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The future of music
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brams



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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 3:20 pm    Post subject: The future of music Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

How are people here thinking about the future of music?
I personally am kinda loosing the track... there are so many things happening, but to me, nothing is really astonishing like something totally different/new. I could be wrong, but it's not clear for me.

In former times, it happened often that there was something new. But now it seems like the galaxy of music available today is making the borders so unclear to say what's new and not. I really wonder what will happen next. There should actually happen something soon because history showed that there's a new artistic period each century Very Happy
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opg



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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Here we go again. Every once in a while, this question comes up, but I can never resist.

Lately, I've thought about how the evolution of music affects each generation. To the older generations, very little is "new," especially with regards to pop/radio music. After generations of my age (GenX, 20s and 30s) see enough boy-bands and alternative rock cliches, the tendency is to rebel and search for/create something "new." Younger generations will have the same feelings on newer genres, like electronic and dance music.

Also, there's an entire other side to this matter: retro. Instead of searching for the new, generations will go back and appreciate the old. This happens the same way in clothing, for example. The 80s are returning, but why? Possibly because of people who liked the 80s when they lived it, and then marketed it to the younger generations as "cool." But don't forget of generations older than those people. They've seen it happen several times over. The 60s returned, the 70s returned, even pieces of even older decades. The effect can be smaller, uninteresting, or even irritating.

I don't think there is anything that can stop this cycle, mostly because of younger generations not being aware of the cycle. You know the old saying, "If you don't learn from the past, you are doomed to repeat it." This is not to say that everything old is bad - certainly not.

This fact can be hopeful when genres mix and mix and mix. In the "end," the most appreciated aspects of music will always be around. The I IV V chord progression will never stop being used. We can see a rebellion of this, however, in the emergence of "mash-ups." A friend showed me a collection of tunes that mixed one or two of Greenday's songs with many other older songs. To the older generations, it can be funny, make us angry at the newer song, or simply validate our ideas on the cycle of music. But don't forget, there are still a lot of kids out there today that know little, if anything, about Led Zepplin or Al Green or Frank Zappa. So, sometimes, these new songs which older generations see as "cheap versions of older songs" are more tributes to the "originals." This could be a way music evolves for the better.

However, there is always the matter of technology when trying to create something "new" (As my film professor always said, "Nothing is new, but everything is unique"). Has technology advanced to the point where anything that can possibly be done with sound waves been done already? Maybe, maybe not. The digitalization of music was a huge change. I am reminded of an earlier Shmooze thread about the scientists who made light travel fast enough that it went in reverse (it returned before it was sent). Will we reach this point musically? What about "brain implants" and mind-controlled MIDI controllers? You thought that Air Guitar program was bad, what if there was a program that filtered, modified, and tuned musical ideas in your brain? And then it was laid out in a sequencer like MIDI data being sent and you could immediately start "thinking" another track? I am a believer in the fact that there is a limit to sound wave manipulation. However, I also listened to my film professor - everything is unique.

So, even though there may be more and more crap to wade though, there will be more opportunities to express yourself musically. Your own point of view - uniqueness - is what will keep music going.

But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. Rolling Eyes
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elektro80
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
everything is unique
- I like that one.

As for the "new" stuff not showing up, isn´t this just a percieved problem and not really a fact? The only thing that might be true is that the big labels aren´t creating new products that are unique. And that is of course nothing new.

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
And that is of course nothing new.


I'm sure there are untried combinations. How about a black metal boy band, with really catchy songs about death. Rolling Eyes
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brams



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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Well i don't think that the combination of styles leads to something really new. Miles Davis for example didn't really combine things when he made his innovations. It was just something never heard before. Combinations of styles are not much exciting for me as it's so obvious.

The way to make something new is to try to not relate your thoughts to anything of the past, and do something that doesn't sound like anything made before. There will always be elements of the past of course, but if you conciencly combine things, it won't happen.

But perhaps people today aren't really eager to make something new. Who would care anyway?

(sorry for nagging, i just came out of bed drunken
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I know I'm not very good at keeping an open mind sometimes - perhaps all of us suffer from this more than you we'd like to admit, and this may lead us to look for "new" things in the wrong place?

