Oldfield Warns Against No-Talent Music

Mike Oldfield hopes his Olympic performance of "Tubular Bells" marks a resurgence of instrumental rock music.

Oldfield Warns Against No-Talent Music
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Mike Oldfield hopes his Olympic performance of "Tubular Bells" marks a resurgence of instrumental rock music and that it might herald an end to the era of computer music. The veteran composer appeared as part of the sport event's opening ceremony, delivering a part of his iconic 1973 work in a segment which hailed the UK's National Health Service. Oldfield says he felt a "glow of pride" when director Danny Boyle invited him to be part of the show and it was a refreshing contrast to the negative energy he received in the punk era. He tells the Washington Post: "I suffered the inevitable backlash that everyone had to go through. If you are up, there is the inevitable down. To finally be vindicated 40 years later, to be seen as something that is valid and important, was wonderful." Oldfield's father was a health service doctor, which made the honour even more emotional for him. "You get used to the NHS if you live in England," the Bahamas-based musician says. "You hurt yourself, you call the ambulance, they'll take you to hospital and treat you for nothing. It's a wonderful thing it's right to celebrate it." And he believes his high-profile appearance could lead to a comeback for his genre: progressive compositions created on real instruments. "Hopefully it will inspire some kind of renaissance in instrumental rock music." he says. "Let's throw away all the computer software. You just get a load of software and click a few buttons. You don't have to have the slightest bit of musical talent." Speaking of his iconic album he adds: "I hope that young people realise that's not a computer playing, that's a real human being playing different instruments. It's beautiful and handmade." Music retailer HMV reports sales of "Tubular Bells" were up nearly 800percent since the Olympics ceremony, while his recent compilation album, "Two Sides", topped the Amazon rock chart. But Oldfield left the event part-way through because he believed it would look better on TV. He tells the Telegraph: "Even being on stage, you could only see the thing from the side, and our seats after that were low down in the stadium. You couldn't quite see what Danny was doing. On TV you had a much better view." Thanks to Classicrockmagazine for the report.

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    Northernmight
    I completely agree. And to Kerokero. Why was Jersey Shore not acceptable entertainment 30 years ago? Lower standards, mate. In all things.
    UniformRecon
    kerokero wrote: The same bullshit as yesterday's Muse article... If electronic music truly didn't take skill, and REALLY only took a few buttons and clicks to create songs, then why wasn't it the dominant music 30 years ago? Why only NOW is software an acceptable instrument?
    ...Because there wasn't the technology for it 30 years ago.
    Eurotrasher
    I hate to do this. I hate to spend this energy making a statement that will be forgotten completely within 24 hours, when that energy could be spent doing something useful, practicing the guitar or whatever. But there's something I need to get off of my chest. Music made on a computer, is also music, and it requires talent. Can you make it without very little experience? Yeah sure, but it'll sound like crap and people won't like it. The same goes for guitar music btw. Who here hasn't written a really really shitty song after only learning say 4 chords on the guitar? Even though it's shitty, it is music. It's sounds deliberately arranged in time. But with practice, you'll get experience and technical proficiency that'll allow for better songwriting. That goes for computers and guitars. I've personally tried making music with both. At first I focused more on electronic music. Then I realized it's goddamn difficult to make music that sounds nearly as good as say deadmau5, Skrillex, whatever. Creating sounds on your own, takes a shitload of time, and working in all these effects and automations and... Creating the bass, and drums of course. Getting to a point where all these things come together to make something that sounds professional take ridiculous hours of practice. So you know what I did? I said **** it, I'll just write riffs, write songs around them, and try to find a vocal melody. It still sounds like shit, but goddamn is it easier. The fact is there is simply no good argument for this electronic music isn't real music shit. People keep saying anyone can do it. Well show us then... Let's see you knock Skrillex off of the charts. And I know people say "hey just cos I haven't made a movie, that doesn't mean I can't dislike Michael Bay's movies.". Well here's the thing jackass, you're on a computer right now, and you say anyone do this stuff, so get going! Make asses of us all. Maybe you just don't have an ear for enjoying deadmau5. You may call it a joke, while some people will call metal plain ridiculous and laughable. Like chill the **** out, why is a grown man wearing dreadlocks and screaming like my brother's whiny sons when they fight? Yeah it's called having different taste. When I hear this laptop music isn't real music shit, I hear an old ass fart saying "oh it's nothing but noise and screaming" about Metallica or whatever. Okay I'm gonna shut up now, after this last sentence. I don't listen to electronic music, nor do I listen to Britney Spears or Justin Bieber, I don't particularly enjoy it. But I recognize the fact that the people who wrote the music, have mastered the art of creating pop music that millions and millions of people enjoy thoroughly. They've mastered an art, and that just earns my respect by default. Anything else would be me whining, cos not everyone shares my taste in music. Who does that?
    zoizma
    I believe what Oldfield meant was that most electronic music is just too plain simple and generic. Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre and many others made great electronic music back in the days, but instead of evolving, the genre has devolved into being perhaps the simplest genre of all.
    iommi600
    Mike Oldfield hopes his Olympic performance of "Tubular Bells" marks a resurgence of instrumental rock music and that it might herald an end to the era of computer music.
