Hologram Concerts: Music’s Future?

arrow_copy_fee_hereA recent essay in the New York Times discussed the rise of Hologram concerts featuring long past musicians such as Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Tupac Shakur, Ronnie James Dio, Frank Zappa among plans for others. What to think of this?

How long before their are digital shows/holograms of Bowie, Joe Strummer, Prince, Petty, among a legion of aging (read post 60 years of age) musicians that management and record companies want to continue to profit on their art by finding a way to keep these artists performing.

Consider the consequence of a band or musicians ever ceasing. In the words of one executive: “We have to put them back on the road.” (Brian Baumley, publicist for Eyellusion quoted in the article).

The idea that companies can buy the rights to these images drawn from concert footage raises a host of questions about long term (perpetual, perhaps?) ownership of music and the image of musicians themselves. A recent episode of Black Mirror seemed to deal directly with this idea. If management cannot control the musician or band, simply digitize. In the end, the management company did not win — in a rare twist for Black Mirror — but in an industry built on the exploitation of artists, musicians, lyricists and other creatives, how accurate is that ending? While that level of control is not widely happening today, one has to wonder how long before it could?

The idea of a concert should be an exchange of ideas, enthusiasm and love of music not a pristine controlled event. Sometimes the most beautiful musical moments are the mistakes, the surprises that arise in the moment of artistic creation. Not planned. Not anticipated. Not controlled.

Read the article here — Old Musicians Never Die. They Just Become Holograms – The New York Times.

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