Hunting musical prey in the jungle of the multimedia marketplace…

Elsewhere, someone fretted that the rise of video wedded to music has both distracted from and actually devalued the music to which its attached, and debilitated potential music listeners. After agreeing that most videos are, indeed, the bunk, this writer allowed that, nonetheless, the modern musician may be missing a bet by not exploiting video and other multimedia extensions to their music…

We humans are multi-modal creatures. And, in today’s world — and probably not unlike previous versions of same, when you get right down to it — much of our sensory perception is oriented to threat detection. That’s not necessarily a bad thing.

I’ve suggested a number of times in the past that the roots of musical perception/appreciation almost certainly are in these perceptual subsystems. Our primordial, forest-dwelling ancestors would have had a world of potential dangers to sort out.

There are the rhythms of the wind, the rain, the tides… but there are also animal rhythms: the unmistakable rhythmic cadences of animals of various sorts moving and interacting with their environment; the ability to sort out ‘dangerous’ rhythms (the heavy footfalls of a predator, the quick, furtive movements of potential game) would likely be key — and tied quite directly to the endocrine system, bypassing the upper brain to provide the fastest, most sure response to possible threats — as well as the (hopefully) inevitable release of tension when the potential threat was either recognized as benign or had passed. We see these same patterns of tension and release in our music.

But… back to that multi-modality… in today’s virtual forest — the everyday environment, 3DW or virtual, a place of delights and threats intermingled, much like the primordial jungle — we clever hunters — those of us looking to ensnare new listeners to our music — may be missing valuable opportunities to use our prey’s very animality to bring it into our grasp if we ignore the attention-grabbing potential of different media extensions for our music. Like hunting animals that use various forms of decoy and distraction, we can use video and other such multi-modal extensions of our music to further our goal of (musical) survival and thrivance.