Legendary jazz trumpeter Miles Davis believed that musical creativity was an act of discovery. Simply put, he thought that the music already existed, and it was his role as an artist to explore, to look for a sound that lay outside traditional boundaries. Davis knew that spontaneous creativity was the business of jazz. With less than one percent of the notes on the written page, Davis made up the rest on the fly—no going back to correct mistakes or rethink a passage. His passion and skill joined to form something new, something that worked, and something that was both technically sound and infused with improvisation. Over the four decades of his career, Davis continued to create new frontiers in music and, in the process, became a legend.
The music created today is much different than in the days of Miles Davis. The popularity has transitioned towards more synthesized electronic music, apparent today in iTunes chart toppers. Musical synthesis has changed a lot since the release of Switched On Bach, and it’s getting to the point that recordings of virtual instruments, and even virtual orchestras, are becoming difficult to distinguish the difference from the “real” thing.
Of course, this brings the question – how close are virtual orchestras coming to traditional orchestras?
You be the judge. I encourage you to download and listen to the new album Fiend by The Mad Violinist and Symphony Crack Orchestra. This is a group that still focuses strongly on original musical talent, incorporating theory into their art form. While watching the iTunes charts yesterday, their album shot up to Top 10 Electronic albums worldwide in under 24 hours, that has to be some kind of record.
While they bring in electronic sounds and techniques, they never lose site of their inspiration from “real” music icons. One of the problems facing the one-person orchestra is knowing how to play many different instruments, luckily The Mad Violinist is proficient in over 30 instruments…being able to assist in creating the masterpieces they do. Symphony Crack Orchestra brings the same creativity and passion into their music as musicians like Miles Davis once did, spending hours upon end in the studio working hard to create something that no one has every heard or experiences before. They will continue to create new frontiers in music, and will no doubt become legends of their craft.