Saturday, May 26, 2012

Vocal Talent Meets the Skill or Today's Skill-less Cool Style?


I am a fan of all arts related talent shows. 
The other day, I watched "So You Think You Can Dance" and one of the judges commented on the performance of one of the auditioners. 
He said something along these lines, “It was so nice to watch you and even nicer to witness your talent paired with the great skill you own.”

GOLDEN WORDS!!!
I right away made a mental note and thought, “I would not say it better myself”.
However, by the looks of things, it mainly applies to dance, but somehow not to vocal performance. 
Over the years, I’ve been on a lot of panels and ran a lot of vocal workshops and seminars within the industry format, and the comments were always directed towards the great song, the great dance performance, while singing, the great overall talent, but not to the great singing performance or vocal skill, for that matter.
It felt like the industry did not account for the skill required to produce at least a decent vocal performance. 
They treated it not even as the icing on the cake, but more so like the cherry on the icing, which you could have or not have, and if you do, it’s a bonus. 
How sad is that? 
No wonder that vocalists in the majority of cases are simply not listenable, and as a consequence, every second if not already every first of them, is losing what’s left of their voices and facing nodules or polyps operations and all kinds of dysphonias
Given all that, you would think that now would be the time for the music industry professionals to look at the overall situation and decide if they want to continue like that and in the same fashion, i.e. passing some modern style for the actual singing performance and "killing" the artists while at it. 
Not enough that the artist’s health is ruined, the audience lost their favourites, the industry lost the artist, and sometimes indefinitely, just like in the case of John Mayer, and as a side effect, lost a lot of the revenue. 
Wouldn’t it be cheaper to train the artist how to use their voice properly and avoid inevitably prone voice injuries? 
Or instead, pass the so-called style for the actual vocal technique?
It does, unfortunately, look like that today’s “cool style”, which is very popular among kids and teenagers, is taking the lead. 
I was religiously watching the 11th season of American Idol and predicted from the start, that the two best singers, Joshua and Jessica, would be competing between each other. 
The singer who won, Phil Phillips, in my opinion wasn't anywhere near the other two. Moreover, I never even noticed him throughout the shows, until he all of a sudden got into the top 10...?

I find that his pitch is awful and unless he is performing chosen by him songs, where he could cleverly cover up his inadequacy with his style, he sounds completely off key, off tone and off tune. 

Unfortunately, it appears that at least our young population has not only gone crazy, but also gone deaf, and therefore, injustice has been done.

We have a semi tone deaf American Idol...?

How is it possible, the people who have ears and who have some idea about music, may ask?

This is the "two penny" - not even a dollar worth - question and at this moment, I have no answer, but only regret watching how our society and respectively the music genre is deteriorating by the minute. 

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