I love music. All kind of music. So was I happy on this year of 1995, when a friend was looking for some people to work at the Montreux Jazz Festival. What an experience ! Working in the place where all my most beloved musician played once. Ok the job wasn’t that attractive on the paper : food & beverage delivery boy, until the moment we got, with my brother, assigned to the VIP special requests : in other words the only guy allowed to go backstage and take care of the all the artist’s requests. Just amazing for a young 16 years old boy. I worked there another 5 summers – until 1999 edition – and gradually got higher in the hierarchy ladder of the F&B section. It actually even helped me in getting my first job. In fact that Festival took a great place not only in my professional life but private as well.
I have some many great memories about that place, about the people I met, about the artists I’ve seen.
Since 2000 I try to go back every year, as part of the “normal” audience. Insider times are definitely over and it is much better so. (unless one day I can shoot a little something there)
Not a surprise if I tell you that this year I was back there for a couple of evenings. So two evening concerts later, I realized that enjoyment changed a lot. Nothing new. Nothing that nobody ever wrote about. But I felt a bit disturbed by the situations. When in a concert – from an artist that you like, that you paid good money for – you spend more time texting and trying to record the moment the lead singer looks at you, I have some doubts. On the other side , on the stage, I’ve seen as well younger bands that seem to play only for themself, as they would do in their living room and not trying to get this connection with the rest of the audience.
Many years ago, maybe was it in 1997, the Montreux Jazz tried to set up a live online worldwide jam session in the Montreux Jazz Café. Something strange, with low resolution cameras, screens showing you NY, Frankfurt and I don’t remember where else and musicians playing the same standard but being localized miles away from each other. It was super high-tech for that time , believe me. Nowadays it is just normal stuff to be in front of a webcam, to broadcast any type of creative content and no to be puzzled any longer (no matter what is being broadcasted, you know what I could mean…. 😉 )
And so having on stage a band that plays for itself, an audience that records what it is supposed to be living and experimenting…well it is strange to me. There is link missing. Looking like some musical tourism…before you post it all on YouTube or any other site. By the way, talking about tourism, do you remember those boring slides evening about your family trips… ?
I don’t want to complain, but if the need to capture the moment is what makes it really valuable = the fact to share the proof you were there makes what you experienced valuable = the amount of people testifying that you were there by watching what you recorded makes your choices valuable….well..not my cup of tea.
Or is it simply the ” because you worth it” effect ? You feel like being part of the fame / performance you are watching ? A 2.0 audience ? Interaction has to go beyond the vibes of your feelings and has to be technologically visible ?
After anybody’s sex tape….the music lover fan’s tape.
Do I seem to complain ? Ok maybe a bit. I can still allow myself a bit of indulgence on the practice of such. But if you think further…like on the green side of such : how much space would we save from some servers if not publishing those lousy recordings ? Another Go’s that keep our yearly temperature pretty exotic in the norther hemisphere…
And don’t you think this permanent availability of everything makes the artists performances weaker ? or harder to appreciate once you are in the concert hall and know exactly how the performance will look like ?
I must recognize I was always hiding a camera with me in those concerts halls as well as a bottle of water. Both were totally forbidden. I had water for my thirst, camera for my memories with the stress of needed secrecy of “hide and use” but with the only aim to finish in my personal album and to be able to shoot images on a set that couldn’t be recreated.
I know time has changed and nowadays it is common to find any pirate recording from every possible band on the net. Not like on those days when I remember getting a bootleg from some cool bands was so rewarding ! By saying that I realized as well that it is over with the ranking of bands. Industry’s decay ? or social change ? if social change does it mean everyone is a star or we all agree on being pretty equals in our way of getting the light on ?
Then , as movie director, I must say I am thoughtful on the quantity of images that are recorded. I said in another post that I think the world as so much more to offer me than me to the world (in terms of movie making). So the question of the day : do we give something to the world and others when we post every little recorded moment of our life, or are we just blocking the world from giving something to us ? And in that case who is in a better position to share ? Who is legitimate ? Who’s not ?
Great question…no clear or unique answer…I hope 😉
For now, let’s just rooooock !
As a final joke..when writing this post, what do I see in front of me, on tv ? ..” with this new camera, shoot and share directly on the web….”
“In the future, everybody is going to be a director. Somebody’s got to live a real life so we have something to make a movie about.” Cameron Crowe