New Music Century 21
The idea of "new" has to be updated continuously. You could argue that if it
happened yesterday, it is already old. I often read people who are educated in
art history and architecture who describe things happening now as "postmodern".
Someone many years ago decided that modern had ended. But the term modern, like
new, properly used, describes a continuously advancing wave of events that must
be updated continuously. There really is no "postmodern" or "postnew."
In the history of music, each musical "genius" added his own innovations so
that the ideas that drove musical composition progressed, despite the resistance
of patrons and audiences. There has always been a battle between audiences who
want more of the same and composers who were innovative. Many creative composers
suffered repeated rejection and penury. In the 20th century tradition and
innovation continued to compete.
"New" eventually acquired value as a marketing claim, but audiences paid
increasing sums to attend concerts with expectation they would hear repetitions
of old and familiar tunes. When the term "new music" is used to describe more
repetitions of existing musical styles, music that is truly innovative is
neglected. You might notice that almost all these new releases are covers of old
tunes or variations, interpretations, and imitations. Or, music is replaced by
talking or shouting mixed with somewhat rhythmic noise. The tendency toward
noise, moving away from music is apparent in popular music intended for
teen-agers and young adults who tend to be rebellious, sometimes angry and
tolerate noise better than older adults. Intoxication with drugs can be added to
the mix to assure that the participants are totally disconnected from any
“reality” that more sober and reasonable citizens value.
Human societies follow a dialectic path with advances and regressions,
sometimes occurring together in a confusing contradictory way. The most obvious
regression in pop music is back to frantic dancing, featuring the sexual
movements of intercourse and costumes that range from the sublime to the
ridiculous. These version of sexual dance, shouting, groaning and grimacing
require only a loud kick drum in 4/4 time and a deep bass drone to keep the
audience in a frenzied state. This is old human behavior dating back thousands
In the past, music was referred to as an art form and musical artists were
people who had practiced their craft for many years and excelled in their
technical and expressive abilities. Classical musicians are polite, well
groomed, well dressed people who bring skill and dignity to their performances.
Many are university trained. But, now everyone with an electric guitar and
amplifier is a musician, even an artist. Some punk rockers boast of their 3
chord vocabulary. With the loss of a tradition of credentials, talent and skill,
music is truly egalitarian. Anarchy replaces order and noise is called "music".
If your interest is primarily making rhythmic noise that sells, then you switch
to rap, hip hop and erotic dance pop.
If you asked me how would you change the course of musical history? My first
impulse would be to restore credentials, ban noise and reward only those who
produce beautiful sounds that made everyone feel happy and well. But then I
would realize that creativity in music and all other human activities has been
banned or punished by authorities who resisted change. As in all matters human,
idealistic goals are seldom achieved. Beauty and truth are achieved only for
brief moments and rarely appear on MTV.
I will consider a variety of ideas for new music in the 21st century and
offer some examples as new music emerges in my studio. I have experimented with
sound production, algorithmic composition, and every strategy that has emerged
to enable beginners and experts alike to assemble sounds in ways that seem
meaningful to them. I have been interested in hypnotic sounds, cool jazz, trance
dance, chill, new age soothing music, and minimalist composers such as Philip
Glass. A meaningful inquiry into the possibilities for authentic new music will
involve philosophy, neuroscience, acoustic science, technology, and an
understanding of human nature.
Persona Music Recordings: Our Music Catalogue includes recorded performances
by the P2500 Band, Em4U, and the Persona Classical Consort. Music previews and
downloads are delivered from
Reverb Nation and Alpha Online.
Some music online is offered to illustrate music history, advance music
education and appreciation. The recordings presented online demonstrate Persona
Studio's arranging, recording and mastering techniques. All the recordings are
completed in house by Stephen Gislason. The music selections and their history
are explained in the book, Sound of Music.
Persona Digital Studio at FaceBook
Persona Classical Consort at ReverbNation
Topics presented at Persona Digital Studio are from the book,
The Sound of Music by Stephen Gislason.
Click the Download button to order the eBook from Alpha Online.;
Persona Digital Studio is located on the Sunshine
Coast, Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada.
eMail to: email@example.com