Sunday, December 16, 2012

Guest Blogger - Lori Fredrics - Today's Artist and Alternative Music Style

Thought I would share my thoughts on the fantastic 12-12-12-benefit concert that I viewed. What a new world this is! I was able to watch the performances live on TV while being logged onto Facebook to see people’s comments and to chat with musical colleagues, students, family and friends.
I thought that it was pretty cool that between my husband and myself, we had actually met about half a dozen of the performers that were on stage and/or had professional interactions with them. The music business is a small world, indeed! I felt especially touched and honored that performers from all over the world cared enough about our community, the people of New York and New Jersey who were affected by Sandy, to come all the way here and help in this way. How cool! 

Now to the comments I was reading, and my own thoughts. It seems like a recurring theme that the “old school” bands, such as the Stones and the Who, had it all over the newer artists in terms of the shows they put on, both when it came to performance, musicianship and the quality of their music. That is something to say when lots of these performers were nearly 70 years old. Of course, my group of Facebook friends consists mostly of middle-aged musicians, which is a particularly narrow demographic, but nevertheless… 

Both Mick Jagger and Roger Daltrey were incredible. They looked fabulously in shape and were sounding great. Mick, who still sings as well as he ever did, does so for a reason; here’s some inside dope I know from one of his crew members, who was a student of mine in London. The chap came to me and said “I want to learn those warm ups and arias so I can warm up my voice the way Mick does.” So, there’s an explanation right there! I have known for years that Daltrey also exercises his voice before performances. His voice is still basically there in all its full-throated glory, and he has been performing since before I was born! These two, as well as Jon Bon Jovi, are also experienced fine actors, Daltrey even having done Shakespeare! So the stage presence, energy and emotional communication are not mere accidents because they come from training, experience and hard work.
There is also a big generational difference in the music. The old school rock has more musical and conceptual content. I have a theory about that. Pete Townshend’s and Paul McCartney’s generation in England grew up hearing lots of Classical music, along with jazz and early R&B. I believe early exposure to this music is why these writers are able to write better melodies, more complex harmony and more coherent form than one tends to find in most of today’s music. When a musician limits his or her listening person to only popular music and rock, they most likely have not been nourished with the musical information needed to be able to write more than very simple, predictable and formulaic songs. I think this is the case with most of today’s popular artists. 
Even though he is of a slightly later generation, Billy Joel grew up in a household where his father was a fine classical pianist, and the kids in the family were given serious Classical musical training. Billy’s brother, Alexander is an acclaimed classical conductor and is currently chief musical director of the Staatstheater Braunschweig, a theater and opera house in Germany. Thus, Billy’s background shows in his compositions, playing and singing. 

As far as lyrics go, the contrast between the creativity of Billy Joel’s work and most of what you hear of today’s musicians is striking. What is more interesting to you, the alternate future world described in Joel’s Miami 2017, the touching portrayal of life in “Scenes from an Italian restaurant,” or a young lady singing about her cell phone? Does the drama of The Who’s “Tommy” excite and inspire your, or does a heavily auto-tuned man singing rambling lyrics become instantly more interesting simply because he is wearing a skirt? Somewhere along the line the imaginative element has been lost and exchanged for banal self-involvement. 
Lots has been said about illegal downloading killing the music industry, that its heyday is over, but maybe it is the case that most artists are simply doing less exciting things? 
So my point is that an artist or a project can only be as interesting as the information, experiences and influences of the person creating that project. And this brings me to say a bit about Dark Beauty. A simple Google will tell you that I am Liz Tapia’s singing teacher, so perhaps anything I say about her voice and her vocal technique could be viewed as self-serving. So I will leave that to others, who are saying lots! Instead, I will talk about the fact that one of the things that really interests me about Dark Beauty is that its creative force comes from so many different influences: from opera to musical theater, to classic rock and metal, to cultures from Latin America all the way to the Middle East. We have a fascinating story here that is being told by a trained actress and dancer, so I would expect Liz to bring drama and showmanship to Dark Beauty performances, as well. It is something new and something “old school” in the best way possible. 

So stay tuned -- I know I will. Rock on, Liz!

Lori Fredrics 
BM Music Management
MM Voice Performance
Singer/Actress/Songwriter/Producer/ Voice Teacher and
Coach at Bergen Bel Canto

LIKE us: Bergen Bel Canto


  1. Hello, Lori!!! Awesome post!!! I noticed that you cover every aspect of the music industry. That is why Liz is doing such a great job at her vocal ability, she got with a coach that knows every aspect of the music industry, not just one side of it. Keep up the good work ;)

    1. Thanks for your comment! I do my best to provide a comprehensive approach to music instruction for all of my students. Liz has great instincts to begin with and that is why her project is going so well.

    2. Thank you for your comment and I have grown so much with you Lori!!! Love you xox

  2. Thanks for the awesome comment and I'll make sure that Lori sees this and yes I agree she is pretty amazing! Liz xox