Whether through instant communication with the other side of the planet, or complete education via the Internet, there is no question that technology is bringing us closer together by positive domination of our world.
Music embraces technology. It uses it to aid and improve the experience. Electric guitars and microphones weren’t always around, neither were light shows or projections.
However in recent times, technology has been destroying the experience. Nowadays, you don’t need a good voice to succeed and you don’t need to play an instrument or even own one!
The negative connotations of technology have been slowly infiltrating the art since the 1980s.
At that time, a new form of music was being moulded, now donned dance pop. These artists, such as Michael Jackson and Madonna, found live shows became difficult as they were trying to implement more forms of entertainment into the same three minutes. They focused on dancing and pre-recorded their vocals.
Lip-synching has evolved into auto-tune, and the 21st century has seen an influx of musicians whose vocal “talents” are enhanced by technology. This is a widespread practice, with Ke$ha and T-Pain amongst others to openly admit they use it, and even the X-Factor confessing.
While every artist will use auto-tune in the studio, the real test of talent usually came when seeing artists live. However, even this can be falsified.
What is the endgame for this form of technology? I think that gigs are the best chance for artists to engage with their fans, take Ricky Wilson’s dynamic performances with the Kaiser Chiefs for example. But fans will stop trusting if they don’t believe they are seeing a live performance.
Some artists are open about their use of technology, and I’m fine with that. It’s the ones who aren’t who are ruining music for everyone.