Canaries in the Mineshafts

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Background

This work is about many things; it is multi-faceted and multi-dimensional in its intention and nature. On one level, it is a celebration of the sensuous sonic beauty of water in our physical world. On another level the work explores the deeper cultural and social changes that occur - often unnoticed, in our modern world.
However, then it is sometimes too late to avoid the consequences. Some of these include the alarming toxicity of our social and physical environments. These are a cause for serious concern about our wellbeing on an everyday basis and on deeper level, the very nature of our survival. As we collectively become more aware of how much things have changed, little by little, there is a growing sense of crisis, as the solutions seem so difficult to implement. Persistent and dramatic issues, (such as greenhouse effects, rising seawater temperatures, air pollution, genetic food-chain modification, not to mention the extinction of hundreds of species each year in the animal and plant kingdoms), have led to a range of difficult feelings amongst many in our times.
There is also a growing sense of denial and deeper cynicism, as individuals find it too confronting to realise that it is almost impossible to raise an individual voice against such vast phenomena- often controlled by multinational corporations and governments with conflicting and confused values. The short-term vast wealth derived from environmentally unsafe practises is an almost impossible issue to alter. So often these practises are driven by value systems that have found it very difficult to embrace change, especially when the new ways are less profitable in immediate dollar terms.
Into this confusing cultural situation we have sped our lives up. We have become busier than ever. Time is the new wealth, and spare time, even more so than cash, seems to be in increasingly short supply. I have noticed that we have also become much quieter; we dance, talk and sing less and less. At the same time, our world is becoming louder than ever, and as the ambient noise levels amplify, we are stuffing up our ears with ear plugs that can endlessly replay thousands of frozen recorded sounds to us. Almost invisibly we are forgetting how to sing from our own voice, we can't hear our own music, nor anyone else's for that matter - except if it's frozen- recorded from the past. We are changing the ways that we relate and use sound/music in our culture. It is a kind of new ice age for live musicians, in a society that uses frozen and controllable music through playback speakers more and more. The artists who interpret our own times are being frozen out, retraining for new employment or perishing like the Dinosoars. There are fewer and fewer places to perform live, and as a consequence we will freeze the live performance art form to death, or at least greatly reduce the numbers of quality professional musicians. Does this matter? Is it something to add to the list of things to be concerned about, if noticed at all? So what?
Shower Songs Canaries in the Mineshaft
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