Listening to Lady Gaga’s album Artpop (unfortunately a commercial failure) makes me think about the craft of studio work an composing involved in an ablum such as this. Technically, there is not much to distinguish this music from any experimental electrnoic music. Aesthetically there is but the historically diverging fields are coming closer. We used to like to think about Kraftwerk as a group that sprung out of Stockhausen but I have a strong feeling that the reason pop and art music are approaching each other (if they are) it is not because Lady Gage want’s to sound like Laurie Anderson, The Hub or The Obsil, but because many experimental artists are interested in what the pop scene is doing.

However, the economy involved here is quite different depending on which field we are considering and one of the reasons I imagine we are seeing digital processing techniques in pop music is because they can do it. Software and hardware has developed to the point where the production process can allow experimentation with sound reminiscent of the way electronic musicians are working. Hence, could we say that one of the points of divergence is the economy of the practice and of the aesthetics? That the musician exploring non-commercial aesthetics may do what he or she needs to do whereas the commercial musician does primarily that which is possible to do given the production frame.

Surely, this topic is far more complex that that but looking at the difference in terms of economy of production may allow for a more interesting analysis than considering the commercial impact of the different traditions. Needless to say, there are commercial products that comes off as far more artistic than most artistic works…

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