Interesting quote from an article at The Economist about the changing role of taste-makers and how art and media is produced with the rise of algorithmic systems:

The diminishing role of industry taste­ makers is reflected in the sort of art now being produced. To make it onto comput­er ­generated playlists, songs must avoid getting skipped, so tracks increasingly open with a catchy “pre­chorus”. New re­ leases may have up to a dozen writers mak­ing sure that every section sparkles—a “ge­netically modified hit”, quips Mr Mulligan, who doubts that “awkward listens” like Ra­diohead would do as well today. “Bohemi­an Rhapsody” by Queen, which takes more than a minute to get going, would not be released, he suspects. Songs have become shorter, since artists are paid per stream. Labels are even making sure that the titles are Alexa­ friendly.

A quote from an article by David Grazian titled “The Production of Popular Music as a Confidence Game: The Case of the Chicago Blues” about the creation of authenticity:

A curious set of concerns develops in settings where patrons seek out cultural forms deemed “authentic,” or naturally indigenous to their locale. In these settings, consumers expect to be entertained by performances that conform to dominant stereotypes of the setting, with attention given to local dialect, styles of interaction, dress and so forth. But in addition, they also expect that these performances will be real, as genuine expressions of self rather than a charade performed merely for the audience’s benefit. As a result, producers face the arduous challenge of meeting a predetermined set of expectations without appearing as though such a feat requires any effort. While few contemporary consumers would be shocked by the revelation that motion pictures rely on tricky camerawork and special effects, or that their favorite actor routinely opts for plastic surgery, audiences rarely suspect that authentic culture and art—populist music, exotic handicrafts, ethnic cuisine—depend on similarly performative strategies of manipulation and impression management.

Via an article on the sociology of the on the Everyday Sociology blog.

Via the KBS World Sounds of Korea program I discovered the gugak a cappella group from Korea today. From the program web page:

A gugak band named Toris토리스 was formed to bring all these different tori pieces from various regions and make music that can be enjoyed by everyone. Toris is also the only gugak a cappella group in Korea. The group, formed in 2009, is comprised of vocalists specializing in pansori, Korean folk songs, and a cappella. Let’s begin this week’s episode with Toris singing “Saetaryeong새타령” or “Bird Song,” a folk song from the southern region.

The album Your Queen is a Reptile from Sons of Kemet has a fantastic vibe and energy. I’ve been listening for a while now, but I only now discovered this great promo clip for the album.

See also this brilliant interview from the BCC with the band’s leader Shabaka Hutchings.

Very moving song by the Elias String Quartet, “Lament for Mulroy”.

Listening now to “Sol de Manha” by MANdolinMAN, via Klara radio station.

Listening to a brilliant playlist from Laani of The FullJoy Experience at Worldwide FM with afrofuturist music 🎶 See the playlist here:

In this show, she focuses on Afrofuturism spanning the whole musical spectrum, inspired by this article written by Jonita Davis ‘How Black Women Are Reshaping Afrofuturism’.

Read the article by Jonita Davis here.

While listening to Klara radio I discovered this album of beautiful piano pieces by a 19th century Flemish composer Peter Benoit. Played here by pianist Jozef De Beenhouwer.

Brilliant, Reverend Peyton playing the classic tune John Henry changing continuously between 18 different instruments.

Now playing via Klara radio, “Aldo Romano, Louis Sclavis, Henri Texier - Viso di donna” 🎧