Results for tag "music"

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Help Wanted: Old Souls in Entertainment

A very conspicuous hole is being left in the wake of so many film and music creators and contributors passing away recently. Where an equally talented and spirited thinker should be stepping up as successor to these empty thrones, there sits no one. The charisma, star quality, artistic genius, and quality of material in the entertainment industry have left much to be desired. The wells of “old school” heart and appreciation for the arts in their purest forms are running dry. Can you remember the last time someone was deemed a true legend? Who, in this millennial generation, can be thought of as a replacement for any legends recently lost? Take David Bowie and Prince for instance. And who would be chosen for Wes Craven? For Joan Rivers or Whitney Houston? There is a noticeable decline in the originality of the work produced in the 21st century. Everything comes from a book, is a sequel or reboot, or has been auto-tuned to the point of sonic anguish. With so many advancements in technology, the amount of labor expended to create and mold a sound or image has become miniscule, especially in comparison to the time-consuming effort involved in much earlier times. These conveniences minimize the need for one to do their homework in regard to the art being created. An immersion in information builds passion and gratitude that is translated in the work produced. In this world of billions, sounds and images are being shared with the young. From decades past, from the inception of that particular style, this history is planting the seeds of inspiration.

What we now need is a resurgence of enthusiasts for the countless filmmakers and musicians currently struggling because they care little about the bottom line and would die for their art. The kind of artists and supporters who aren’t working for likes, shares, or downloads, but rather because they’ve devoted everything to creating and nothing else will feel the same. We need more people who love their work as if it were a best friend or child, who’ll protect it from artificiality and insincerity. And, who will press every allowable ounce of passion into it so that audiences get palpable waves of the soul expended to create it. Blockbuster ticket sales and Platinum status have become more important than quality of content, with marketability reigning supreme over substance. While music and film production companies do exist that want to create genuine art, they are relegated to the background because they aren’t afforded the same funding, connections, or air time as more capital driven brands. It’s companies like IFC Films, Concord Music Group, and Click Play Films etc. trying to return content and quality to the production industry. There’s still hope for entertainment. What it needs to flourish, as it has in the past, are curators and audiences not willing to settle for the latest trend or the easiest moneymaker. What it needs, is a hero with a young mind and an old soul.

A New ‘Formation’ in Music Video Production

Gone are the days of waiting in long lines for the release of your favorite artist’s new album. With the advent of apps like iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify, the need for tangible music media has become nearly obsolete. Then along came video streaming. This platform of media dispensing has quickly become the leading method artists use to connect with their audiences. Be it daily blog-style posts or the latest music videos, fans can now have direct and immediate access to their favorite artists 24/7. We as an audience, in today’s technological age, are primarily visual creatures. When we listen to music, we immediately create images in our mind that either follow the story from the song’s lyrics or correspond to a memory or feeling evoked by the tune. Out of this imagination machine has come a new style of dispensing music to the masses; this style is called a “visual album,” and has been reintroduced to the public with the release of Beyoncé’s, Lemonade. The video production quality of this ‘visual album’ borders on theatrical and incorporates styles of typical vibrant music videos and dark art-house cinema.

Though many may say that this is a first for music video production, there have been two distinct and iconic musical artists that have had similar visual adaptations of their audio albums. The first, and still to this day influential and relevant, is Pink Floyd’s The Wall album. Director Alan Parker, was able to take the entire album and transform it into a masterpiece of artistic imagery and sonic innovation. The videos follow the storyline of the album, but throw out the notion that each scene should be a literal enactment of the lyrics. Parker takes us through the psychedelic turbulence of Pink’s anguish in a way that pulls the audience into the story rather than leaving them on the sidelines.

Similar in style but more theatrical than The Wall and Lemonade, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker utilizes his Bad album to set the stage for a dangerous adventure against drug dealer, Mr. Big, played by Joe Pesci. Though the production quality is more major studio than art-house, director, Jerry Kramer uses the combination of album audio and visual action to play out Bad’s story in its entirety. There are standard song and dance/performance components as well as scripted dialogue and action, an area where both The Wall and Moonwalker deviate from Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

As technology continues to advance, video will become the standard for album releases. Video production quality and content will have more of an impact on the reception of music by audiences, as they will now have an immediate opportunity to see an artist’s total visual concept rather than getting it piecemeal. Video has truly killed the radio star, but it may not necessarily be for the worst.