Monday, July 12, 2010

Vocally speaking: Why does it appear that people in a medical coma, at times, possess more "vital signs" than today's so-called performers?

Practicing vocal coaching/consulting/producing and whatever else connected to the music business for over 30 years in Toronto, I can testify that people have changed dramatically over last 3 generations. In my opinion, with technology progressing, the mental, physical and emotional state of human beings is dramatically regressing. Obviously there are quite a few factors related to why this is happening. One of them is that people are using technology instead of their brains, not along with the brains. It looks like their brain cells are dying one by one and they are unable to think straight, let alone make some viable decisions or, god forbid, try to put 2 plus 2 together without the computer or calculator. How scary is that?

Taking into account this phenomenon, they are evidently not as physical as well. They spend the majority of their day staring at the computer screen and trying to figure out their whole life via internet. Sometime ago, I asked one of my young male students if he had a girlfriend. He said, "Yeah, I have eight". "Eight?!" I exclaimed, "How so?". He said: "Virtual ones". I was shocked out of my wits. I said to myself, "We are raising the potential "invalids"". This young population is afraid of the real world. They're hiding behind the computer screen and not subjecting themselves to the real life or the real world for that matter.

This boy was 17 at the time. How is he going to deal with real relationships with his real girlfriends or with a real marriage down the road? Let's suppose that this young fellow would also like to become an artist. Everyboy knows that the best artists are those that are writing their own material and performing it. What would this boy (young man) have to write about? He never experienced real feelings, real pain, real passion and perhaps not even real sex! He's been living in an artificial world. In this instance then, what can he offer to society musically and otherwise? This question still remains unanswered.

My program is very intense and contains very tedious syllable-on-syllable instruction and, as Toronto Star newspaper once said, "It's not for the faint of heart". The young population today is simply not fit for that. We already established that they have nothing to offer emotionally, but they also, as it appears to be, have nothing to offer physically. Some of them come into my class literally in a "living coma". They hardly have vital signs. Probably even fewer than the people in the real coma.

Obviously the recession did not help either. Some of them are working to death and, often enough, more than one job. Quite often where there used to be ten people working on a project, now hardly two are embarking on the same deal. To their credit, some of them have mental desires to become an artist, but they cannot support it with their physical, mental and emotional state of being. Therefore, when I try to instill a vocal "chip" in them it's sometimes virtually impossible to do so, given the above description of their present demeanors. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule and recently I produced a lead singer, from a soon-to-be-known rock band, who is one of them. This singer and his brothers still possess zest for life, passion and desires -which should be the "norm" for everyone's mid-twenties age. I have to say, it was very refreshing to work with them and record four fun oriented songs that are full of life, desires and love. Unfortunately, these days, this is an exception to the rule. For the last approximately two years my office employees and I have not been able to believe the deterioration and degradation of those young people whose hearts and souls, at least in theory, desire to become well known artists while, unfortunately, the ingredients for that were not present.

I'm certainly hoping for the best and also desire that those days full of vibrant, bright, intelligent and talented people will return in the not very distant future.

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