From will.i.am to Lagerfeld
Producers are currently doing to music what designers did to fashion: make it impossible.
It is amazing how deep the desire to control the reality is rooted in the human brain. It’s like we’re fascinated about how reality just elegantly flows into existence and we desperately want to do the same. If we can’t do it, then we invent a way to ruin it.
That model is visible in some forms of art. Just like models, in a wild gallop towards fame and fortune, slowly agreed on disappearing from the catwalk, to make room for stitch lines to be straight, so do singers, in an even wilder gallop towards iTunes sales and Youtube views, slowly agree to disappear from the studio to make room for the Auto-Tune effects.
Fashion designers cannot possibly make clothes that are more beautiful than the women who wear them.
This is simply because in no way ever will the human brain appreciate fabric more than skin, or embellishments over natural lines. Frustrating as this is, they resorted to making the woman an accessory of the clothing they create. Just pay attention to more than the weight, that only drew a big chunk of attention, but the makeup, the hairdos, the facial lack of expression that became the arcane art of the top models. They, the models, are invisible, so you can see only the cut, the material and the print and lust for it as cold and unnatural this may be.
Producers cannot sing — apparently at all. From Timbaland’s weird interventions in the melody to will.i.am’s embarrassing melodic talking — they are simply folks who know music very well, but who cannot sing.
Producers cannot produce songs that sound better than singing.
Well, frustrating as this is they reverted to a general rule of wiping away any singing at all and turn the singer into an accessory of the tune, as if it’s there only for the brand, the personification of some name — all else, like voice, being irrelevant.
Part of this is a general problem with creative industries: that the creator does not have the actual control, but the distributor, the influencer, the organizer, the agent, the promoter, the manager and the list could really get never ending. Talented people or those who bask in the grace of some gift like a good singing voice, an unreal beauty, an exquisite or exotic way to see or talk about reality itself etcetera, all these people live inside a container of other non talented humans which do all kinds of jobs that the first group has not time or talent for. I’m not the inventor of this idea. Some critics, for example, have been repeatedly put in the same cultural corner as envy, by cultivating the harshness of their critique in order to compensate for their lack of natural ability. But I call this on many other occupations and circles of influence, cohorts of folk deeply informed and cultivated in some area they love but without any tangible, real possibility to create more of the thing they know so much about.
This is not specific to fashion or music. Visual arts, such as painting and sculpture, have been shaped by what galleries would display. But in this context the situation is way better: those lucky selected artists are still in the spotlight. In fashion and music, however, this is not true anymore: in music if you take the producer out the performer cannot replicate the performance, in fashion if you take the designer out, the model has no clothes to cover the blandness anymore.
But the question is not why this happens in some creative industry or another. After all its all normal and O.K.: creation is a yang or positive, strong energy and it will, constantly, draw close the yin or negative, weak energy — which in this case is this army of intermediary folk between the audience and the message maker. The yin is constantly killing the creation, bringing on rules and order, bending the creative burst into silence — until it erupts somewhere else. Its O.K. this happens constantly.
However, aside from this natural order, i wonder what exactly, in our minds, is producing this tendency to kill natural beauty, born talent, genius innovation, clear originality and natural expression — why are we so heavily biased towards an artificial depiction of the world that we are gazing at inside our humble tiny timescale of “one life”?
The first duty in life is to be as artificial as possible. What the second duty is no one has as yet discovered. Oscar Wilde of course.