As we get into political debates between the candidates for the white house, it is pretty clear that the keyword these days is change. I do not think it stops there though. Change is afoot everywhere and with the current economic crisis this is only accelerating things, by having people looking at other ways to accomplish their tasks. Either for less, in a more green way or in whatever way is most important to them.
For musicians, artists and the music industry as a whole, change is on the forefront as well. First with iTunes and the iPod, now with things like Spotify, we are moving to a more connected world. Where it used to be about the actual songs themselves, it is much more around the experience created by it and its associations, be it cover art, videos, blogs or even interviews. Even the ability to interact with the music, such as Splice, Remix.nin.com, CcMixter and even with video this is more becoming the case, where I think things like the features of Eyespot are becoming standard must haves for sites. We are very much a remix culture these days.
It is one of the reasons, why I am still confused as to why some people are still holding on to the past and saying sampling is not allowed. People are still trying hash out out how this all fits in the world of mash ups and the general derivative culture.
The way people are being entertained is changing, in addition to how people consume media. Although there are still a lot of people playing music using acoustic instruments, but just as recording of those tracks has gone digital. So have most of todays instruments. Sometimes, they do not even really look like instruments any more. The big question is always, if we do not make money off our songs, then how? Some say concerts and performances, but even how that is done is changing.
DJs for example are still in love with the way vinyl works, but having waveforms that represent the grooves is providing most of what they are used to and tons more real-time control that was never possible with vinyl. Some forward thinking DJs have started taking advantage of this, such as DJ Sasha. Below find an interesting video where internationally respected DJ and musician, Richie Hawtin, talks about his current DJ setup and how it has changed what he focuses on during a set and how it is much more about creating mood and his interaction with the fans on stage over the age old beat matching.
Richie Hawtin 2008 DJ Setup from Dean Koch on Vimeo.
Overall it is very exciting to me how technology is turning the world upside down and making it easier for us to communicate, share and entertain. There will be a lot of trial and error, but in the end I think we will be a better world because of it.
Change is a good thing, even if what is changing is change itself.