The best and worst thing to happen to music in recent years

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Some would presume that the arrival to the world of music of a musician of extraterrestrial musical ability would be a good thing – some would not be musicians.

I myself would refrain from ever labelling myself a musician, not just because I only play and study music as an interest and not as a career or anything, but because you’re frequently reminded through social media or through the music you hear how infinitesimal your knowledge of the inner workings of music are, how pathetic your command of your instrument is. And that’s fine. You can always retreat into your own little cramped sphere of musical ability and chip away at making it larger, more roomy, each day. Maybe you’ll decorate this increasingly roomy sphere with all sorts of musical trinkets like voice leading, modes, wonderful chords and exotic scales, and you might even feel pretty good about yourself in 20… 30 years?

But then comes along a person who can’t be ignored. One can’t even find a reason to. He’s such a great guy, unfortunately. And even if you don’t have a clue what the hell is going on most of the time as you listen to or watch him make alchemy of music, you definitely can’t help but expose yourself every now and again to his majesty. He’s like a musical sun, stay in it too long and any desire you ever had to be a competent musical practitioner will vanish like peeling skin in a few days time.

Jacob Collier can’t be ignored.

In the content below: you’ll find real musicians (not me, like real-life competent professionals) despair over Jacob’s playing; you’ll see the great jazz legend, Herbie Hancock, baffled by Jacob’s analysis of Hancock’s own song; you’ll also see, if you care to, just a few instances of the type of musical wizardry that makes musicians want to burn Collier at the stake (playing a too-many-to-bother-to-count instrument song in abbey road theatre for the James Cordon show, alone, or making BBC a radio jingle over the phone somehow). I love the comments under these videos/posts – examples:

“Is it weird that this just makes me angry?”

“This kind of just makes me want to quit music”

“Who knew finger tapping could make someone feel so incompetent as a musician”

Have a look at some of this content on Wakelet if you’re so inclined. All jokes aside I can’t wait to see what kind of musician Jacob goes onto inspire.

Oh and 5 grammys! The first British artist to win a grammy for each of their first four albums. I can’t.

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