Wednesday, December 24, 2008

white album

the rise and fall of style.  it's an interesting concept, no?!   but with the beatles? 

so rewind to a conversation i had earlier today with my brother about the beatles' experimental stage.   it started in a pop up conversation of brian wilson, the beach boys, and evolved suddenly to the beatles and their transition into their "experimental" music.  it peaked my curiosity, and i'm a little bit of a nerd, thus i searched for articles about the beatles and their phase of "experimental music".     come to find out (per experts in statistical analysis and music) the experimental phase began with Yesterday off of the Help! album, and peaked on their sgt pepper album.  please discover this essay when you have a good 30-45 minutes to burn and learn.  i promise you'll learn a lot about the rise and fall of their musical phases:  early stage, experimental stage, and late stage.   

it is interesting to read a scientific perspective of a band and their albums, and to see how the researchers took into account how music is driven by emotion, culture, politics, and imagination.  by measuring the number of times certain chords were used in a song, the instrumentation, and the lyrical content, they were able to show the direct relationship between the stages of their music and the responses of their listeners.   not stripping away the innate beauty of the music, but breaking it down to its components, the researchers were able to show the rise and fall of the various stages in the beatles career.   

 i wanted to share this paragraph from the essay in reference to the artist's creative process and the rise and fall of style, " The most convincing explanation for the skewness of life span might lie in the process of creation.  At first new features are used gradually more and by the same token the preference for them is linked with familiarity to them.  This causes a rapid rise in the use of features but the cumulative pressures for novelty make greater demands.  Finally it becomes unreasonable to use the same solutions because the amount of available combinations is diminishing and their effective usage is becoming increasingly harder and the results more complex (Martindale, 1990)."  

it's so true!  we, humans, are such quirky beings.  we love familiarity, and strive for individuality.  some artists are ahead of their present time, and will only be appreciated when their art becomes more familiar, even decades into the future.  the same rise and fall curve is present within any period of art, and it is what keeps the beautiful process of art on the move.  so this i leave to you on this beautiful holiday....merry christmas.

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