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Old 04-06-2011, 10:18 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: My rant on today's pop music

Deltadrummer, I think we're on the same page now.

Originally Posted by Deltadrummer
It is often musicians, traditional musicians?, who find this notion most troubling and think it is no surprise that they are most alienated by it. Musicians in the modern world will need to subvert that idea to be successful. The way the modern drummers meld the distinction between programmed and acoustic drums is a good example of that. In the 1990s bands started to have deejays. I always loved The Beastie Boys, "Fight for Your Right to Party" video where the guy holds out an lp when asked what his instrument is.
I think it's a luddite reaction, I really do. Why that's the case, I'm not sure. It's a threat instinct, perhaps? Or is it that these ideas are naturally antagonistic. I'm sure Cage laughed at the feathers he ruffled, as the Dadaists did. I was actually reading 'The Art of Noises' by Russolo the other day and was amused with just how seriously they were taking themselves, but I suppose that is a naturally inverted threat reaction.

Originally Posted by Deltadrummer
I think an interesting question is can Barry Truax be popular? Can non vocal or instrumental music be popular?
Sure it can, although the examples seem to be less numerous that 'vocal' music (although that term is starting to loosen!). Just for the record, I'm not actually an advocate of environmental recordings in 'electroacoustic' (argh, I'd wish we had some better genre descriptions) music - particularly current music. That's why I compose in computer errors and noise. The reasoning there is that it's been done to death for the sake of it. I met Barry Truax a couple of years back after he delivered a guest lecture at University. Interesting guy, pleasant chap. The issue I have there though is that he hasn't actually really moved on from the Vancouver Sound Project or the similar work he did in the early 70's. The development of granular synthesis is a big deal, but that was twenty-five years ago still.

Moving on is what's important to me. Not because 'new is better' but because I have a very short attention span and a low threshold for boredom. Nothing frustrates me more than current music that sounds the same as older music - not because there's usually anything wrong with older music, with the exception of screaming about 'Wohmen!' (thank you, Boomstick), but because I think it's important to stretch your own boundaries. That can be done in the past too - I love a lot of Renaissance music - but we also have to look forward and that's where I get concerned about the attitudes of some of the arguments I've seen on this thread. The same arguments that go back to the invention of the Piano.

Don't get me wrong, I think a lot of the music being ranted about here is genuinely terrible, I certainly wouldn't listen to it out of choice and I'd probably only hear it after about eight pints in the back end of some Godawful night club, but that's just the current trend - terrible though it may be. Pop charts move slowly, but in a couple of years it will be something different. The democratisation of recording is going to make a bigger splash in the next couple of years and the idea of something genuinely new excites me.
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