David’s Journal: Current

David’s Journal: Current:

“Read an article in The New Yorker about how recording has transformed music over the last 100 years. It’s written by a classical music guy (Alex Ross) so it comes from that POV, but he does widen his discussion to include John Cage and Chuck D.

The writer says John Phillip Sousa thought that recording would be the death of music. Well, of live performance was what Sousa meant. To some extent I think he was right, but not entirely. He was right in that people now often think of music as something you buy, that you possess and consume — rather than something you experience and possibly even make yourself. Even live shows are sometimes thought of as something you consume — certainly they are something done by professionals. To a large extent what is desired in a live shows is weighed against recordings, not just the recordings of that material, but recordings in general. Audiences have come to expect that a live performance will be a reproduction of a recording they are familiar with, but with a kind of visual enhancement. And a bit louder that your home stereo, too.”

Later, in this journal entry, Mr. Byrne says this, which is EXACLTY how I feel sometimes:

“I find this overwhelming. Probably as a musician I find music either one or the other — completely invisible, inaudible — even sometimes when it’s playing loud — or completely intrusive — impossible to ignore. As a musician there are times when even quiet background music in a bar or restaurant is completely distracting and impossible to ignore. It’s like the effect of having a TV on in room is for most people — it tends to demand attention. All conversation either stops or has to deal with the TV program. Music is like that for musicians.”

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.
  • Categories

  • Archives