The Music From The Future

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Every year the radio show Ström give an assignement to Swedish producers of electronic music. This year the assignement is the most ambitious so far -- and the most complicated. They were given one future scenario each and their job was to create music the way it will sound in the future. The participating musicians are, except myself, Materia, Motoko Ishii, Noisebud, Mattias Petersson, Dom Dummaste, Leif Jordansson, Birdman, Copyparty, Joel Brindefalk, Peter Benisch, Hab and Liminals. Each peice of music from the future is presented in the radio show together with the scenarion. The future analyzist Pernilla Jonsson is the guest expert in the show. Here is the Ström Radio Show:

Here is one of the songs:

The Scenarios:

01. Materia – Africasia

The new imperialists.

The year is 2066. China has long since become the world’s largest economic power and Mandarin is the second language spoken in most countries. Due to Chinese investment, large parts of Africa have undergone industrialization and are responsible for the majority of global automobile production. Africa has become one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, particularly among the Chinese middle class, due to its affordability and the fact that it is one of the only places in which wild animals can still be found. Chinese music dominates the world scene, with Africa being the exception. African music favored by Chinese tourists is especially popular with its blending of traditional Chinese folk music, Chinese pop and West African folk music.

02. Mattias Petersson – 4m

New economic superpowers.

The year is 2070. China, India and Brazil have long since passed the United States as global economic superpowers. Europe, with its shrinking population, is one of the poorest regions of the world, excepting Sweden, which due to a liberal immigration policy has managed to stay afloat. Chinese is now the second language used in Swedish schools and the majority of Swedes speak some Arabic, Hindi and Mandarin. Sweden has been a global leader in the field of electric car technology ever since Saab, after many ups and downs, finally merged with a Chinese-African automobile manufacturer. Sweden also leads in global music exports. Pop music has broken off into countless pop-isms and merged with art music. Genres ceased to exist with the emergence of complicated algorithms capable of analyzing listeners’ emotional reactions to music in order to optimize production accordingly. It is no longer possible to discuss the national characteristics of music as, in its eagerness for self-renewal it has been influenced by all music ever recorded. Google, based in Sweden, is the dominating producer of television, newspaper and film in addition to being the largest music production and distribution company.

03. Birdman – Futura

Internet.

The year is 2064. The ubiquitous presence of the internet can be felt wherever human habitation is to be found. The majority of people have a computer chip and internet connection wired directly to their nervous systems. Online information can be accessed via thought at any time of day or night. It is now possible to listen to music via a chip implanted in the auditory nerve while books, film and images can be accessed through the optic nerve. IP addresses have replaced personal identity numbers and digital usage is paid for directly through the tax system. The majority of music is created inside the mind and then uploaded in order to make it available to others. Almost everyone is involved in the creation of music which they then share. Music has become the dominating worldwide hobby. Since style has completely disintegrated, music can no longer be categorized by genre or national characteristics.

04. Liminals – The Swim

Global Warming.

The year is 2090. Climate change has drastically altered the earth, with large parts of Asia now below sea level. Earth’s human population is no longer increasing, but has halted at 12 billion inhabitants due to catastrophic famines, epidemics and wars fought over food resources. Southern Europe and the southern United States have suffered complete desertification. Northern Europe has, on the other hand, managed relatively well though its inhabitants have been forced to completely change their lifestyles. Fossil fuel is no longer in use, air travel has ceased almost completely and all food must be produced in the same region in which it is consumed. Even music production must be environmentally certified down to the minutest detail. Sweden, a leading producer, exports the most environmentally-friendly music on the market. Capable of interactively adapting to the listener’s needs and emotional state. This accounts for 90 % of global consumption.

05. Motoko Ishii – Homogen

Secularization and new-spirituality.

The year is 2050. Consumerism and the quest for status have been replaced by very different values in both the United States and Europe. The current economic superpowers can be found in Asia. Despite economic setbacks in the Western world, most people are striving for the ultimate in peace and harmony – to cease both working and owning. The information society has been replaced by the existential society and new-spirituality has become the norm. A great deal of research has been focused on learning how different frequencies affect the human body. The healing of both physical and psychological illness with the help of music is now an established science. The market is dominated by consciousness-altering music and pop music has almost entirely disappeared.

06. Dom Dummaste – Det Nya Melody

Retro-cycles.

The year is 2047. China is the world’s largest economic power and is exporting its culture worldwide. New styles of music are developed at an ever increasing rate, especially in the major cities of Asia, which are experiencing explosive growth. In Europe, the trend-cycles replace one another at the rate of a few weeks and the retro phenomenon is reaching farther and farther back in time. Advertising and music have merged. Sponsorship is included in compositions and in that way finances music. It is statutory that all pieces of music and works of art include a corporate sponsorship message, and unsponsored art is banned from the major networks. Chinese Google currently owns McDonald’s, as well as the World Bank, TV-Global and all internet and television networks. The majority of music is computer generated and is inspired stylistically by music of the Middle Ages and early Classical periods. Opera, influenced largely by the Peking opera, is the most prevalent vocal style in use whereas the most common language is Swedish blended with a great deal of Arabic and Chinese slang.

