I’ve not been able to find all of the original studies of musicians that I thought were relevant. But it would be interesting to find out whether music that’s more accessible to people of a given age is, for instance, going to be more popular in the future.
You’re probably right: we’re in an era in which there’s a huge amount of information about artists. People are constantly searching for information about this or that musician and they know not only what they should like but where they should be listening to it. You could take a lot of advice about how to buy recordings. But it’s not like you just go in and buy a cassette. You don’t know anything about the artist at that point.
In the music business I know a lot about artists. So what’s happening to musicians that hasn’t been happening for decades?
This is a very important question for me. I’ve been reading a lot about this from other people and they suggest that young people now are exposed to a more eclectic mix of music and it’s the reason they are forming more diverse labels. Young people are exposed to a different kind of music than they were 50 years ago. So I think that there’s a lot more opportunity for a young musician to make a mark in this time-consuming industry than you could predict 50 years ago.
You describe playing jazz in London as a “lost art.” Do you think it is?
The only way I have of describing the scene now is just as a new music scene. But jazz has always been a lost art.
I have been looking at the archives of jazz museums in the West and there’s hardly any of that music anymore. There are all kinds of records where jazz musicians go and play for money. It’s a dying art and it was always lost. So I think people in the West now want to understand this alternative music scene. But I just think of people like John Coltrane and Miles Davis, and all their music is like this new music, that can still be experienced with a lot of passion but it can’t be bought and it can be very difficult. That’s why I talk about the lost art.
Are you a musician or an academic?
I’m a musician because I study music. I’m an academic because I like to think about this kind of thing.
If someone wants to ask you some questions, go ahead.
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