    Ah, you poor bastard... Seriously, I dig some of Mike's work but this was kinda of a stupid statement IMO. Personally, I don't care if it takes talent or not to make music, or if it comes from instruments or "computers" (which yes, ARE instruments, since they can be used to make music), I just want it to please me and that's all. Can't people just say that electronic music just isn't for their tastes in music and move on instead of pulling this hypocritical shit like "it's talentless huur", "computers are not instruments huur"?
    mradubz33
    All music is subjective. There are some people that will never accept any electronic music as good music, no matter what. I find its the same as any other genre. There are good musicians, and there are bad musicians. The good electronic musicians do have musical talent. Maybe they can't shred, but they have knowledge of rhythm, beat and composition and it takes talent to put that together into something that at least some people find appealing. The poor electronic musicians are the same as the poor rock musicians, or pop musicians, or blues musicians, etc.; they lack musical talent.
    Maiden95
    Lol. I'm on to you UG and your obvious attempts at a flame war.. I will say this, he's right and he's wrong. All that Nicki Manaj, Brittney Spears shit that's auto tuned as f*ck. yeah, no talent there. But, as much as I hate Dubstep with every fiber of my being, it takes some talent and creativity.
    jonathanb2
    UniformRecon wrote: kerokero wrote: The same bullshit as yesterday's Muse article... If electronic music truly didn't take skill, and REALLY only took a few buttons and clicks to create songs, then why wasn't it the dominant music 30 years ago? Why only NOW is software an acceptable instrument? ...Because there wasn't the technology for it 30 years ago.
    Also people had better taste back then.
    Kueller917
    xplosive59 wrote: It is still annoying that adequacy is being praised nowadays, take a look Adele's last album, it was an average release that was somewhat enjoyable but people were praising it like it was Sgt Pepper's all over again while tiny bands were releasing amazing albums that very few people heard. We do not need a return to instrumental music, we need a return of good music! Heck nobody can say guys like Richard D James of Aphex Twin fame, Rupert Parkes of Photek or DJ Shadow have not got musical talent because they record their music via computers.
    It's always been an issue though. Albums get attention because of appeal. One reason that's almost expanded though is because of the internet and the ability to find so many bands. Big music fans can listen to a million artists so there's not much of a huge great band that makes it big enough to change music. Plus, bands like the Beatles are popular and from what I've seen people comparing 21 to Sgt Pepper's probably haven't heard many albums to begin with.
    LaughingWater2
    i dont think thats what he meant, he wasnt saying that all computer musicians are talentless, he just meant that they should add more real instruments into they're works. in alot of mike oldfields albums theres alot of electronic parts, some from synths, samplers and sequencers and some from a computer but he always plays the parts live where as most producers just sequence every note. he wasnt trying to insult dance music because he has done a few dance music songs. really you should all listen to tubular bells 3 Far above the clouds. your mind will be blown
    dewitt
    jonathanb2 wrote: UniformRecon wrote: kerokero wrote: The same bullshit as yesterday's Muse article... If electronic music truly didn't take skill, and REALLY only took a few buttons and clicks to create songs, then why wasn't it the dominant music 30 years ago? Why only NOW is software an acceptable instrument? ...Because there wasn't the technology for it 30 years ago. Also people had better taste back then.
    Electronic music was popular ~30 years ago. It was just still mostly played/programmed by humans. Did every forget about the pop music of the 80's that had no actual instrumentation -- only synthesizers, etc.? Now days, there are more possibilities and more software/hardware to choose from, but a lot of stuff is somewhat automated by the software. Sure, it still has to be told where/when/how to come in and tweaked by the user, but there is a lot of work that is skipped or phoned in and left to the software. I'm not saying it doesn't take talent or that nothing was automated back then, but it's a lot harder to find newer electronic music that was practically made from scratch, or that isn't 98% the same exact song as the last one.
    mjosephw52
    Maiden95 wrote: Lol. I'm on to you UG and your obvious attempts at a flame war.. I will say this, he's right and he's wrong. All that Nicki Manaj, Brittney Spears shit that's auto tuned as f*ck. yeah, no talent there. But, as much as I hate Dubstep with every fiber of my being, it takes some talent and creativity.
    Dubstep is not the only form of electronic music. Open your mind and your ears...you can find a lot of really good electronic music if you just search on the internet, and a lot of it incorporates live instrumentation in with the production itself. And a lot of musicians who play instruments mess around with the electronic side of music on the side, too.
