David Byrne’s Survival Strategies

02007-12-28 | Music | 3 comments

David Byrne’s Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists — and Megastars
First, a definition of terms. What is it we’re talking about here? What exactly is being bought and sold? In the past, music was something you heard and experienced — it was as much a social event as a purely musical one. Before recording technology existed, you could not separate music from its social context. Epic songs and ballads, troubadours, courtly entertainments, church music, shamanic chants, pub sing-alongs, ceremonial music, military music, dance music — it was pretty much all tied to specific social functions. It was communal and often utilitarian. You couldn’t take it home, copy it, sell it as a commodity (except as sheet music, but that’s not music), or even hear it again. Music was an experience, intimately married to your life. You could pay to hear music, but after you did, it was over, gone — a memory.

Excellent piece for Wired by David Byrne. A couple of weeks old, but I had not gotten around to reading the whole thing. Highly recommended. Nice audio clips of David Byrne’s conversation with Brian Eno. He ends the article with this:

Ultimately, all these scenarios have to satisfy the same human urges: What do we need music to do? How do we visit the land in our head and the place in our heart that music takes us to? Can I get a round-trip ticket? Really, isn’t that what we want to buy, sell, trade, or download?

3 Comments

  1. Jacqueline

    Coming home from a ship…Like a gig…

    What do we need music to do, well someday ‘s are just not so easy,
    so you push play, that certain cd , or mixes of music, take you the listener, to the place you want to be, could it be solitude, another state, planet or , perhaps your creative juices flow, dance, sit in a trance. Or the company , that does not exact control, but is translusive, yet a calming or blancing factor, the push of play , can help to jump start the day , or be the lullabye, that helps you sleep. Music Universal, enjoyed by each listener , weather in groups or solitaire. It appeals , solely to ones mind , senses and heart! Thank our lucky skies stars, and for some that have to start somewhere , bars and coffee houses! Jackie

    Reply
  2. Jacqueline (Jackie)

    Congratulations Ottmar!

    Vail Daily what a write up on Ottmar!

    In the time it took for the rest of the world to wake up!
    That music also has many minds that shine!

    You won that award and many more in our hearts, with all you share and do! It never goes un-noticed or un appreciated!

    Jackie

    Reply
  3. steve

    Quoting David Byrne:

    “What do we need music to do? How do we visit the land in our head and the place in our heart that music takes us to? Can I get a round-trip ticket? Really, isn’t that what we want to buy, sell, trade, or download?”


    Unfortunately, I think the piracy and commodification of music that is seen in the marketplace indicates that music is not generally viewed as particularly special and certainly not transformational.

    It’s just audio wallpaper, or perhaps acoustic paint. Simply additional auditory “content.”

    Music has become just another thing that we can apply a Modified Discrete Cosine Transform on and make into “a file.”

    Once music is “just a file”, it seems that perception changes. Expectation changes.

    It remains unclear to me what the psychology of this perceptual change is, though I suspect that it has something to do with the ubiquity of “files.” What, after all, is really the difference between “com.apple.preview.plist”, and “St_Matthew_Passion.aiff”…
    they’re both just “files” … :^/

    Reply

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