In the 21st century, musicians have faced a whiplash of technological and cultural change that as fundamentally altered the social and business relations around music. Might current musical experiments point to possibilities for post-capitalist futures? Examples from Tokyo, Boston, and Berlin will explore pop idols, virtual singers, underground techno, crowd-funding pioneers, and spatial audio sound art. What might seem like a flatland of economic commodification of music is in fact a fluid, shifting landscape that points to a fundamental curvature of socialeconomic spacetime.
Ian Condry is a cultural anthropologist and professor at MIT since 2002. He is the author of two books, Hip-Hop Japan and The Soul of Anime, both of which examine how cultural movements go global from below. He is currently working on a book exploring at music and musicians after the end of the recording industry, with a comparison of Tokyo, Boston, and Berlin. He is the founder of the Dissolve Music series, and organizer of the MIT Spatial Sound Lab, which makes multi-perspective sonic experiences to explore the possibilities of sound for transforming learning and democracy. He hosts the radio show “Near and Far” on WMBR 88.1 FM Cambridge and online at wmbr.org.