On the marriage of music and technology

Any music fan over 40 can still remember the revolution that was the arrival of the Sony Walkman…. could there be anything cooler? Of course, there was a much greater revolution waiting around the corner with the digitisation of music, the arrival of the iPod and the move of music online. For digital natives, this is all completely assumed and natural but it is worthwhile reflecting for a moment just how much technology has transformed our ability to experience music.

Prior to the late 19th century, the only way to be musical was to attend a concert or event where music was present, play an instrument or sing a song; until the gramophone, music was a fleeting moment only: you had to be there. The arrival of recording technology allowed music to be both a shared and an individual experience, democratising access to the great music of the world, subject of course to your local record shop stocking the music that you wanted to buy.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and the technology revolution has gone even further, with even the world’s most obscure music only one click away. Not only can we access other people’s content, but technology allows us to create, share and store music in a way that the Walkman generation could never have imagined.

The challenge of course is how to navigate that world of available product. How do you find your particular kind of music, how do you celebrate your favourites while exploring new artists? Again technology has come to the rescue, with incredible recommendation engines sitting inside streaming services. These engines run on algorithms that analyse your choice of music and then choose new tracks with similar characteristics but often from different artists. Some might prefer to have a conversation with the quirky guy at their local music shop, but it is hard to beat the immediacy and depth provided by online services.  

At Moshcam, the focus is on a particular kind of music experience, the live one. Working closely with the artists on the night, we choose venues that showcase a live event, and then we use the best available recording technology to capture the essence of the night: the music, the crowd, the sweat and the passion. We then use streaming technology, either via our website, our YouTube cChannel or our apps to allow access to the audio and video of that concert to anyone, anywhere in the world. Social media platforms allow fans to share their thoughts about the music and the artists, and participate in a worldwide conversation about music and life.  

I still have my Sony Walkman sitting at the bottom of a drawer. It is very useful for an 80’s dress up party but I am glad that the music revolution has moved on.