Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Delta Sparks Thought.

Over my breakfast tea and fruit toast this morning (definitely my favourite part of the day), I was reading an issue of Cream Magazine from 2008 that I scored when the news agent next door was throwing it away. I like that they do this. Anyway, I was reading an interview with Delta Goodrem (I know, lame. She was a pop goddess of my younger years, what can I say) which sparked some thought about popular culture and technology.

If you think babble about popular culture is pretentious, please stop reading now.

I warned you.

So the interviewer was asking her about her thoughts on technology, and weather she was a "technophile or a technophobe". She answered that she was a fan of the iTunes, but she loved putting CD's in her stereo, having a tangible collection and looking at the artwork, etc. I am definitely in the same boat, in fact, I pretty much said the exact same thing in a similar conversation just yesterday!

This got me thinking about why exactly Delta and I feel the need to own CD's, when the mp3 alternative is clearly more accessible and convenient. I think it's definitely got to do with the tangible thing. I love to make things. And what's the most fulfilling thing about making something? The finished product. Seeing it, feeling it, smelling it, hearing it. Whichever of those apply to said thing, but the more the merrier, right? Because I feel this satisfaction with my own creations, I like to do the same with the creations of others, so I can understand it better maybe, I don't know.

Obviously, technology hasn't only had this effect on music. It's had a considerable effect on visual art as well. It has allowed for, in recorded music and computerised visual art, this new level of perfection. Even in photography cinematography. A level not possible for humans to achieve without the ever improving technology.

At the moment I'm studying 20th century music in one of my classes, and something I found particularly interesting was the connections between the different genres that developed. One of the most interesting; Minimalism as a reaction to Serialism and Expressionism. Serialism and Expressionism were definitely music for a superior musical mind. Difficult/impossible to understand by the general public. Minimalism saw music back to simplicity. It rejected the strict forms and complexities that were considered acceptable at the time (1960s). Defiantly well loved by the high hippies of popular culture, and eventually also respected by the high classes of these previous genres. Terry Riley is a bit of a minimalist legend, you can tell just by looking at him.

That's enough of the history lesson, it's time to connect my ramble. In popular culture at the moment, things seem to have gone back to basics. The love of handmade, hand drawn visual art. Natural sounding music, HUMAN voices with imperfections in music. Things with character, human imperfection and a dash of chaos. I know I'm a sucker for it. It's kind of like going back to basics again. A reaction to the perfection which is too easily achieved. A new version of minimalism.

So auto tune and co can go screw themselves, they're not wanted here. Not in this part of popular culture anyway. I realise that I'm only focusing on one strand here, the reaction obviously has to come from something. Things like "Glee" and "High School Musical" are there to remind us of this. No disrespect to the fans of technological perfection, it's a matter of personal taste. It would be hypocritical of me to say that I don't love some things to come out of it. There are plenty of bands I love that use it, just for some reason it doesn't bother me in specific cases, such as "Vampire Weekend". Who knows why. If I didn't love the endless possibilites of technology, I wouldn't have a blog, would I? :)

This, is a long piece of babble. Sorry if you were in the middle of something and didn't expect it to drag on for quite so long. You can now go back to that thing you were doing, I'm done.