A few months back I wrote an article about how the metronome had such a big influence on the way we feel and hear music today. Sadly or not the metronome is not the only responsible for such a shift. Actually the whole industry is more and more searching for new ways that will turn our imperfections into pure perfection.
If you’d turn on the radio today, I bet you wouldn’t find a single song containing the slightest deficiency. Thanks to technology, everything sounds absolutely spot on and what you hear on the radio is just a combination of instruments superbly prearranged to sound perfect on top of each other. The live execution of the song is completely non-existent. If you listen to The Beatles, Elvis, James Brown and many others, you will notice that their music was played live. What is most astonishing though, is that these artists didn’t have the luxury of technology, therefore they had to walk into the studio hoping their best take would make it on the album. It is funny to see on one side the amount of pressure that these musicians must have had before recording and on the other side, musicians today walking into a studio and whatever happens will be fixed by some piece of technology.
However, I don’t want to sound like the guy that is always preaching that old is gold. In fact there are many bands today that have no fear in releasing their music without much editing. Bands like Vulfpeck record their albums pretty much live in studio (or at home). The band Snarky Puppy records every single live show and sells it 2 days later as an album. Jazz artist Esperanza Spalding, broadcasted on Facebook the entire process of writing, arranging and recording a whole album in only 77 hours. Luckily these are only few of the many bands and artists brave enough to release their music unedited, proof that great musicianship still exists and doesn’t need much AutoTune or Quantization.
My intention while writing this article is only to point out how perfectionism is taking over our lives. It is very important to acknowledge that what is “commercial” today is mostly been retouched from its original state. And I’m not talking necessarily exclusively about music. If you look at magazines or social media, it’s easy to see that our society being daily deceived by this idea of “fake” perfectionism.
‘till next time!