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Thread: Icelandic & Singapore music scenes - Why They Can and We Can't

  1. #1

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    Icelandic & Singapore music scenes - Why They Can and We Can't

    This is spawned off the Music Themed Films thread.

    We were talking about films with a music theme. Then it got to this.....(sorry a bit long, but I've put some of it here in one place for your convenience. You are welcome :mrgreen....



    Sage suggested this film about Iceland's music (we can all blame sage for starting this!) :
    "Screaming Masterpiece"! Absolutely nuts about that one

    So, I said:
    If Iceland (population 300,000) can make so much music, what does it show Singapore?


    And Pathe..Pate..Pathin...arrgh replied:
    it shows we have a long way to go

    but then we have singapore gaga and loads of other indie stuff waiting to be discovered from within and not look outside of singaland for inspirations. Imho

    To which Danelectrico opined:
    That if we were living in a place with sub zero degree temperature and ice floes and the occasional polar bear swimming over, maybe we'd be more creative and write elf songs about birthdays and motorcycles? No worries, things will start to look up when the next ice age comes around!


    And RoRK naughtily chimed in with:
    But Singapore has more guitar gawds than any other country on this planet. We should not let the lack of ice put us down. There is always mosquitoes and dengue to sing about. Lots of fines and all sorts of taxes. We just need to be more creative.

    And the Pat fella laughed:
    hahahah, no wonder we are not going anywhere. We need music producer and writer, not geetarer. Guitarer think in one point 5 dimension sometime, hard to make music. Wank har, can, anytime


    And so the sage one spoke these words:
    I think they've just got the whole package; respect in their musical cultures and traditions across generations, an insatiable amount of curious musicians, romanticism, an open-minded and art-loving community, a government that fully comprehends and supports the ideas and nature of these arts, gorgeous scenery that could inspire anyone walking past their neighbouring glaciers, and lots of alcohol to keep their bones (if not their minds) in a relatively warm enthusiasm about their lives.. and no one gives a brow over how eccentric you can be.

    Complete freedom

    And Danelectrico came back with:
    What we have here is competition not inspiration. Guitarists are generally deadweights, i'll be the first to admit. Who can play what faster, cleaner, flashier, more impressively...whatever. I think it's all about ego. It's backasswards when your priorities in picking up a musical instrument are about about technique rather than creativity. Precision at the expense of inspiration just makes for dull art.

    Anyway, creativity and inspiration here don't fly...due to numerous factors these have been boiled out of most of us like a piece of meat in a British restaurant.


    A bit later I sang....
    The Icelandic Rocker's Lament:
    (especially popular in the winter months)

    - The population is only 300,000 (and that's including the babies, under-7s, old people who can't see, hear and/or have money to buy concert tickets or CDs) - where's the market for our music?

    - After all the essential services/occupations like teachers, soldiers, policemen, postmen, civil servants, pen pushers, mouse clickers, housekeepers, where are there enough people or talent for producers, gig organisers, and soft.com.sg-equivalent webmaster?

    - The weather is too cold - I am too frozen to write songs.

    - The national cuisine is singed sheep head and cured shark (I kid you not) - how can I find any inspiration from such "food" (term used very advisedly). And all of us are just too busy catching fish all the time.

    - All the 299,999 persons look exactly like the 300,000th (me)! - where's the diversity/cosmopolitanism that London or LA have. We need more multiculturalism! It's this stupid government policy.

    - The local language is so blah that Sigur Ros has to sing in gibberish! How to write good songs, you tell me.

    - Nobody knows whether Iceland is a country, colony of Denmark, name of a planet in Star Wars Episode V, or a brand of bottled water. How do you even market our music to the world?

    - I look around and all I see are ice-fields and geysers. It's too boring, man. I'm thinking of quiting all the time. If I have enough krona, I'm leaving this island for sure!


