The hallmark of a great artist is his ability to inspire. He presents before you an opportunity to share, to imagine and to consider the beauty of his creation.
Frankie Moreno paints pictures and tells stories, offering an invitation to share life’s journeys together. He is inspired by life, and through his passion we are inspired to live!
An artist has no greater desire than to share his art, unadulterated. In its purest form, an artist’s vision is creative, innovative, courageous and thought provoking. Influenced by outside gain, the art becomes tainted as the artist no longer has the true freedom to create purely from his soul.
Recognizing the frequently-negative influences surrounding today’s artists, Frankie Moreno passionately believes it is time for a revolution in the music industry. Having vastly disappeared, the ‘art’ of music has succumbed to the industry’s and public’s desire for get-it-to-me-yesterday videos and CDs.
It’s time for the artistry of music to be reborn.
Frankie Moreno, Tony Moreno
The art of music has always been an extremely influential part of life. It has shaped societies and it has affected individual styles and emotions. The mediums for music have morphed constantly throughout its existence. Instruments have changed, musicians have improved, and basic song format has been modified time and again to fit the comprehensive abilities of its audience.
If music is an idea, and performance brings these ideas to life, then concerts and recordings are merely the negotiators of ideas. The growing ease of capturing a performance may reluctantly diminish the true nature of the initial idea. This is neither a positive nor a negative since the artist creates something that is not tangible and cannot be defined but merely recognized. It is our acuity that should determine what prevails, not an industry’s.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, known as the Baroque period, music was designed for and performed primarily in the churches. Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel were all part of this era. They crafted their art to fit a common belief and brought people closer together as a unity. Notation was being perfected throughout this time, structure had come into play, the five-line staff was introduced, and musicians began to intensely study their craft in order to portray what the advancing composers had in mind.
What was known as the Classical period in the 18th and early 19th centuries consisting of Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert and later the Romantic period bringing in Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and Strauss, music became even more expressive, complex, and detailed. It was now able to be heard by the artist giving performances on his own accord in concert halls and theatres rather than only at churches and private viewings for privileged royalty. The virtuoso was established. Musicians became more technical, allowing composers to make their works even more challenging.
From the work that these composers laid out over time, many styles evolved. Music started separating into genres to appeal to the fast changing public tastes. Composers and Performers began to experiment more with new ideas and stretch the boundaries. A series of “crazes” swept the world. The Tango, which came from the brothel quarter of Buenos Aires, came into play along with Ragtime hitting the London scene in 1912. The changes going on in the world were all being reflected in the music.
The phonograph invented by Edison in 1877, was only one of the products of the technological revolution that transformed society in the years leading up to World War I.
In 1895 the first Cinematograph performance was presented in France by the Lumiére Brothers. It was in this same period that the electric light bulb, safety razor, and vacuum cleaner appeared. In 1907 the Model T Ford went into production in Detroit. All of these new ideas played significant roles in changing the way music was created.
Charles Ives was one of the first to popularize 20th century American Music. He incorporated elements that future composers would borrow and steal from. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, George Gershwin then brought it to another level adding elements of jazz and blues. Of course this led to the “Big Band” sound, jazz, and swing.
The geographical barriers between the arts were shrinking and so were the aesthetic ones. Many painters of the period sought to endow their pictures with musical qualities. Phonographs rapidly grew popular in every household and not much later, came FM Radio and television. This enabled young artists who were visually entertaining to grow popular extremely fast.
Elvis Presley is a great example of an artist who was able to utilize the benefits of the new media. Rock N’ Roll was born. This new music had such a mixed impact on the public not just because of its sound, but all of the rebellious and sexual aspects that came along with it, leaving behind much of the technical qualities and focusing more on the “feel of the song”. This was derived from rhythm and blues mixed with country music and gospel. All of which branched off from the previous composers.
Because of this new way to experience music, it became more accessible and therefore more in demand. The Beatles came in and created the “Mersey Sound”, which helped transform the music industry for many bands to hop aboard and find success. There were several more to follow in their path, using their takes on songwriting as a new template.
By this time, electronic music came heavily into play. Performers began exploring new instrumental possibilities. Percussion instruments gained in importance. Also, in response both to the rise of rock music and to growing contact with Asian and African music, came the growth of Minimalism. This is where one basic pattern is repeated again and again, providing a static, mesmeric quality reminiscent of Eastern forms.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the world was making giant strides in technology. Computers came into regular use. Wealthy consumerist society inspired the images of Pop Art in the work of Lichtenstein and Warhol. The rebellion of the young against their parents’ values was reflected in literature, fashion, and popular music. It was the age of a new youth culture, and songs were being crafted to embrace this.
If you look closely at the growth and changes that music itself has taken, it eventually hit a different turn once recordings and visual aspects were intertwined. This is when it transformed from an art into an industry. For the record labels, radio, and promoters, it was more about packaging a product that can be sold rather than creating the best music an artist can create.
While humanity continues to stumble forward, technology is delivering a bewildering array of tools for the modern musician/composer. Orchestras, instruments, and even the performances of dead musicians, can be simulated. Add the creative aphrodisiac of freedom and you have an army of talent largely depressed and frustrated at the lack of career progress.
Those who have successfully raised their profiles are not necessarily the best at their craft, but the ones who have plugged into the machinery of stardom to gain the public’s favor. A songwriter now writes a song to fit a mold, sells it to a publishing company, who sells it to a record label, who sells it to an artist, who sells it to a promoter, then to a venue, who in turn sells it to the public. By this time the music becomes more of a plastic product rather than a brilliant and honest emotional creation.
Artists and musicians are creating music to fit the current technology while it should be the other way around. The technology should be the tool to display what the artists are creating. Songs are being written for a dying format. With MP3 players, satellite radio, and any song we desire available on the internet at our disposal, how long will it be until bulky compact discs disappear and record labels disband?
What if every time they had a new song recorded, they posted it on line for their fans to hear?
This way there is no commercial guidelines telling them what and how they should sing. No authorities telling them how much money they’ll eventually have trickled down to them after the labels get their massive shares.
What if live performances went back to a smaller more personal level? Where it truly was about the sound of the music and the artistry, rather than promoters stuffing as many ticket buying customers into giant arenas to watch a theatrical event rather than a listening experience?
Would we appreciate it more?
This is the longest period of time music has gone without a revolutionary breakthrough. It is time for a new renaissance. The technology side is far surpassing the artistic and it must catch up to achieve this. Crashing down the system and starting fresh will bring us back to a place where the best music can rise above. Listeners will be able to determine what we like on our own free will, rather than what is fed to us through media. We don’t want to be the century that doesn’t bring anything to the table in the “art” of music.
For more information about Frankie Moreno and Creating Originality, visit: www.FrankieMoreno.com.
Photos courtesy of Frankie Moreno.
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