Hugh Palmer

MELBOURNE SOUND RECORDIST & AUDIO ENGINEER

Professional Sound Recordist based in Melbourne, Australia.

Offering a range of audio related services including Sound Recording, Sound Design, Music Recording and Audio Restoration.

How relevant are the Grammys?

Kanye is in the news again for "sticking up for creativity" during this years Grammy awards ceremony. A noble thought, but how worthy is this cause? I decided to search for a creative vein which must still exist within these awards. Instead, after half an hour of searching, I was cast into such a mind numbing tornado of boredom. Controversies ruled and the music took a second place to LA based drivel. I resigned to forgoing my hunt for the silver lining and to just state what we all know deep down about these awards. 

We can equate it to the football world cup. Entertaining, but not about to change the way that I go and kick a soccer ball. In fact its worse than that, its more like cock fighting is to MMA. Irrelevant and a cheap distraction from the heart of the art form.

Basically their outdated, they honor cultural success over any kind of creative or intellectual milestone. As Maynard James Keenan of Tool has put it:

I think the Grammys are nothing more than some gigantic promotional machine for the music industry. They cater to a low intellect and they feed the masses. They don't honor the arts or the artist for what he created. It's the music business celebrating itself."

So what is the solution? How do we better structure these or any awards and if we could, would there be any point? In order to answer this we need to look at the root motives for these awards and those of the artists attending them.

I think it vitally important that we keep tabs upon our reason for making music, to whom we are making it for and what is the goal of this music. I believe that the vast majority of artists started writing for themselves. They had to. Its such a long and arduous process of finding and sculpting a sound that you would have to love it. But when success comes knocking upon the door you then have to start treading the line between writing and performing what you love, and what your audience loves. Hopefully these two things keep relatively in alignment. If not then your fan base will undoubtedly let you know.

We need to keep in mind that these awards are nothing but a cherry being thrown on a cake by an arbitrary fashion show posing as a serious institution. They never should be any kind of motivation for making music nor should they offer any kind of validation for you making the choices you did. If you think they do then you may have lost sight of why you started making music in the first place... For you. 

So lets not lose sight of the reason that we make our art, even amid all the expensive dresses, thongs and champagne. It is mainly an ego show anyway, as is this article really. So please, don't take it too seriously. I certainly try not to. Hopefully, if we all try to ignore their boorish headlines and events, like a child screaming for attention they will eventually shut up and then hopefully this will be the last time that I ever have to write about the Grammys.