I am working on here in Nelson. The net is the new hood.

Flying the different parts of a recording project together is a matter of choreographing your moves. It takes a bit of planning and you have to learn to use reliable file sharing systems like You Send It or Dropbox  to move large files around in cyberspace. But it is pretty simple stuff. And delivering and receiving music files is just the last part of the process of making music online.

The best part is actually creating music in your own home studio. You have a good musical idea? While the rest of the household is comfortably numb watching Shorty just go to your computer, record the music from your keyboard, guitar or microphone press save and send the file to someone who cares.

The best part of all is that in the last few months legal music download sites like Spoitify have been set up in New Zealand so musicians can upload their work, find an audience and be paid for their efforts.

More and more I am arranging rehearsals by email, jamming on Skype, arranging gigs on Facebook, teaching and grading students work on Moodle.  All on my laptop on the deck while the tuis dogfight in the blossom a few feet away. It’s a different world.