A Plea for Reform in the Music Industry

Medium.com has an interesting article that asks for the music industry to reform in a different way.

I’ve discovered in the years after, much to my dismay and bafflement, that electronic music is really the antithesis of that physical kind of music. It emerges on our sound systems at the end of a long and convoluted pipeline of sequencing, arranging, processing, editing and mastering that is anything but moment-to-moment. It’s the opposite of my first immediate connection to music. It’s much more like ‘direct-to-imaginary’ thinking.

Since those first encounters with rave tapes I’ve looked for ways to make electronic music more physical, more “played”. I’ve done my time in the imaginary-time world releasing albums on respected labels such as Warp and Planet Mu. But alongside that I’ve been developing technology and creating my own instruments for making music spontaneously, in the moment, in response to my environment and those around me.

More recently I’ve left recording behind to focus on completely improvised live shows. I’ve learned a lot — about music, performance, myself and what it is to be human. There’s something very special that happens when an audience realises they’re experiencing something wholly new, not regurgitated for the billionth time from an unchanging slice of imaginary time somewhere in the cognosphere. The performer extends an invitation to form a direct moment-to-moment relationship with their audience, a shared experience which strengthens our humanity. In moment-to-moment time the performer’s pursuit of perfection evaporates, the audience’s expectation to hear the known is shattered and together we enter the flow state.

Based on my experiences of performing in this way I know there can be so much more to music than the imaginary-time realm. There’s a new musical revolution around the corner.

Read the entire piece here.

 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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