Thursday, February 23, 2006

putting the song back into artsong

[Please excuse the tired overground/underground clash below]

In terms of vocal pop crossover, the only thing more mind-boggling than the fact that the classical overground is offering atrocities such as Il Divo in 2006 is that 2006 audiences are lapping it up. If at least they looked good while singing "Un-break My Heart" (does anyone believe the song comes out of the face-lift "elevated" in any way? I can't help imagining Toni Braxton in one of those interior redesign shows, entering her freshly re-done living room and slowly losing a brave struggle to mask her horror), I could maybe vaguely understand their popularity, but they look like idiots (especially this guy).

Corey Dargel, in an intriguing and informative essay, uses the term "artsongwriter" to describe musicians who are renewing the art song tradition by creatively applying "pop" technologies and practices to it.

[via Kyle Gann]

Some of Dargel's remarks could also be addressed to jazz singing. More on that later, perhaps.