Where are musicians headed?

02008-11-09 | Music | 0 comments

I received an email with the following quote from Bass Player Magazine. It’s said to be from an interview with Anthony Jackson.

Question: Where do you feel bass playing is headed? What do you feel the career of a professional bassist will be in 20 years?

It’s always fascinating to force the future to show itself. You can imagine anything you want, think hard about it, and convince yourself that it’s an accurate prediction. So: my turn.

Within 20 years only a handful of large recording studios will remain, catering only to orchestras and other large ensembles. Mid-size rooms will disappear with the proliferation of moderately priced, super-high fidelity solid-state recorders that can be used in the home; the present dominance of hard disk will end, barely a decade after it destroyed magnetic tape. Session work will continue to be done, but remote Internet recording, already increasing, will dominate music production, and iTunes and illegal live recording will make it almost impossible for musicians to prosper from their work. Nightclubs catering to live music will largely cease to exist. Musicians will find themselves relegated to local and state sponsored “performance organizations” and university-funded groups. An era of threadbare culture, already descending will worsen. Case in point: the appallingly corrupt American Idol and Making the Band (where there is no “band”, and the “singers” – few if any of whom can sing without the intervention of AutoTune – are clearly unconcerned about music, only with thrusting asses and spastic dance steps) point to a future that will worsen before it improves.

None will escape this scenario – including us. Only the strongest, in any field of art, will prosper. Live music will never end, but the tradition of musicians, musicians everywhere – in small clubs, large clubs, halls, outdoor venues, summer jazz festivals, live TV – will not return in abundance until our popular culture begins to evolve again. Twenty years? Maybe, but I think it will be longer. Still, I sincerely believe good times for artists will return. Hypothetical advice to all of us players: Play well, to give our instrument its best chance to survive this era, where a “musician” is too often anyone who can press a PLAY button.
– SOURCE: Bass Player Magazine, Volume 19, Number 12, p. 22

Well, the remark about Solid State Drives (or Flash Memory) versus Hard Disk seems out of place. My 722 recorder has had both for two years. And certainly we will have a whole different form of memory in two decades. But the main points Anthony Jackson makes are right on, I think.

The person, who sent the email to me, a musician himself, noted:

Note: Mr. Jackson’s current description of culture seems to correspond with the description of pop culture from Anathem, by Neal Stephenson. (i.e., it sounds like the extramuros culture of the slines.)

It certainly appears that way. (((Quick, how can I join a Math?)))
The question is whether, knowing what pop-culture might become, the course can be changed. Erstens kommt es anders und zweitens als man denkt… Yes, there are many shows like American Idol (((which have NOTHING to do with music and everything to do with STARDOM))), but there are also young singer/sonwriters like Trevor Hall (((only 21 years old!!))), whose new album “This is Blue” is brilliant. You can find Trevor on MySpace and his CD at CD Baby. He is on high rotation at my house. (((Thanks for the CD Joe!)))

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