When I was young, I admired my musical heroes, naturally. I thought it was because of their ability to hit a drum, strum a chord, or play the fastest bass line, or in short – their technique.
Over the years I’ve realized, that the musicians I kept on admiring, after my wonder years were gone, were innovators in their style who managed to expand the style’s boundaries.
Take Coltrane, Jansch, Mississippi John Hurt, Dalek, and others. All of them inhaled their past deep into their throats, and managed to bring something totally different. They used exsiting methods or instruments, but used them to create innovate ideas that were far beyond expected. Geniuses that saw the great possibilities, visionaries.
Same, when I grew up, I admired those innovators who were not musicians. Tech innovators, political innovators, social innovators and so forth.
There’s something about innovations and breaking through with a new concept, idea or perspective, that thrills me. My favorite quote is Charles Darwin’s It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.
The world stays the same, with its spiral staircase, but it does circling around a certain core, the north and south poles, and we’re just climbing up the staircase, but stays in the same place. Therefore, since we are in a constant movement and stays in the same place simultaneously, the task of innovation and reinventing ourselves, is hard. It’s like that question ‘How many songs can be written about love?’ – well, obviously many. The songs that lasted for years were those who brought the new angel. The writers took the existing methods (words), and poured a new vision to it (the writer’s genuine perspective on the subject, that led to the gathering of these specific lyrics, with the specific internal beat, and the specific story).
And then you’ve got Kutiman.
You probably heard of this Israeli musician, who literally took the world by storm with his over night sensation project Thru-You, that mixed youtube videos uploaded by anonymous people playing instruments, into one song, and made a virtual visual album.
Now, it wasn’t a gimmick. No sir. It was just a plain brilliant set of songs songs by people who never even dreamed to be in the center of the world, but that was the project that made Joe the Plumber a star.
Thru-You became one of the Times Magazine top 50 inventions of 2009. Kutiman exhibit the project in the Guggenheim YouTube event (October 2010); he created a live production for the Israel Google Event (January 2011), among many other notable projects including making a Maroon 5 music video.
It has been almost two years since the release of the successful project and Kutiman is ready again to share a new creation titled My Favorite Color that blends together a deeper, Jazz oriented sound. The video maintains the Thru-You style- taking footage from various YouTube videos, but this time the sound is more complex and dreamlike.
You can definitely say that Kutiman understood the secret of moving forward, and understood the connection between technology and the possibilities it opens for us, and music, one of the most important aspects of life. Therefore, Kutiman, with Thru-You is a contemporary genius. A genius without a lab coat, who understood the potential and saw ahead, and had a vision.
When Steve Jobs launched iPods and later iPhone and iPad, he created a whole new marketplace for people to take part in, by programming apps, or even by giving the distribution channel to any anonymous band who wants people to have the ability to buy their music. He also brought a whole new perspective on computers with his Macbooks, that brought a whole new industry of Mac software.
There’s a good chance that if Kutiman will continue with this project, we’ll see a similar result, with people recording themselves playing looped music parts, while tagging their videos with beat number and musical scales, for others (maybe Kutiman, maybe his followers) to find, and by that – create a whole new market for amateurs, pros, and people who understands that the globe, is truly tiny after all.