You Shouldn't Need An Excuse For Having Fun & Creating Something
from the creating-stuff dept
However, some apparently found it offensive. Jeremy Schlosberg wrote a post for Hypebot complaining that we're facing the "tyranny of novelty," in that in today's digital music environment, there's more of a focus on doing something new, rather than doing something good:
We have succumbed to the tyranny of novelty, and music will take a beating until we wake up from this collective trance in which we’re all only chasing the newest, "nowest" thing, in which the only values we can agree upon are buzz generation and viral success. In this environment, a unique real-time experience is worth paying for simply because it is a unique real-time experience.Amanda Palmer has posted a good response to this, in which she notes that this just seemed like a much more fruitful way to spend today rather than the typical night-before-a-conference get together in which there's a dinner and speakers all sit around and chat (which, can actually be fun in its own way -- but perhaps not as productive):
we're doing this for one main reason: because we're all going to be in the same place at the same time and we couldn't bear the thought of just sitting at a panel table, discussing the internet and not actually taking advantage of the time and the resources to MAKE SOMETHING. we, all four of us, are artists who LIKE MAKING SHIT.It's also worth noting that the four of them are connected in various ways (mainly via Amanda). Neil, obviously, is married to Amanda. Ben produced one of her albums. And Damian and Amanda have performed together.
we could have met up the night before our panel, caught a few of the other talks, got drinks together, attended the speakers dinner at the conference, chatted about our careers, had a nice leisurely dinner with each other, and said goodnight-i'll see-you-at-the-panel-in-the-morning.
that would have easily taken 8 hours.
instead, we're doing none of that and we're going to lock ourselves in a studio and make something together. WE decided to do this, nobody asked us to.
I had three separate, but distinct, reactions to the whole kerfuffle:
- I think Schlosberg has set up a false dilemma here in thinking that the "tyranny of novelty" is somehow new or being driven more by the way things are in this digital age. He does admit that it's always been a part of the music industry, but I think he's overreacting somewhat in thinking that this means that great music isn't also being produced. Admittedly, there was some extra hype in the press release about how this little experiment shows how the music industry is changing, but we should all know better than to key in on a throwaway hype line in a press release.
- Some of the discussion goes back to the same old question of the magic bullet. People want to find out what is the answer to the struggles the recording industry has had, and they want to assign way too much credibility to a key example or event, rather than recognizing that while you can pull lessons from all sorts of experiments, there is no magic bullet. That doesn't mean you can't learn from each experiment and pull out interesting lessons and see where they can be applied. It just means there's no universal "this is how it's done."
- Finally, it seems sort of silly that anyone should have to defend getting together with some other creative friends to create some content, in the name of "but that content creation strategy is a gimmick." Let them create and stop worrying about it. In a time when people keep telling us that there are fewer and fewer incentives to create (not that I believe that), shouldn't we be cheering on a bunch of folks who get together and say "let's make something, just for the fun of it!"?