Editorial: April 1996

Music as an opinion and perspective as a mirror

I apparently caused a great deal of discussion with last month's editorial on musical growth via change. However, as people felt the need to critique my argument, I began to realize that I had indeed left out an integral part of my logic and design and thus was left with a gaping flesh wound at which people lobbed verbal attacks. So in hopes of redemption of some kind, I'll try once again to explain what I meant by inserting the fragile point which was so conspicuously absent from my previous tirade.

The crux of my argument was centered around the fact that change, as a musical tool, was in fact a good thing. I stated that a large percentage of industrial related artists had changed their style of sound construction over the past several years and had unduly received an inordinate amount of negative critique because of it. All of the counter arguments indicated that their positions on change were based on personal opinion of a particular musical style and their desire to purchase said style or not.

What I had apparently left out of my essay was that I was discounting the fact that we live in a consumer based market system. I was trying to derive change based upon the need for artist growth and not for the almighty dollar, often called 'selling out'. I hadn't stood in the shoes of the consumer and looked through their eyes to discern what made them purchase an album since I don't actually purchase many albums myself. Because I happen to publish a music-based magazine I tend to receive all of my music for free instead of paying over the counter for all the music releases I receive. This position blinded me to the needs and wants of the consumer market which was indeed a drastic oversight on my part. One should never discount the integration of the simple economic rules of supply versus demand when constructing an argument intended to be read by consumers. My fatal mistake.

In retrospect, I can understand the justification of the arguments versus my opinion. However, I can't seem to be able to recompose my logic by trying to interpret the musical art form as a consumable item. Art has always been deemed more valuable after untimely death of the artist or similar atrocity. The industrial community as a whole can't seem to appreciate the radical change that their embraced genre has had upon the global community. Most seem blinded by the fact that while the music is not embraced by the public as a whole it is indeed utilized in every walk of life. From soundtracks, commercials, bumpers, and sound bytes, our genre has encompassed the market who refuses to acknowledge we exist. And yet, they continue to use us to sell their automobiles, deodorants and television shows. Hypocrisy in action, let us all hope we don't all end up following the same path.


[Sonic Boom]

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