I have had much on my mind that I have been wanting to sort a bit before continuing to write. I might go a long way in the next few paragraphs to get to the point so I will just be quick about the point first: we are merging, daily and minute by minute, with something we would be shocked by if not for it being so subtle and the same time sublime. This thing is called singularity and there is no shortage of information on Google about it. If you are completely unawares perhaps this is a good thing and you can let it wash over you in blissful ignorance. If you are piqued by the term I encourage you to read as much as you can about the coming epochs because they are in fact coming. Now to how this has anything in the world to do with music and your world.
Wonder why concert attendance is down? People don’t need it like they once did. Back in the day people needed or felt like they needed to experience a concert. Today the experience is kind of stock in light of the constant access we now have to literally every example of music and entertainment at our finger tips. Why go to a concert, pay an exorbitant ticket price, and risk seeing a “ahhh not so good” show as opposed to sitting at your laptop or in the comfort of your own home and freely stream the best of the best from a performance? The singularity is the reason. Information is overwhelming us and lessening the need we feel to participate in live events.
I make music and one of my goals, always, is to portray something real, myself, the humanness which I think is an element which has to be there in my music. Used to be I could tell when something was generated electronically upon immediate listening, now, not so much. There is music being created, if that is the term for it, which involves only the person sticking the keyboard and clicking the mouse, which is hard if not impossible to distinguish from what others would term “the real deal.”
One could argue that this in and of itself is still an expression of humanness because a person is driving the process. I also am not disheartened by someone taking examples (loops, clips, samples) and rearranging them to fit their purposes. There will be some adjustment but eventually the laptop, or whatever peripheral comes next, will be the main, if it is not already, means with which to create. It will not just be a platform but will be looked at as the instrument, studio, and tool all rolled into one. It already is.
This too points to the coming singularity. A ramping up of technology which will continue to ramp up exponentially, moving so fast many will be totally disturbed in the coming decades. I am not exasperated about it like Ted Kaczynski but you have to at least give the man credit, though deluded and violent as he became, for seeing this way in advance of others. I am also hopeful this will mean a true transcendence for humanity as opposed to the other dystopian alternatives possible.
Vonngut opined in some of his writing the idea, with a question, “what are humans for?” And these issues, or this one big encompassing issue, runs right to the heart of that question. There are coming technologies which would make Jules Verne dumfounded. He would probably be dumfounded by some of the most recently emerged technologies but the coming ones will dumfound us all.
To think many people used to fear simple automation. Get ready world, brave, new or otherwise.
***There will be much more to come.