Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It's what goes in.

I love technology. Old, new, vintage, it's all good. I was reading an interview with producer Erol Alkan recently in Future Music. (if you don't know the UK mag, ignore the high cost and subscribe immediately) He was echoing something that has been said many times by many great producers; technology, plugins, convolution 'verbs and on board DSP are all great....but....what really matters is the ideas that are recorded. A producers job should be to take a really talented artist/band and capture what they do while carefully accentuating and accenting what they do. This is typically the process that makes the Great records and songs. Ya know, the ones that still hold up 20 years later. For some reason, when the opposite is true, ie. a producer takes pretty face and molds the syllables and songs into a quantized pop sensation, it doesn't seem to last. Why is that? They are both ideas coming from a person or team. I can think of a few possible reasons but I would love to hear from others what you think. One thought is this, if an artist evokes a song based on personal experience or a vivid imagination (which is based on past experiences) then it truly comes from a deep, personal place. When others hear this, they connect on a deep, personal level. While our lives change and circumstances change, deep personal things of the past will always have an important place in our memory. Good, bad or otherwise.
Ok, a thought to contrary; So, if this is true, then the cheesy pop song that helped us get through the traumatic breakup in high school that ruined our lives should still touch us when we hear the Muzak version 20 year later. And sometimes it does. Hmmm...So maybe it is a question of universality? IOW, concepts, ideas and melodies that ring true for a greater number of us even if they don't exactly apply to us. Like "Let it Be" for instance. I'm not catholic and don't worship Mother Mary. But none the less, I know that there are atheists that take comfort in the famous line from the song. Ok, so, maybe it is the Subtext that matters. I could see someone saying. "it's not about mother Mary, it's about the what the song Represents". Yeah, that may be true BUT, it is about what it represents to you!
This stuff is fun to look at sometimes becuase for the most part we work on instinct. We it and it flows from-who knows where?

Ok, my head hurts. Anyone wanna jump in the deep end with me?