The Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
5501 N Hacienda del Sol Rd, Tucson, AZ, 85718
April 13, 2023
5 PM AZ Time / 8 PM EDT
Live Zoom Simulcast and In-person (Register Below)
Dr. Dominic Green is a critic, historian and columnist. He is a Contributor to the Wall Street Journal, a weekly columnist for the Washington Examiner and the Jewish Chronicle. His books include Three Empires on the Nile, The Double Life of Dr. Lopez and, most recently, The Religious Revolution. A fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Royal Society of Arts, he lives in Cambridge, MA.
Dr. Green discusses the history of technology and music, how orchestral and popular music might fit into an AI-driven environment, and argues ultimately for a deliberate rejection of technology.
The Music of the Future
Musicians have lived for decades in the automated environment that other artists are only now contending with. Music was redefined by the gramophone disc more than a century before first the screen and now AI chatbots redefined literature. In particular, the technical-digital threshold that literature is only now crossing was effectively crossed by popular music around 1980, and by art music a little earlier. I’ll describe this history and its implications, then look at a counter-phenomenon and an open question. I’ll argue that there are “intelligent” musical forms and “charismatic” musical forms. The contrarian rise of the period orchestra affirms the appeal of the “intelligent” and also the endurance of the inner logic of musical composition, which creates the impression of autonomous process. But American popular music is essentially charismatic rather than logically autonomous. I’ll conclude by asking how this would fit into an AI-driven digital environment, if it would fit at all, and argue that, as with the earlier example of the period orchestra, the secret will lie in a deliberate rejection of technology. As we know, the richest people do not carry a phone around with them. The same, I think, will go for aesthetic expression and experience.
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