Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Music Industry and the Artists: Vocally Speaking... in Suspended Animation?

It’s no secret that the music industry is currently struggling to find out how to generate revenue in the Internet age. Many have suggested focusing on providing music for video games, films, commercials, etc. Artists such as U2 and Britney Spears have made their concerts into event spectacles that cost a lot of money to produce, which actually end up being must see happenings – and not so much for the musical performance as for the lights, stage setup and the overall concert experience. But these types of “theatre” and “circus” are not options for the new and emerging artists, who cannot afford to invest millions in a stage setup. And even if they could they would never be able to recover the investment as they do not have a big, well established international name yet. Besides which, those big name “Circus” artists are getting older and eventually the industry will need a new generation of real artists. Therefore, the question is: would it not be cheaper to coach them to sing properly and perform authentically without any circus props?

In many ways the music industry is currently in a type of suspended animation, due to the sheer fact that they keep producing and reproducing the same so to speak “templates”, ie. Britney Spears like artists and in the recent past “popping out” boy bands and girl groups that were completely alike and indistinguishable. People, meanwhile, quite evidently are getting fed up with listening and watching the same thing over and over. For some reason the music professionals are acting like telephone solicitors who are on a consistent basis are trying to pull out another donation from the people that have donated already several times. And these people are beginning to hang up the phone with obvious anger and are feeling harassed and, thus, are naturally resistant to give anything else. You would wonder why they would not call somebody else who has not donated yet? This is still a riddle.

In terms of music production, a type of suspended animation is also present. Recordings are so overproduced that there is very little room left for the voice. And the vocals are often so processed that they sound very cold and flat and devoid of any warmth or humanity, kind of like the heartbeat has been slowed down and the entire body has been frozen. Is there a hope that the music industry and the artists will come out of their living comas and regain their vital signs and their new fresh disposition would infuse music with something resembling life?

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