Scaling the Pyramid, pt. 2
When was it exactly that the world lost respect for the composer? The artist is the one performing, the composer is the one creating. The lyricist, the arranger, the producer; all have been steadily lost in a haze of automation and reduction into a sonic morass. The little artist thinks what he does in an evening is instantly gold; he believes (read: hopes) some fancy MacBook makes him a god. Autotune does not make a singer – processed Fourier transforms do not lend a voice character. Loops do not make a basso continuo. Time correction does not make a great percussionist. No limiting filter can resurrect a shabby recording. No thousand dollar software is a philosopher’s stone. A great artist understands that timeless masterpieces require skills beyond filters and reverb presets. There is a reason lyricists, audio engineers and arrangers exist: great art demands skill. Even Mozart needed Da Ponte. The greatest painting requires an expert framer and skill with the brush does not mean one can carve wood.
Listeners of music should demand the same: pieces that challenge the ear, works that jump start the mind. Aural compositions, sonic landscapes, progressions of themes, development of ideas, paintings of light. Not just a bass drop and a heavy beat, some flash and show. Making something fit for a club, something catchy, is not art. Art challenges the listener to accept things distasteful, giving them the choice to embark upon their own personal journey of discovery, to scramble up the scree and see the beauty of the new-found horizon from the ridge, looking back upon the valleys before with new eyes. The listener must be integral with their art, retracing the difficult road of every cross that was borne, following the same path when consuming art as producing it. Discovering beauty in the discord that mirrors our own nature. Art is the pyramid that challenges all; it yields to nothing.