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Ritchie’s Newsletter

Authentic Music

I had an interesting enlightened experience a little while ago – in my little home-town of Arrowtown, near Queenstown, New Zealand.

It was an evening of partying and celebrating for a major golf tournament held nearby – on our local village green.

A band was set up playing and a musical colleague of mine, Matt, was playing Lead Guitar.  I anticipated some good music as I waited patiently with many others enjoying the big occasion.

After a short time, I became a little confused as to what was happening.

The musicians looked as though they were playing music – but my acquired sense of musical appreciation thought otherwise.  The sounds that we were hearing were not what the musicians were actually producing.  Sure the vocals were real enough, but the drums, and Matt’s Lead Guitar didn’t match the sound – and yes – I could definitely hear the bass – but there was no bass player!!??

At the end of the “band’s” first set Matt, having recognised me, wandered over for a chat. As if to read my inquisitive mind, before I had the opportunity to ask, he briefly explained what exactly was going on.

The band leader/organiser had assembled a group of musicians for events such as we were attending – however the time and cost of preparing and practicing to play numerous songs live wasn’t economical for the returns provided.  The leader had musical backing tracks with main instruments – the vocals were added live, with other fill-ins such as from Matt’s lead guitar and the drummer as they felt fit.

Got it!  My mind was put at rest.

I could appreciate the scenario of the time and economics of having a full band in a permanent state of readiness for any potential event.  The practicalities invariably dictated otherwise.

What I thought sad though was the fact that the general public – the people – didn’t really seem to mind, or care; or perhaps they just didn’t appreciate what they were hearing.

We see similar situations with some large concerts – the performers (some of them quite celebrated musicians with large followings) having backing tracks and karaoke type music to aid their performance – the general public either unaware or not caring what they’re listening to or how it’s produced.

Perhaps this atmosphere is relevant to the general “hype” which pertains to many situations in today’s fast-flung world?

We don’t care what we’re seeing or hearing – so long as it’s “there” so to speak.

People may have generally adapted to an attitude of a diluted appreciation of music and entertainment.

If I play live I have real musicians playing real instruments – with real people singing backing harmonies.

My genre is Pop; some Ballad/Folk;  and Celtic influence.

I use no recording, pedals or loops or any other artificial recordings.

Its my culture, it’s my values and principles, it’s what I stand for, it’s what and who I am.

Best Wishes – Ritchie