Music's Fight Against Technology
It's interesting being alive long enough to experience major social/economic changes. We've lived through a painful recession. We've seen people's life savings dry up and their houses taken away. We've witnessed the internet pivot the way we all socially interact with one another. I'm definitely thankful for technology as a jewelry designer, because the internet is how I make my living. As a musician though, the crazy advances in technology having to do with music have effected me the most. Music has a place right beside my heart, and a bunch of freakin' computer geeks had to go and mess with that. (P.S. I'm not mad about it.)
Between me and many of my musician friends there has been an ongoing conversation about the advances of technology and its effect on the music scene. Some of us musicians tend to take the topic personally. If a pianist has been forced to sit at that bench and practice for hours since the day he turned five years old, how do you think he feels when he becomes a master pianist as an adult and realizes that a computer can play all those notes perfectly
Every. Single. Time?
Whenever I pick up my guitar these days, the question does cross my mind, "What's the point? Wouldn't my audience and I be better served if I spent all this time learning Logic or Protools instead?"
I wonder if musicians experienced similar apprehension in the 1920's with the introduction of the electric guitar? That was new technology back then. Did they freak out and think that the new sound would ruin music? Did some musicians consider the way distortion muffled some musical passages cheating? Well, Hendrix happened because of that invention, so I'm thankful for sure!
The main argument about technology and music usually centers around how computer programmed music takes away the "human element" or how electronic music isn't "genuine". What is meant by "genuine" in this context? True, no musician is actually playing the parts in electronic music, but who's to say that their musical decisions aren't genuine?I think the determining factor in whether a song is "genuine" or not has nothing to do with whether the piece was played by real musicians or programmed by an artist, the deciding factor lies in understanding whether the artist had something to say, and whether they said it.
Some of the most mind-boggeling and beautiful music I've ever heard was likely composed behind the blue light of a computer monitor and would definitely fall under the category of "electronica". Have you ever listened to the over-powering beat, just, BOOM, BOOM, BOOMING over all of the instrumentation? I'm not talking annoying club music that reminds you you should be anywhere but in that stupid club called "Lipstick" with one too many whiskey shots? (Oh, am I writing a blog for the public here? Please excuse my momentary lapse.) I'm talking BOOM, BOOMING like the kind blasting in Passion Pit's "Take A Walk". THAT beat in THAT song pushes the beat of my own heart along, resuscitating the pulse in my body, on days when maybe my heart isn't up to beating so vibrantly all on its own.
Want to get your socks rocked off? Check out Passion Pit!
Even though I fully support computer programmed/electronic music, don't you dare think for one second I will ever stop searching for new ways to play my guitar. Even though I could program a difficult riff in under 2 minutes flat, and that same riff might take me six months to learn, I'll still learn it, because I receive joy in being able to physically connect with my instrument, and I still believe that people connect to musician's playing live in a different way.
I'm just saying there has also been electronic music that I jam in my car that makes me cry, and I'm talking instantly.