    Rimfrost
    I might be wrong, but isnt a lot of electronic muscicians using different "real" instruments? I know that a lot of Royksopps songs features real basslines, keyboards and sometimes guitars, same goes for the likes of Massive attack, Telepopmusik and Square Pusher. And if you look at Telepopmusik, some of their music is quite complex, defineately more so than your average rock band. Not sure i get the hate towards the genre.
    kerokero
    The same bullshit as yesterday's Muse article... If electronic music truly didn't take skill, and REALLY only took a few buttons and clicks to create songs, then why wasn't it the dominant music 30 years ago? Why only NOW is software an acceptable instrument? Truth of the matter is, it does take skill. Sampling, matching rhythms, creating tones using different filters and correcting pitch using a variety of effects. I stay far away from laptops when creating my music, but even I can recognize that to make music like, Deadmau5, Skrillex, James Blake and the rest, skill isn't only a requirement, but a damn necessity! And btw, electronic msuic is the same as rock music...there is the singles, the more-or-less basic sounds and songs that everyone knows...the songs that may get featured in tv shows and guitar hero and whatnot. And then there are deeper album cuts. The songs that really show the creativity of an artist. It's all just subjective.
    snoble029
    iommi600 wrote: Mike Oldfield hopes his Olympic performance of "Tubular Bells" marks a resurgence of instrumental rock music and that it might herald an end to the era of computer music. Ah, you poor bastard... Seriously, I dig some of Mike's work but this was kinda of a stupid statement IMO. Personally, I don't care if it takes talent or not to make music, or if it comes from instruments or "computers" (which yes, ARE instruments, since they can be used to make music), I just want it to please me and that's all. Can't people just say that electronic music just isn't for their tastes in music and move on instead of pulling this hypocritical shit like "it's talentless huur", "computers are not instruments huur"?
    Agreed. I hate electronic music, but not because it's un-skillful, just because it doesn't sound good.
    Galfadez
    If electronic music takes no talent can someone please go and make an album for me as good as Kid A?
    Kueller917
    kerokero wrote: And btw, electronic msuic is the same as rock music...there is the singles, the more-or-less basic sounds and songs that everyone knows...the songs that may get featured in tv shows and guitar hero and whatnot. And then there are deeper album cuts. The songs that really show the creativity of an artist. It's all just subjective.
    I know everyone's giving you heat for this comment, but I agree with this. Electronic music is a genre and like any other genre there's a mess of different works to choose from. Yes, computers can make music very easily with just a few buttons. But I could also grab my guitar and play a few power chords and call it a song. Pretty damn easy as well. The skill comes in when you really try to make something special out of it. I've heard some really great electronic made works, and some pretty shitty ones. I bet if someone criticized rock music for being bad everyone could throw out examples of great rock works, well the same can apply for computer made music.
    Maiden95
    mjosephw52 wrote: Maiden95 wrote: Lol. I'm on to you UG and your obvious attempts at a flame war.. I will say this, he's right and he's wrong. All that Nicki Manaj, Brittney Spears shit that's auto tuned as f*ck. yeah, no talent there. But, as much as I hate Dubstep with every fiber of my being, it takes some talent and creativity. Dubstep is not the only form of electronic music. Open your mind and your ears...you can find a lot of really good electronic music if you just search on the internet, and a lot of it incorporates live instrumentation in with the production itself. And a lot of musicians who play instruments mess around with the electronic side of music on the side, too.
    I didn't say Dubstep was the only form of electronic music, but that's what everybody is fapping about these days on this website.
    xplosive59
    It is still annoying that adequacy is being praised nowadays, take a look Adele's last album, it was an average release that was somewhat enjoyable but people were praising it like it was Sgt Pepper's all over again while tiny bands were releasing amazing albums that very few people heard. We do not need a return to instrumental music, we need a return of good music! Heck nobody can say guys like Richard D James of Aphex Twin fame, Rupert Parkes of Photek or DJ Shadow have not got musical talent because they record their music via computers.
    silver_haze
    So this guy complains about at one time having difficulty having his type of music and work being recognized and appreciated and talks down on anothers art form...
    kerokero
    UniformRecon wrote: kerokero wrote: The same bullshit as yesterday's Muse article... If electronic music truly didn't take skill, and REALLY only took a few buttons and clicks to create songs, then why wasn't it the dominant music 30 years ago? Why only NOW is software an acceptable instrument? ...Because there wasn't the technology for it 30 years ago.
    Wow, are you serious?? The Beatles, Led Zep, Beach Boys, a slew of prog rock acts were using electronic instruments form the 60's! And those instruments were made some time before they got popular! But really...have you ever heard of Kraftwerk? :O