Yesterday I listened, again, to the wonderful album A State of Wonder, which contains both the 1955 and 1981 recordings of the Complete Goldberg Variations, performed by Glenn Gould. I really like the 1981 version. Glenn Gould stopped performing in 1964, at age 32, and until his death in 1982 he only performed for the microphone. He recorded 50 hours worth of music.
Of course, he could not do that nowadays, with so few willing to pay for recordings. What a shame, had he not been able to live outside the concert stage… working strictly on recordings. Surely it would be our loss, and I wonder how many great hours of music will we never hear, because making albums – and never touring – is no longer viable.
Lately every time I watch a short video on the web that utilizes somebody’s music, I also view the video without the music, and then I try to calculate how much of the atmosphere was actually contributed by the music. Most of the time the music is really important (((duh!!))), but the composer or performer are not getting one damn cent while the manufacturer of the camera was paid, a host of people involved were paid (((or were asked and agreed to work for free))) and of course Google makes their advertising money. Where is the outrage? Why have we all swallowed the internet-line that musicians should be grateful for the exposure they are getting from any video. I would love to know who first came up with that line. Wired magazine? It sure was a convenient meme to latch on to.
Amazing evening light: