SINGAPORE: Day Two of the Beyond 2005 Summit here on Wednesday wrestled once again with an array of thoughts from creative achievers from diverse fields, and somewhere along the way found itself lost in a confusion of contrary propositions.
The day began with Indian filmmaker Shekhar Kapur mystifying the largely non-Indian audience with his clever cobweb of mythicism, Asian philosophy, maya and the mal-influence of American pop culture. He got his due share of applause for a creative effort on the podium. After all, a filmmaker is nothing if he cannot create imagery!
Bob Isherwood, Worldwide Creative Director, Saatchi & Saatchi, held forth convincingly on the essence of “the big idea” and its increasing relevance in a world convulsed by digital onslaught. “The advertising industry is going through a revolution owing to digital technology and media. Therefore, creativity means one has to come up with the big idea, one that can actually make a difference to society,” he said. Isherwood preferred to talk more about ideas than advertising creativity.
Every speaker appeared overwhelmed by an omnipotent reality called the mobile digital revolution. Sudhanshu Sarronwala, MD, Soundbuzz, saw an awe-inspiring future for online, downloadable music and its impact on consumer culture. He held that karaoke was the greatest form of consumer expression in the music firmament. He saw the eventual eclipse of even the music CD format – the “future is in music downloadable to your mobile handsets”.
The day and the summit ended with a brilliant exposition on “Music and its Future’ by Malcolm McLaren, founder of the punk-rock group Sex Pistols. He convincingly tore to shreds all arguments about the glorious future of music in the digital, wired world. In fact, McLaren held out a gloomy future for the music industry. Said he, “The music industry is crumbling by the hour, they have lost the plot. The reason for that is that music has became a corporatised commodity. And karaoke did the rest.”
As McLaren concluded, the “artist will have to be redefined in future; so also music, digital or otherwise”.