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A Cynic Writes...

Technology: What's It To You?

The music industry has been infected by a computer virus.

Information is being eaten by invisible silicone microbes and systematically replaced by gibberish. To an increasing number of carriers, exclusive knowledge of this gibberish is far more important than any wider understanding of it, and worse still, far more important than music. Who cares what it's all for as long as you can recite the upgrades for the latest version of Cubase? Never mind the quality, feel the bandwidth. Turn the music down, I'm trying to read this manual. And don't you dare set foot inside a recording studio without a physics degree.

It has always been immensely convenient for aesthetic cowards to don the armour of jargon. Faced with the fire-breathing dragons of opinion, judgment, assessment, controversy, or good old-fashioned taste, what could be easier than side-stepping the whole issue by drawing attention to unchallengeable technical minutiae? People do it all the time, professionally. So the more technical minutiae we have, the easier it is to avoid the emotional arena. More power to the timid. Safety-catch on.

I blame computer programmers. Throughout the last three decades, these social inadequates have been designing the psychic architecture of our lives. Most of them are incapable of normal conversation; many wear open-toed sandals and socks. So deliberately hermetic is their language that all we can do is nod in awe. And they love it. Thanks to hugely expensive advertising campaigns, the public image of the computer is unassailable. Transcendent. With clear explanation wilfully stifled by the twin vested interests of competitive male bonding and smokescreen salesmanship, these bastards are engaged in a daily attempt to stitch up commerce, transport, communications, politics and finance. What we do is called the arts. And we're next.

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Music Technology - Copyright: Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.


Music Technology - Nov 1992

Opinion by Brian Aspirin

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