    You do see now why Icelandic music is in such parlous state, don't you?
    (please don't pm me; this is a rhetorical question)

    To which Danelectrico responded with (after RoRK wanted to export Aedes mosquitoes):
    but seriously. could one of the factors why small countries like Iceland (and to a less extreme extent, Ireland and Scotland etc) still produce music with some considerable impact on the international scope be because they are closer in proximity to the all important UK touring belt?



    So, why Iceland with 300,000 can, and Singapore with 4 million cannot? Do we just like to whine? Discuss with examples (35 marks).

  2. #2

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    A good open end question since it's 35 marks..
    A point to note, need to cross reference with a few sources..
    This is a History question people..

    But on a serious note, i think it has to do with the people's thinking..
    Maybe Singapore write good music or have good bands but many may not know where Singapore is.. Whereas Iceland, people still might know that Ice-land is a place that exist.. It's a land with Ice.. Or maybe Fire-land, water-land etc.. But when we say Singapore, some may go 'huh?'..

    So exposure goes a long way I guess..

  3. #3

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    It's just us.

    Also have to weigh in a certain important factor called environment. In a less competitive society like what Iceland has, I suppose creativity can be better expressed and more people are exposed to all kinds of creativity because they do not have anything to inhibit them.

    But the main problem is still... Us.
    Musik ist krieg

  4. #4

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    heh, dont like that leh, at the rate we are going, the amount we talk and write, might be enough lyrics to do a concept album bout singpore

    i can contribute the sounds round my neighbourhood in cck and bukit panjang. Confirmed putting the heartland into music close to us, plus the words we have in here!

    To quote my bro, rork, his nick that is, confirmed SIBEY RORK AH!
    __ __ ---- __ ____ ----__ ......:::_ ----**___ ------______ ____---==+>> * __--- ....;:;:;:.,,... --_____ '"""""----___.><'"":::;;_ __ _ __ __----===-_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __---------:::::-------[

  5. #5

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    Iceland has a very rich culture with a long standing history rife with wars, disasters, famines and epidemics. They have a very liberal political system and people seems to be very happy over there in general, despite all that ice.. (wikipedia says they are ranked top according to the Human Development Index and 4th happiest country in the world)
    Their people also possess a very cute accent! (compared to singlish anyway)

    In contrast, Singapore occupies a relatively short space in the history books and while we do have a multi-cultured society, most people seems to be discontent with life in general and seems to be obsessed with money and striking 4D.

    long way to go, but things are looking up!

  6. #6

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    what do you mean we can't? we just haven't got there yet.

    what genre are you talking about?

    actually we have isn't it? ex neighbour of our bro AgingYouth here JJ Lin has become popular, Stef Sun and Tanya Chua are darlings. Dick Lee?

    are you talking about english genre? or creating a whole new genre? i think i've mentioned before about jamaica and reggae.

  7. #7

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    yeah we need a more specific definition of what 'can' means. maybe betsybug meant to specify making music that actually does well on the international circuits? Those artists you mention are only really popular in the mando pop world.

  8. #8

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    __ __ ---- __ ____ ----__ ......:::_ ----**___ ------______ ____---==+>> * __--- ....;:;:;:.,,... --_____ '"""""----___.><'"":::;;_ __ _ __ __----===-_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __---------:::::-------[

  9. #9

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    you're forgetting that mando-pop is 20% of the world population. i remember one of my christian frends who told me that he went to a mission trip to inner mongolia was surprised to see a jj lin poster and a pirated cd playing jj lin songs.

    if international, latest one i can think of is wicked aura batacuda. very womad. think they went to melbourne to play.

    if you're willing to expand our world beyond kopi tiam, beyond soft, then you'll be able to see betterer.

    path bro: collective memories man. here's one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrTk3JDBU1k

  10. #10

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    Singapore...

    *Insert Deepest and Longest SIGH you've ever heard*
    JOHN MAY LIVES
    Please support Project Alice, Renew V for a 3rd Season
    http://www.facebook.com/ProjectAliceV

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