When I try to imagine ‘Music of the Future,’ all I can come up with is parodic music of the past—some space age weirdness that would show up on the 60s cartoon “The Jetsons,” or Raymond Scott’s “Manhattan Research, Inc.,” that throws a bunch of “futuristic” effects onto short promotional pieces advertising Autolite Sparkplugs or 7-Up.
No serious musician creates Music of the Future; no serious musician thinks of himself or herself as ahead of their time. If you have a language that you’re ready to speak, you are of your time. It’s impossible for a well prepared musician to be ahead of his or her time.
How listeners perceive new music is another matter. Although it would be inaccurate to call music, no matter how challenging, Music of the Future (since no one can know what music of the future will sound like), it’s probably fair for listeners to think of music as being ahead of its time if it contains elements that have yet to become standard language.
Here are three of my pieces, all written within the last decade. None were conceived to be futuristic; I felt entirely in control of all of their compositional and improvisatory elements, and was working comfortably with language that I’d fully absorbed. So I think the pieces “make sense.”
That doesn’t mean that, listening to them, you will automatically be able to decode their logic. I know that I wouldn’t immediately be able to, hearing them for the first time as music developed by someone else.
But I think the information that you need in order to feel comfortable with these pieces is embedded in them. Once that information emerges as musical language for you, these pieces can be heard as music of their time, which is the furthest that any music can go.
You Can’t Blame Us
Problems for Freddie