07. Håkan Lidbo – X-Bot-DXC vs MC-Monstrux -- EuroAsian Warzone Cronicle

Genetic enginering.

The year is 2082. Scientists have made major advances in the fields of gene manipulation and cloning. A plant-animal hybrid has been put into use for meat production. Due to gene modification conducted within the womb, the majority of illnesses have disappeared and the average human life span has increased to 150 years. Computers have long since been capable of composing music as skillfully as humans and as a result, almost all musicians have been replaced by robots. A new form of genetically modified pop/martial arts celebrities are outfitted with superpowers such as night vision, super-strength and ultrasound voices. Live music performances are a mix between a strictly choreographed martial arts performance and musical theater. Songs consisting of a medley of short advertising jingles and often forming a heroic saga are sponsored in their entirety by various corporations.

08. Joel Brindefalk – Morphony Suite 33

Space.

The year is 2050. We have finally made contact with extraterrestrial civilizations. We have received a signal from star system Gliese 581, which has long been trying to confirm the belief of the existence of organic life on earth. They succeeded in understanding a message sent from Earth on June 4th, 2008 to Cassiopeia despite its not having been aimed at their system. The signal sent out from earth was a piece of music. The reply was an unfathomably complicated remix of the music originally sent out from Earth. By comparing the wavelengths of the original music sent out from Earth to the remix received from space, we are able to discover a key to its construction.  With the help of this piece of music, we are finally able to discover scientific solutions to a range of long unsolved problems such as cancer, aging and renewable sources of energy. Unlocking the mysteries of the music and thereby coming to an understanding of how it affects us emotionally allows us to use it in entirely new ways within the healing arts, the stimulation of learning and enablement of the human mind to double its capacity many times over.

09. Hab – Precycling Namibia

Computers in developing nations.

The year is 2025. The development project “One Laptop per Child”, which distributes cheap computers to school children in poor villages, has allowed Namibia to become one of the world’s fastest-growing industrialized nations. With the help of major Chinese investment, Namibia’s large population of IT-competent youth have become world-class programmers. The large prevalence of computers has created a strong electronic music scene, influenced by both Western hip hop and traditional Nama-Stap music. China is currently the most dominant cultural imperialist power and Chinese computer game-themed punk from the 2010s has completely conquered the Namibian market. Music is controlled both by thought impulses and through the movements of dance. Namibia is a global leader in regards to the technology that makes this possible.

10. Noisebud – Truck Driver

New influx of refugees.

The year is 2055. Southern Europe has become increasingly aged. As the number of working-age inhabitants decreased to less than a third of the population the shrinking birthrate was identified as a major problem. Southern Europe opened its southern borders and large numbers of young North Africans streamed to through. African immigrants soon made up over half of the population of Spain, Italy, the Balkans and southern France. Islam has become the dominant religion in southern Europe and has led to the evolution of new cultures. A new style of music evolves in Italy based on North African Rai, but also contains elements of early Italian avant garde of the 1990s.

11. Leif Jordansson – Music For Body And Soul

Artificial intelligence.

The year is 2070 and India is not only the largest, but also the richest country with roughly two billion inhabitants. Ever since the prohibition on fossil fuel, India has become the world’s largest automobile and airplane manufacturer. In addition, 60% of global music production takes place in India and as a result, music has taken on an entirely new role. Currently in existence are composition programs which are far superior to humans in the creation of all types of music, including experimental forms. Music composition simply entails connecting various plug-ins which simulate different types of compositions already in existence. Music is composed solely by computers and as a result has developed at an explosive rate and all genres have completely disintegrated. India, with its thousand-year history of musical mysticism and composition of numerical sequences is a leading producer of this technology.

12. Peter Benisch - Can Ka No Rey

Demographics.

The year is 2080. The EU hasevolved into a federation with both a president andpowerful parliament. Restrictive immigrations policies are still the norm. Due to falling birth rates, the EU has become a retirement home. The average life span in Sweden is 105 years. More than half of thepopulation is over 70 years of age and the small portion of working-age citizens are unable to compete with the new global industrial giants. Most of themusic being produced is intended for the older demographic, while the youth listen to Chinese pop. Retro trends have overlapped with previous retro trends in increasingly tight intervals only to dissolve into a homogenous, mediocre music style. The older population listens to an amalgamation of 1990s electronic music mixed with Asian influences.

13. Copyparty – Hässelby Skyline

Urbanization.

The year is 2080 and Mexico City has 50 million inhabitants, Shanghai 60 million, Moscow 35 million and Stockholm 5 million. The entirety of Stockholm City is composed of 300-400 meter high skyscrapers, which also function as vertical greenhouses. Urban sprawl has reached many tens of kilometers outside of the city center. Stockholm’s large outlying slums are plagued with social exclusion. Cities have reached such great sizes that what once were neighborhoods have now taken on the functions of small towns with their own commerce centers and suburbs. Music has acquired a very important role in the formation of local and personal identity. New music cultures have developed within each neighborhood, such as Vasastan with its large Iranian population and distinct musical tradition containing elements of 1990s hip hop, 2010s electro and 1900s Iranian pop.

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