A comment on the contemporary music industry

10 12 2012
Soulman O'Gaia part of a global rEvolutionj

Soulman O’Gaia part of a global rEvolution

Is music finding it’s SOUL?

This post is a reply to Annie’s comment on Big Yellow Taxi and The Quantum Goddess

. . .sometimes as i hear the seemingly endless tide of automatic pop, junk music and disposable pap, I feel we have lost something. To balance that view perhaps we can also consider that there was also a lot of bad music made back then and we now have the luxury of selective listening. Nevertheless . . .it’s undoubtedly true that they’re not making music like they used to. There are certain complexities here that demand a deeper analysis. A laundry list of considerations follows 1) A lot of the great music that we love from that time (the 60s?) was the result of a hard-core commercial music industry. There is a relentless middle-of-the road factor playing out there. 2) The distribution channels for this music were, by today’s standards, limited and tightly controlled so what we are seeing is a very thin slice of possibility 3) Today’s commercial-industrial music is often pretty dire. House music and variants have spread virally into contemporary music so it’s hard to find pop music that hasn’t been robotized 4) There is good and even great music being made today. The advent of the internet and digital recording have brought musical production and global distribution into the reach of every-person. The results are far less tightly controlled than the music industry of the past 5) The profusion of both professional and semi-professional music available on global distribution platforms like Youtube, iTunes, Grooveshark et al means that a lot of music that was not released commercially previously and therefore carrying limited incentive for musicians to produce . . .is now available 6) New classical forms have emerged from contemporary musical culture. Classical meaning simply “excellent” music. Take for example Jazz. There is a lot of truly excellent jazz music being performed in little (and sometimes in BIG) places round the world. Add to this the influences of “world music”. 7) The bigger picture reveals a world in which consumers need to be more conscious, discriminating and aware of who they are being in relation to musical taste and consumption, and where and how they find, discover, share and celebrate and listen.  A great example is the busker or market performer. Just because they are close enough to reach out and touch or to say hello to, doesn’t mean they are not as fabulous as the famous and unreachable. This requires of us that we participate in the adventure of our own lives. If you want to break free of the restrictions the system develop some discrimination and discover what is quite likely in your own backyard. The music game has well and truly changed with more power in the hands of artists and audiences. This seems to be a journey in which we are all being given expanded opportunities and new cultural and personal responsibilities.

Rather than just talk about this as an abstract concept let’s provide an example of what is being said above. There is an excellent musician who goes by the name of Soulman O’Gaia.  Soul along with his beautiful muse and wife Kiora, does the troubadour rounds in Northern NSW and South East Queensland of Australia – out of a well traveled van. You wouldn’t hear him on commercial radio – he doesn’t have a commercial recording contract. Dr Quantum has enjoyed listening to Soul at various markets from Byron Bay to Eumundi. He has also appeared at Woodford and a variety of concerts in this area. Here is a musical treasure. I have heard Soul performing in a little open tent with ten or twelve other gobsmacked punters who were happening by. You can purchase Soul’s CDs at his little market stage for $20, or you can hire him for a private party or function or, and here’s the really amazing intersection to all this . . .you can listen to his music from anywhere in the world, or purchase his CDs online on his website. Soulman O’Gaia official web site.

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