Letter to the Reader

It is the year 3022 in the United States. Most countries today live in a centrally planned economy in which everything in the market is predetermined, literally. our economy aligns very much with socialist values being that “socialism, holds that government should take a very active and controlling role in the economy.” (Coolidge, 2). Anything created or consumed is calculated and accounted for but people are still free to choose how they would like to contribute to their economy. It may sound like a lot of work but ironically, an employee is considered full-time if they work 12 hours a week since the exploitation of labor has been largely eliminated. Quality of life has drastically increased over the last few hundred years with the advent of the 4-hour work day 3 days a week, allowing most people to spend time in leisure doing what they enjoy most. In this day and age, I can’t imagine how miserable it may have been to live in a capitalist society where working more than 3 days a week was considered normal but ever since the Great American Civil Conflict of 2852, capitalism is no more in the US. My name is Centauri (I was named after the nearest human-inhabited planet) and I am currently a 3rd-year student at the University of California, San Diego. For right now at least, I am double majoring in US Politics and Historical Musicology with a focus on US socialism. With a student population of 585,000 and a total of 37 colleges, there is a lot to do at UCSD! My favorite hobbies include studying in augmented reality with my friends at Geisel and going to La Jolla Shores when the UV index reaches at least below 25. Climate change has been a bit rough recently with the last heat wave reaching up to 146℉ this past week but luckily we have been able to artificially cool the atmosphere to make temps slightly more bearable this year. Living in a socialist society has made it so that attending college is free once again and incentivizes every undergraduate student to at least attain a Ph.D. in their field of study. 
Due to our centrally planned socialist economy, popular music nowadays is simply created by those who have a passion for what they do, there is no monetary incentive anymore. There are those who may seek fame or attention but music is no longer popular based on materialistic ideals or capitalist ambitions, popularity is based on how rich and complex the song itself is. Songs are now typically 10 to 15 minutes in duration, which sounds insanely long, but the effects of standardization are long gone now, allowing music to deviate from the norm and be unique. Without the pressure that wage-based labor puts on workers, artists are now able to focus on their music without facing the financial barriers most artists experienced hundreds of years ago: “…not enough of streaming’s bounty has made its way to musicians, the activists say, and the major platforms’ model tends to over-reward stars at the expense of everybody else. With more music being released than ever before, they say, it has become nearly impossible for any artist who is not a star to earn a living wage.” (Sisario, 3). Small and independent artists can make a living by creating music without having to be within the top 1% of artists pulling in massive amounts of streams as was the case in the early 2000s. 
It’s crazy to think that music was once plagued as a profit-oriented industry with songs focusing on themes surrounding fame and fortune. How can people even relate to that? The tables have turned and music today is all about pursuing one’s passion as well as happiness and love over material things. Since there are no longer any financial risks associated with pursuing music, there’s so many more artists producing music in niche genres so it seems like there is something made to appeal to every single person. Obviously, there are still pop stars in the music industry – it’s hard to eliminate those preferences even in a perfect society – but music has become so spread out that there’s practically no competition between artists and labels nowadays. In fact, local artists are gaining more and more recognition in their areas. Even with the presence of pop stars, smaller artists are fairly compensated for their work which allows them to pursue music full time. Concerts have also become far more affordable to attend; artists even hold free concert events all the time! In 3022, ideology is only present to a small extent in the music industry. Values are much more progressive now and organic intellectuals, whose “task [is] to shape and to organize the reform of moral and intellectual life, guide music towards a collaborative and respectful industry (Storey, 85). In the chain of influence, labels no longer hold control over their artists and artists no longer use their music to enforce a political agenda. Nonetheless, some themes artists sing about find its way into influencing listeners like myself on popular culture trends. 
People my age love challenging and abstract music. Oftentimes, I will take notes about the deeper meanings in the songs and I know many others that do the same.  We generally like songs to be around 10-15 minutes long. Whenever listening to music, we make sure to have our full attention on the song and make sure there aren’t any distractions. Which means that generally music is listened to individually and not in groups. Since we don’t listen to music just as a stimulus, artists use their own imagination and creativity into all of their songs (Adorno). This allows for there to be very minimal standardization which helps keep the music industry unique. This is very different to how someone my age in 2022 would do. College-aged students in 2022 listened to music simply to use as a stimulus. They loved having music in the background whenever they were doing things like homework or errands. I don’t know why they used to do this. I find our way of music to be much better.

8 responses to “Letter to the Reader”

  1. I love the idea and name for the Blueprint Recording Studios. I think it does a great job of creatively showing how music labels would be implemented in the future!

  2. Really appreciate the idea of local artists gaining more traction in this socialist economy, as competition has lessened drastically, as well as the concept of a 4-hour work day, 3 days a week! Also, I love the choice of a multidimensional, layered song choice for your musical artifact and the AI-generated art!

  3. I like the idea of the blueprint recording studio, and the album cover looks really good! It’s funny to think that UCSD kept adding colleges to the point where there are half a million people enrolled here.

  4. I really liked this letter to the reader as well. It also focuses on the fact that capitalism is no longer a theme in popular music. Also the lengthening in songs is awesome, which is something that was more common back in Beethoven’s time. I liked that local artists no gain more recognition which they deserve. I really liked the art that was added to the letter. The artifacts all seemed amazing and really served their purpose with futuristic aesthetic and I want to be signed to the blueprint recording studios! Really amazing job!

  5. I liked how you mentioned that songs tend to be 10-15 min now because that’s really unconventional in this time, but now that artists have more freedom to make what they want it changes

  6. I loved the concept of “RO” as a new emerging surrealist psychedelic pop artist. And the album cover was so perfect. I like how RO loves to talk about socialism in his music.

    I liked learning about how in socialism people listen to music in a more focused/less distracted way as well.

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