future

Music in the Year 2079

Photo by Chris LeBoutillier on Pexels.com
Artist’s depiction of a boat and some chimneys

It’s the year 2079. The sun, filtered through sheets of atmospheric pollution, is a purple orb in a sky full of drones of all sizes. Politicians are debating automatron labour laws in a fully holographic House of Commons; the House of Lords, stubbornly refusing to keep up with technological as well as social advancements, remains anachronistically analogue. Following a democratic process previously unseen in the animal kingdom, owls have voted to adopt a diurnal lifestyle, a choice which has serious and far-reaching consequences too complicated to go into in this blog. You, reading this, have only just got round to clearing out that drawer.

Music is just as important to our grandoffspring as it is to us – on the newly built Waterloo & Upper Atmosphere line, it’s rare to see a single commuter without headphones in (or, to be more precise, without inner ear audio implants switched on). Let’s explore the world of 2079-era music together.

Hacks will tell you that the music of the future will be IDM-style, coding-based sequences of beeps and bloops, that music students will turn in their assessed compositions in the form of sheets and sheets of binary. Not to be rude, or to denigrate my fine comrades-in-arms dedicated to the art of clairvoyance, but that’s filthy lie and I will not stand for it any longer.

Photo by Sabrina Gelbart on Pexels.com
“Bleep bloop, what a banger,” said no one ever.

I’m here to tell you (and, believe me, I’ve looked at the data) that, far from synths, it’ll be the bassoon that rules the roost in the year 2079. That’s right, the humble bassoon, in the present day constrained to medieval reenactments and post-ironic bands, is gonna make a comeback in a big way.

Sure, as our society becomes more and more dependent on technology and coding replaces English on the GCSE syllabus, it might be tempting to imagine that music will follow suit. Yet life does so rarely follow such predictable trends. I’m here to tell you, with as much certainty as anyone could possibly have on the subject, that bassoons will be all the rage in 2079.

Bassoon covers of ’00s hits will hit the market in 2074, and before you know it, bassoonists from Upper Perthshire to Greater St Agnes will be jamming to ‘Sexy Back’. Indeed, the most talented bassoon masters will be hailed as this generation’s greatest artists, their names etched into plaques and hung on disused post boxes in their hometowns.

You know how the sexiest boy in your geography class at school used to play ‘Wonderwall’ on his imitation Fender in the corner at every party? In 2079 nothing will have changed – except it’ll be Shania Twain’s ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ instead of the Gallaghers and he’ll be tooting not strumming on your heartstrings.

On the other hand, and this might surprise you, visual arts will go the robotic route. Paintings of the most attractive canning machines and drone mechanisms will be rendered in 1s and 0s and hung in the National Portrait Gallery.

It’s a funny old world.

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