For instance, maybe new exciting things aren't happening in the particular kind of electronic music that a person observes, while business people are compiling muzak CDs for shopping malls in radical ways, or Nigerian cartoonists have happened upon an amazing cross-culture kind of sound, or there's a new kind of toy instrument made for 5-year olds that will lead to the next great musical leap. Will the person who complains about lack of new directions in his favorite music really be interested in all of that stuff?

The last trend that I thought was new was when I attended a concert series about 5 years ago here in Malmö with 20-something noise guys playing clickety music without tempo or harmony. Afterwards those kinds of sounds bled into more mainstream stuff that I read about in magazines and occasionally heard on the state's radio channels. Maybe this kind of stuff has been around before, but i don't think you could identify this particular style before, say, the late nineties. I thought Jungle and drum'n'bass refreshing when it appeared in the nineties. How often can we expect something new in our musical universe? Are we too novelty-greedy?

About cutting loose from the past and making music without relating to older music - my personal opinion is that it is very difficult. For music to work, you must be able to relate it to something else. If you can't connect the sounds to other music or possibly things in your environment, the brain will regard it as irrelevant noise. Maybe if you created a completely new kind of noise and forced a number of people to listen to it repeatedly... Twisted Evil

All just humble opinions and speculations.

/Stefan

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opg



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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

brams wrote:
Well i don't think that the combination of styles leads to something really new. Miles Davis for example didn't really combine things when he made his innovations. It was just something never heard before. Combinations of styles are not much exciting for me as it's so obvious.

The way to make something new is to try to not relate your thoughts to anything of the past, and do something that doesn't sound like anything made before. There will always be elements of the past of course, but if you conciencly combine things, it won't happen.



Of course there is always one guy, or one band, from the past that has created something never heard before. But my focus is on technology. I don't think there can ever be a "new sound," as sound wave manipulation has almost been maxed out. Just like:

g2ian wrote:
black metal boy band, with really catchy songs about death


The number of combinations is limited, or at least the styles will become so small that it would be like halving a distance infinitely. There is a change, but so small and so unnoticeable that it wouldn't really matter.

When working on music, I try not to let the music of the past work its way into my routine. However, I do have sounds from the past that I want to capture. It's the method of capturing and arranging them by which I don't want to be influenced. This is very hard to do, as it can occur on a subconscious level. We all have musical baggage, but this gets into the other FAQ about how to get out of ruts and "harnessing your creativity" and escaping writer's block. Indeed, the two are intertwined, though.
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

In the surround forum someone talked about sound travelling through the bone in your skull. A new way to make sound could be to connect sound emitters to the skeleton according to different schemas. shakng2

Actually I occasionally try this out with electric guitar - it has a pretty heavy solid body and if you lean your forehead against it while playing you get some tones in your head. Smile

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
As for the "new" stuff not showing up, isn´t this just a percieved problem and not really a fact? The only thing that might be true is that the big labels aren´t creating new products that are unique. And that is of course nothing new.


I agree with Electro80. There's plenty of "new" going on. You're just not making enough of an effort to hear it. You won't find it on the big labels like Sony. You won't find it on the radio. However, there's plenty on the internet (but you got to weed through the junk) and plenty on the live Indie circuit. Go to events like electro-music 2006 and you'll hear plenty of innovative "new" music. Most cities have a small club that specializes in Indie acts. We even have one here. Don't think that innovative and creativity just died out in the last few years. It's human nature to push the envelope. The only difference between now and the 60s and 70s is that the music industry's big labels are fewer and less likely to take chances on new acts and sounds. Video has also made an impact on what the record labels will invest in. However, the internet, home studios, and CDRs have filled the void.

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mohoyoho wrote:
However, there's plenty on the internet (but you got to weed through the junk) and plenty on the live Indie circuit.


