“What is valuable in music is that it bears witness to this world” writes Clément Rosset*. This value is threatened by the music industry, the algorithms of streaming platforms and those of social networks. It is increasingly enslaved to capture attention, influence and generate “commitment”, preferably pecuniary. In the egocracy of social networks, music is degraded into sensational added value, in 7 to 15 seconds (average length of a video on Tiktok or Instagram).
In streaming, being listened to is a lottery for artists who have no notoriety or means of promotion (or cheating*). Seeing an entire album streamed remains a vague hope. Only a few tracks get sometimes a little attention, mostly incomplete, and others never. The musical narrative woven into an album by the composer is then torn to pieces, exploded by the supremacy of playlists, tops, prescribed listening or fragmented by zapping. Hours of writing, arrangement, interpretation, mixing, editing pushed so far as to take care of the musicality of the silences and pauses between the titles or, on the contrary, of the chained fades in order to weave a real musical and artistic continuity, to offer a world of travel, all of this is shattered in general indifference. For the artist, the work is atomized and everything collapses. The mourning of accessing an economy of dignity as an artist-author will therefore not be enough, it will also be necessary to give up the hope that his creative work can be considered, can exist without being disintegrated.
So how do you find the courage to continue creating and producing recorded music? To give to hear creative music that lives the culmination of the creative process through real listening. How today through music be in human and poetic relationship with others by gently whispering in their ear: “(…) for me too it’s the night“***? POL
(*) Clément Rosset – « La Force majeure » – Editions de Minuit – 1983
(**) Enquête France 2 – Musique : les faux chiffres du nombre d’écoutes sur les plateformes de streaming – 1/01/23
(***) Rainer Maria Rilke cité par Jean-François Angelloz – « Rainer Maria Rilke : l’évolution spirituelle du poète » – Paul Hartmann Editeur – 1936
NB: I recommend the podcast of Cynthia Fleury « Reconquérir le courage » (2019)