Music Then And Now – What’s Changed?

Image of Lee Demers, writing music with paper and pencil, playing his guitar.
MUSIC THEN

It’s a world of artificial intelligence, cars with no drivers and audio/video special effects that can do the impossible. Music has become a venue for mathematical combinations outside the limitations of what is humanly possible.

I play one note on my guitar. A computer can multiply it, harmonize it, arpeggiate it, play it backwards or make random combinations by clicking a button or two. Add social media, go viral and millions of listeners are mesmerized by this digital pied piper.

Image of recording studio, with devices to record music on the table
MUSIC NOW

All accomplished with two fingers, one to play the note and one to select the appropriate button for the desired affect.

A new art form has evolved from the human mind’s ability to delegate. Just like any other function that requires time and effort an outlet for creative expression has been assigned to computers, and we have only scratched the surface. The more powerful computers become the deeper music creators can reach into infinity. The process of songwriting in todays’ world will never be the same.

I am a multi instrumentalist. It makes approaching technology a little easier. I’m old school so I can tap into the music world from my analog roots. I basically do what I’ve always done and have a computer record the results with the help of an interpreter, an analog to digital converter. To hear it back the interpreter reverses its’ function and converts from digital to analog and plays it back through an amplifier and speakers.

Basically it’s not much different from the old days of recording into a tape machine and playing it back but that’s where the similarity ends. Once you begin editing and mixing it’s a whole new world. Did you ever copy and paste a repeatable phrase on a tape recorder? When you add the option of MIDI another dimension is added

Image of female listening to music on her headphones
MODERN CONSUMPTION OF MUSIC ON DEMAND ON THE GO

At the end of the day we end up with a song and it’s the listener who will decide which song they hit the play button on.

What determines the impact of your music has little to do with your instrument or your computer. It will never change. One human to another, can you feel what I’m feeling?

 

Does it strike a nerve? Does it resonate? I can only write about who I am and you can only listen as who you are whether it’s smoke signals or a collaboration between a human and a machine.