Music's Lost Voices
Adam Flores | Senior Writer
2016 saw the tragic and untimely deaths of many prominent musicians, namely David Bowie and Prince. As iconic frontmen, they artistically and visually pushed the limits of their voice and music within the popular music spectrum.
With the recent passing of grunge and alternative rock’s Chris Cornell and Southern rock pioneer Gregg Allman, again we experience a momentary lapse deafening silence.
Each instance leaves no doubt the music world was shaken at its core.
The death of a prominent music artist triggers uncertainty for the future voice of their respective genre as well as for those who have borrowed their bigger-than-life themes and influence into new categories of expression. Does it actually signify the end of an era?
And, though some may claim the music has died, there is an afterlife.
The carbon footprint left by a noted musician will always live and reside within those communities that take in and continue to nurture its distinct voice and power. It will continue to influence generations by working its way further into sociological mainstreams and perhaps mature into something better than it ever though it could be. Its implications could be a head of its time waiting for the right moment to break down walls in helping shape a sociocultural and sociopolitical mindset in its own time.
In music, two fundamental elements must theoretically exist and work in collaboration with one another: sound and silence (don’t count John Cage’s “4’33””). Both are necessary. Both are reliant on each other for their own existence. There may be a silence right now. That’s okay. We wait for a new voice to sound and continue the melodic shape of a voice with its harmonic tendencies.
Music appropriates time, using it to its advantage within life’s chronological framework. This multilayered, chronobiological notion of rhythmic and cyclical phenomena ideology helps theorize time as a continuous foundation in the evolvement of a musician’s use of artistic time during their own lifetime.
Though Cornell and Allman–along with many other of music’s noted trendsetters–have left this earth, their work and influence will continue to inspire those that will now carry their torch into the future.