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Sounds Unbound: Being an Independent Musician in the Digital Age

by Jiaqi Yu, MVA 2016

In the last four decades, the Digital Revolution has exerted tremendous impact on the music industry—the transition from analog to digital technology and the increasing availability of digital tools have liberated the creative process, allowing an increasing number of indie musicians to work out of the mainstream framework and create their own products without the interference of major record companies. Indie musicians are becoming their own engineers, technicians and distributors, creating large quantities of work on their own terms. With the proliferation of composing software and digital systems, more and more artists are turning towards digitally generated synthetic sounds, while at the same time, strong voices of lament express the loss of “authenticity”, “humanity” and “performativity”  among artists who are nostalgic for traditional instrumental performance. The film follows the threads of narratives given by various indie musicians to understand how digital technology has affected their artistic and personal identities while revealing, at the same time, what the digital age really offers despite its promises. 


Running time: 25 minutes

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