Oh, I agree. I felt pretty bad a while back when I realized I hadn't heard anything good in a long time. The I discovered BoomKat.com. I discovered artists (not just electronic, House/dance) that I wanted to buy their entire collection! After that, I started searching the labels of the bands I liked. I found even more. The music doesn't have to be revolutionary, but just a combination of sounds I like. Take jazz, for example. If you've got funky drums, an organ, and a wild bass, I'll probably love it - like Medeski, Martin and Wood, Jimmy McGriff.... But I hate jazz piano. And I'm not to fond of the trumpet (Branford Marsalis style) either. I don't know why, but that's how it is.
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jazz piano. . . McCoy Tyner!
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

opg wrote:
Mohoyoho wrote:
However, there's plenty on the internet (but you got to weed through the junk) and plenty on the live Indie circuit.

But I hate jazz piano. And I'm not to fond of the trumpet (Branford Marsalis style) either. I don't know why, but that's how it is.


my favorite jazz pianists are cecil taylor, chick corea, and herbie hancock... ahmad jamal is pretty good, too.
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Now hold on- Herbie Handcock is a different breed (well, I'm thinking "Vein Melter"). Clavinets, Rhodes and Wurlitzers, sure - but I can't deal with the piano solos. I love chord modulations on piano, and my favorite piano composer is Debussy (Reverie is an almost perfect song), but solos.... pukel

Not to bust on anyone that is a jazz pianist - god knows I'm a drummer and I have no sense of swing rhythm Embarassed
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Jazz?? Hey, that would be kinda OT but still.. stuff like that box with all of Monk´s Riverside Recordings complete.. that is interesting stuff for a musician.

There is so much old stuff to discover too. Personally I think that exploring "old" music is a smart way to understand what happens today. Just you guys check out Fartein Valen and Arne Nordheim.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yeah, there's also some great electronic music that I hadn't seen until I went to BoomKat last week:

Raymond Scott
http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=21950

and

Early Dutch Electronic Music
http://www.boomkat.com/item.cfm?id=14708

Brilliant stuff. I'm going to habe to purchase these.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Very Happy

Hehe.. all these have been discussed here already.

Yeah, and it is good stuff.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

opg wrote:
What about "brain implants" and mind-controlled MIDI controllers?


How about recording your own thoughts? Twisted Evil

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Mohoyoho wrote:


I agree with Electro80. There's plenty of "new" going on. You're just not making enough of an effort to hear it. You won't find it on the big labels like Sony. You won't find it on the radio. However, there's plenty on the internet (but you got to weed through the junk) and plenty on the live Indie circuit. Go to events like electro-music 2006 and you'll hear plenty of innovative "new" music. Most cities have a small club that specializes in Indie acts. We even have one here.


Well it's true that i don't make enough effort to search for this "new" music. But that's because there's so much, i would want to do the effort but i just look at the gigantic amount of websites, and then i get dizzy. But i also think that if there's one revolutionary artist, his/her name would rise up anyway, i wouldn't have to search for it. So i'm waiting for that to happen.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2006 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

brams wrote:
But i also think that if there's one revolutionary artist, his/her name would rise up anyway, i wouldn't have to search for it. So i'm waiting for that to happen.


The jazz scene is a bit special, so we have actually seen very talented people get the fame they deserve. Still this isn´t really how things work. Take a look at say the 70s. Most of the really talented and exciting artists are still mostly unknown. -And the few really innovative ones that are well known today are usually famous for the wrong reasons anyway. Shocked

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hmm well that's true yes. I guess i have that point of view because i come from a jazz background. But then, i would be dying to find those unkown hard-to-find innovative artists, perhaps in those clubs Mohoyoho is talking about. Or on a website. I live in amsterdam but i haven't really found a club like that yet (there are some experimental electronic clubs which can be nice sometimes, but it's not totally at the cutting edge. So i hope i'll find a scene soon which is really hip (although, what's "hip" these times changes every day).
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

OK, I am seeing what you are doing wrong here. Cool

The hip scene approach is a dud.

1. Whenever something goes bona fide hip, the essence is probably already lost.

2. The hip scene always suffers from from a memory loss and the main point about being hip is being hip and when you go hip you must never truly be interested in culture and arts.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Truth be told, some of the recent vital cultish hip scene stuff we have seen in Europe these days have been more like a simulacra tribute project, merely a parody of the real stuff.

I know. I will shut up. I promise. Soon.. yeah.. I will..

