In my younger days, I felt it a dichotomy between self-rewarding and reach. I wanted to choose the former, but ended up with neither.
These days I'm more interested in resonance. It creates excitation and movement across multiple dimensions. It starts in one place and time, and ends up spilling across the rest of your lives and that of others. Maybe you were at a concert, or a church service, or around a campfire when some music struck your 'heart strings'. Something about that sound energy turned your mesh of physiology in a new direction. Maybe when you were driving home you realized something about yourself, and eventually your career took a new path; maybe your love for someone became clear. Whatever happened next, the places you traveled, the things you purchased, the fields you trod upon; all real-world effects started when part of you resonated with some sound energy.
Developers and DevOps and Deep Learning folks face the same kind of choices with their creations each day- do I make code that is marvelous to behold? Do I care what others think of it? Does it compile fast enough for my busy schedule? Does it modify the real world in the ways I intend it to?
I no longer think there is some choice between integrity and commercial success. I think there is a choice to seek, embrace, and amplify sympathetic vibrations - or to allow dissonance to wash over you, finding your own stillness in its torrent. Of course, great artists do both in their own measure.
Ponce is an old term of abuse directed at gay men.
an effeminate man.
a man who lives off a prostitute's earnings.
seek to obtain (something) without paying for it or doing anything in return.
"I ponced a ciggie off her"
live off a prostitute's earnings.
"he was arrested for poncing on the girl"
That said his cover of Danny Boy shows that he does have it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXIApugIuqk
Guh...thank you for articulating this so perfectly! I've been struggling to understand why I could tell some of Collier's music sounds good from a technical perspective, but couldn't understand why those pieces didn't leave me 'feeling' (e.g. moved, touched, in awe, etc). I agree that I hope he is able to incorporate more emotion into his work as he matures.
I am reasonably confident people are going to be dissecting Jacob Collier harmonic choices in the 2100s and beyond, similar to how we dissect John Williams, Charlie Parker, Jaco Pastorius, and other modern composers today.
FWIW, I find the Adam Neely/Sungazer work more listenable, so its not a dislike of covers, but I also don’t enjoy taking the melody out of things just to substitute functional harmonies.
For the average listener, it's not so much that he's "putting the harm in reharmonization", but that he's tastefully (to the western ear) being _specifically_ sharp or flat (depending on the original key - hence 'microtonality') in a way that he is gambling is more appealing to the western ear trained/developed in western music.
Collier will be the same in 50 years.
> people are going to be dissecting Jacob Collier harmonic choices in the 2100s
I hope so! He's nothing short of prodigy.
Technical skill and emotional relatability are entirely based on a relative cultural background. I'm sure there are going to be downvotes from people who really like his music and his whole persona, but this just proves the point that music is an extremely powerful cultural force. You can't keep it in a box.
I am very moved by his music, in large part because of its cleverness. At the same time, I completely understand why many people are left unmoved. Different strokes, I guess.
Couldn't agree less. I am so moved by at least half of his stuff.
Try "Lua" or "Feel" from Djesse vol2 or even "In the real early morning" from his first album.
The OP article is talking about "lack of collaborating with other people" - but it is opposite to reality. Most of his later work is collaborations with a lot of brilliant musicians.
To get a sense for his creativity and technical nous I recommend his IHarmU series . He crowdfunded an album that he recorded entirely by himself. Donors could send him a 20-30 second audio clip and he would overdub those tracks with his magic and upload it to YouTube as linked. I recommend the clip sent in by Herbie Hancock!
P.S. if any HNers are attending GroundUp this year, hit me up!
After IHarmU I would watch some of his live gigs - where he effortlessly plays 6-7 instruments like a pro. And he's only 25. I really look forward to hearing Jacob's music for decades to come.
And then he should become a teacher and teach inner-city kids multiplication tables using rap!
It's kinda nice to see someone getting all elitist about Music Should Be Danceable; usually when I see this sort of attitude it's connected to people sneering at music that makes people wanna shake their asses for being "simple".
But there's lots of things you can do with music, and some of them are danceable, and some of them are most emphatically not. You can't dance to bebop, you can't dance to Gregorian chants, you can't dance to ambient. And if this Collier dude wants to chase cold intellectual undanceable thrills and has an audience willing to pay him to do this, then it ain't my problem if I don't like that, there's an uncountable number of other musicians, past and present, who have made music chasing other goals.
Personally this was the first I'd heard of Collier and he's not doing much for me. I'm not at a point in my life where I wanna hear cold crystalline overdubs of one white dude's voice. But whatever.
I do not mean this to be harsh or nasty, but there are no goosebumps.
Needs some grease from Stax or some touches of Motown.
Booker T and the MGs, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, something... is... just... missing...
There’s people who love living in Northern places who will rhapsodize endlessly about the joys of winter and snow and being all cozy and shit, I think they’re crazy but I’m glad they exist so they don’t all try to live in the places I like. Same thing. It ain’t for you, me, or the author of this post about it, and that’s fine.
But the people who say it doesn't strike a chord with them do have a point. Here's Myrone doing something similar, with 1/10th the complexity but 10x the feeling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mUGkqXcFV4o
There was a track I heard by terry callier (not collier) which had 3 chords (not 4), repeated slowly over and over, and sung over. I loved it, does anyone have any idea what that may be. I did some digging but never found it again.
Please flag if too far OT, thanks.
It was pretty popular and something I remember from my radio listening days.