Monday, July 15, 2013

Kurt Hugo Schneider brings back the music

Rejoice. If you have no hopes left anymore for a musical scene that is taken serious by young people, let me tell you, there's light at the end of the tunnel. Kurt Hugo Schneider and his friends. Write down that name. Bookmark it. Look for it on YouTube. Finally I need not to look back in anger any longer, and try to musically survive on my memories of the 1970s and 1980s.



Let's face it. When your musical education goes back to the decades of long and high hair, too much make up and ridiculous clothes, you do know that the musical landscape was extremely diverse in those years. Anything went. Everything was possible and acceptable. No matter Manhattan Transfer or The Cure, David Bowie, ELO, Dire Straits, Bee Gees or Wall of Voodoo. Every musical taste was catered for. And here in Europe we had that wonderful music TV station, Music Box, that brought us almost anything you could musically think off. Cindy Lauper and Jimmy Sommerville, Brian Ferry and Tears for Fears. I better stop dwelling in the past.

But fact is, the dark ages of anonymous techno and dance music and the musical insults of indifferent Irish and Scandinavian singer-song writers has set upon us, leaving us behind in a barren musical desert. No voice to speak off, horrid lyrics and a general arrogant disinterest in the audience is hailed as musical milestones by a certain presumed elitist crowd. What has music come to?

From a musicians point of view, music can never be non-committal, in that respect that an artist has an obligation to his audience. I once asked a singer-songwriter how an artist can put his emotions into a song he has to perform over and over again. His answer was sobering: before he will perform a song on stage, he has rehearsed it so many times, that he can breathe the song, that it almost becomes its own entity. So that whatever happens during a show, whatever distraction may occur, he will be able to sing and finish the song without interruption. That's commitment. Not only to yourself as an artist, but to your audience as well. Alas, so many artists of today seem to have forgotten about this.

Check out Kurt's astonishing Coca Cola themed music video here:



Skill, voice, performance, self discipline, it all adds up to what we should expect. But that dedication is gone. But then my social media contact Mark Mitchell Brown shared a link to a YouTube video: an a capella cover of the Cup Song, apparently an popular song on the other side of the Atlantic. I was dumbstruck what I saw there. So much creativity and musical talent. Young enthusiast people, normal looking at that too. Directed and inspired by a young guy of Austrian/German descent, Kurt Hugo Schneider. He seems to be the center of an entire group of musical friends. His directing talents are downright awesome, so much creative intelligence at such young age. Take a look at his videos, often done in one single long shot, where he appears himself too every few seconds – which is an accomplishment in a video you direct yourself. I can not imagine the preparations and discipline that go into his work. Check out his videos and the music of his friends. There's musical hope, finally.


2 comments:

  1. Yeah! I'd never heard the Cup Song either, but a friend of mine had shared it on my wall and I was also in love. Such a great, simple tune, beautifully executed.

    By the way, whatever happened to four-part harmony?

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  2. Cornelius KoelewijnJuly 16, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    "But fact is, the dark ages of anonymous techno and dance music and the musical insults of indifferent Irish and Scandinavian singer-song writers has set upon us, leaving us behind in a barren musical desert. No voice to speak off, horrid lyrics and a general arrogant disinterest of the audience is hailed as musical milestones by a certain presumed elitist crowd. What has music come to?"

    A long sentence, but I couldn't have said it better...

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