wuff_miggler wrote: ↑Tue Oct 18, 2022 2:09 am
i guess showing of a larger than life system carries with it the air that you're using it to make brain melting music? to not hear that is a disappointment
Blairio wrote: ↑Tue Oct 18, 2022 6:26 am
There are parallels in other walks of life. The expensive sports car owner who has barely average driving skills, the yacht owner who needs a proper seafarer to sail the thing, and so on. I guess you could argue that a huge wall of modular is just another example of conspicuous wealth - unless the owner uses to the rig to somewhere near its full potential.
It's pretty much a given that -- unless you are a professional musician or a "serious artist" type -- the more gear you have, the less likely it is that you're using it to its full potential.
And yeah, that's the thing, does it really matter? No one is saying (that I'm aware of, at least) that people shouldn't be allowed to have all the gear, to buy all that stuff. It's just clear that it's the ownership of stuff
, rather than the expression of creativity, that is the primary goal. It's about encouraging a little critical self-appraisal, do I really need all this stuff to do what I want to do, or am I acquiring stuff as a status symbol/end in itself?
No one is saying that everyone has to record what they make and share it with the world; but that's also a big part of human creativity. It doesn't have to be great music, or even good music. It doesn't necessarily even have to fit into an arbitrary definition of "music". Sharing our creativity is part of how we build communities. That's one of the things I love about the amateur writer (eg. fanfiction) and amateur art communities, the primary goal isn't to create something commercially profitable, it's just to create and to share that creativity. I think the amateur music community is kind of mired in the idea that something has to have reached a particular arbitrary standard of quality before it can be shared with others.
Stuff like expensive sports cars and yachts are definitely examples of conspicuous consumption, since they do not function any better as transportation than less costly alternatives. That's not really a good comparison to modular synth gear (or most musical instruments for that matter); since there isn't all that much difference in cost vs. functionality between the various formats or manufacturers. One could argue that Buchla is a bit overpriced in that respect, but an equally valid argument could be made that Euro is underpriced. One could also argue about the status symbol quality of owning vintage gear, but ultimately that's not going to be all that huge a difference either.
The real issue is why
one acquires the gear, the impetus behind the purchase and ownership. Is it truly about using the gear as a creative tool? Is it about the "cool" factor of owning a lot of, or certain types of, gear? Is it the process of acquisition itself (ie. collecting) that is the reason?
If the former, then it's a matter of understanding the gear and how to use it, how it contributes to the creativity, and whether acquiring a particular piece of gear is actually useful to the process of creativity, or potentially driven by a consumerist impulse.
If the latter two, then some degree of consumerism is certainly involved, and creativity is likely only a secondary consideration or rationalization for the consumption.