The beast awakens
As the mist from the morning rain clears, a series of resonating thumps are heard pulsating throughout the Savanah.
A flock of vultures take flight as a bewildered ape mercilessly pounds his fists upon a hallow tree trunk in rhythmic fashion. It’s as if he’s possessed, lost in a trancelike state, realizing for the first time his mortality, his bestial condition. And a strange love slowly seeps from his throbbing heart.
The beasts of the field stare at the ape in a perplexed state. They are fearful of the animal who is acting outside his typical pattern of fixed behavior. Afraid of what he might do next.
Background music of the age
It’s interesting how music often encapsulates the general sentiment of the prevailing time period. Just as Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel set the tone for the baroque period of the 17th and 18th Century with their ornate masterpieces, the music of today seems to simulate the collective fragmented view of reality.
No longer do we sift through cassettes and vinyl record collections, instead AI is now shaping the way we’re listening to music.
Think about that for a moment. Auto-generated playlists and internet radio stations are now curating music for us based upon our personalized algorithm. An algorithm that’s continually growing, and likely knows us better than our own mother.
On one side you have the formulated music of the mainstream. Commercial music that preys upon those of superficial tendencies – of the herd mentality. A breed of music that’s driven by systematic formulas with a proven track record. In short, music that sells.
For the last 50 years, this brand of commercialized mainstream music has reigned supreme. It has dominated the airwaves, seeped into the porous fabric of our species, and has conditioned us to favor certain sonic textures, beats, rhythms, and melodies.
One may ask if there is even a difference between roots music, or folk, and contemporary pop music of the mainstream? Well, it’s certain that both have burrowed their way into the fabric of the collective conscious, but I have a notion that one comes from the heart, and the other from a place of fear. A fear of failure. A fear of becoming the fool. A fear of the ego.
In my mind, the former is a lush rainforest crawling with majestic, yet dangerous beasts of beauty, and the latter a superficial oasis of plastic palm trees and high-grade formica crawling with pallid tourists.
As the technological beast evolves in complexity, and dismantles the historic gatekeepers of the industry, a new sound protrudes its head from the underworld. A multifaceted beast displaying a creative vigor that may yet outshine both the Renaissance and Enlightenment.
It’s a transcendental vibration that is slowly infecting all those who dare to turn on, tune in, and drop out. It’s a new wave of music whose roots reach down into the abyss, and branches grow up into the heavens.
It’s the light we all see at the end of the tunnel. And we are the bridge.
Outside the realm of the mainstream, there are individuals who are blurring the lines between digital and analog, vintage and modern, electronic and acoustic. Artists who refuse to be relegated to any one genre. People, just like you and me, who spend most of their waking hours blending mediums of a diverse nature, attempting to create a sound of beauty that will never again be replicated in human form.
It is these pioneers, these trailblazers who propel music, the art world, and culture forward. Without them, we would be stuck in the mud. Beating upon a dead horse, and mindlessly plowing the field as we did throughout the dark ages.
We must be courageous in the creation of art. We must not let fear and stagnation drag us down into the gutter of despair. We must let our light shine forth as we advance upon the path, for the way is dark and treacherous.
There is no escape, so one must either carry on, and reach for a higher place, or roll over and die. Either way, death will find every single last one of us in the end.
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