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

My obese American view is that everything good happens in Europe first. Of course, that's not all true with regards to music, but I still see a better appreciation for American musical innovations in European cultures. But I always had the idea that Europe was more successful in music because more people know how to read music and how music evolved since the days of Bach and Beethoven. That might be a bit stereotypical, but I see more British pop bands with better arrangements and more complex chord progressions than anything that comes out of the U.S. The Beatles created a big spotlight on pop music writing, and European pop bands seem to have more of this "elevated" level of arrangement in them, seemingly unconsciously. Think Radiohead, Coldplay, Oasis (to some extent Rolling Eyes ), etc. And when you think blues, do you think B.B. King? How high is Eric Clapton on your list? And for punk, is it the Ramones or The Sex Pistols? Bad eighties pop - Madonna or Genesis? The 80s are back, you know, and I get confused by the interpretations of that decade that these artists are making when they try to create that "new old sound." Damn, I'm out of touch. I'm no longer a kid. Crying or Very sad

Perhaps another (stereotypical) view is that Europeans have a better quality-to-quantity (business-money-greed) ratio than the U.S. do. I have to dig through websites (mostly in Great Britain, Nordic, German) to find great music because I feel swamped with endless one-hit wonder boy bands and 16-year-old jailbait female pop singers. American Idol is not helping at all. It's just one more cog in the machine, another part that can break.

But still, I would rather rummage through website after website to find the music I like instead of letting another person or company find it for me, even if they are finding talented, unique, interesting artists. It all goes back to greed and money. At some point, a company or label that has had success in finding good artists hits a "dry spell" and lets in garbage (relatively speaking). That may seem harsh, but there are so many labels out there (especially electronic) that stay away from selling their CDs through big corporations. Warp records, for example, is an example of a large electronic label that has started to creep its way into corporate America - I can find more and more Warp artists in Best Buy and Barnes and Noble every year. Sometimes it's a good thing; I like to be able to just go out and buy something as if it were as easy as a pair of shoes or a DVD player. I'm not sure what the labels that begin to sell to large chains have to go through in order to do this, but I guess each label has it's own feelings.

Then there are the other labels I like, not just because of their artists, but because they stay away from the corporate world. It's very hard to find Merck artists in stores, and impossible to find labels like Mille Plateaux, City Centre Offices, Staalplaat, Vakant, etc. But that's okay to me, too. When I see the label's website saying, "only 500 copies on vinyl produced," I kind of like that. I don't know if the label aspires to be involved in the corporate world or not, but to me it gives the impression that they just want to get the music out there, even if they can't afford but so many pressings.

So, I like hunting down music. And when I see or hear about satellite radio and its large selection of genres, I get a bit nervous. It's better than regular radio, but someone is still picking it for me. And making money is a top priority. Advertising it expensive, and I am skeptical of anyone that budgets for a lot of it (though I probably shouldn''t jump to conclusions like this).

Now, if chiptunes make it onto ClearChannel radio, I don't know what I'd do. Shocked "Coming up after the break, another big block of bits leading off with my main man, Bitshifter! ............This holiday weekend, all used and pre-owned Lexuses will-"

Weird. Confused
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Lately I was thinking that it's a kind of funny "coincidence" that you can't earn much money anymore with selling records (almost everybody downloads it for free), but at the same time, producing records costs almost nothing anymore. Luckily, otherwise music (records) would not exist anymore hehe.

But if musicians don't earn much money anymore with selling records, then they would have to do gigs. While the situation isn't really made for that (Ipod-music is not usually "gig"-music is it?). So how will the musician of the future make a living? He has to produce music that suits Ipods etc (otherwise people won't listen to it). But at the same time he should make the music "giggable", as he has to earn the money with gigs.

Although now i'm quite talking about quite popular music. For the more 'underground' artists, i guess they'll have a hard time?

Hmm... well i just thought of that... Maybe it's nothing new for you.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

BTW: I guess you are familar with all things Erkki Kurenniemi? If you feel you aren´t able to get a grasp on what is going on out there right now, exploring old stuff is a great way to get new insights and new ideas.

Yeah, and do check out the avantgarde work by Fartein Valen. He developed his own personal solution to the concept of the klangfarbenmelodien thingie. Forget Arnold Schoenberg. Valen is the real thing. The music is excellent.

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