Persona Digital

Music Studio Technology

Persona Studio

True value

The true value of music lies in the musicians ability to attract, entertain and inspire an audience. Musicians are members of a local community who do best when they remain local, enjoy local celebrity and assume positive, if not exemplary roles. They contribute to the common good. Music education for children has benefits in many directions and music literate teachers are valuable in schools and as private educators in the community. If you assume, as I do, that everyone should play and enjoy music – if only to clap your hands and sing a tune- then musicians are always needed to promote musical expressions. In my town, there are many musicians who are constantly at play. Some entertain, teach and participate in a variety of musical groups. Some earn a modest living but all enjoy their expression of music. Many amateur groups practice and perform without pay just for the pleasure of making music.

Sometimes, young aspiring musicians are lured by the example of distant celebrities and try in vain to become great singers or great bands. In my view, the wish for celebrity can be self-defeating, a bad idea. Occasionally, a local celebrity through much practice and dedication to the art of music will become known outside the local community and one may even become rich and famous. It is something like the lottery – its fun to fantasize what you could do if your won, but the odds are 1 in 14 million, so don't hold your breath.

I tell the fame-seekers that commercial success is a product manufactured by groups of business people. It is an industrial activity that turns a very small number of specially compliant musicians and a few formula-produced songs into products that will be mass-marketed and bought by millions of highly programmed people. If you have a touch of artistic integrity or a taste of personal freedom, you should probably stay far away.


Famous people have always fascinated inspired and led ordinary people. Fame has always been achieved through stories, publicity and public spectacles. For the long stretch of human history rulers, military leaders, and priests with high status were the main celebrities. Gods and goddesses were made celebrities by rulers and priests in the same way that actors became celebrities with the sponsorship of wealthy movie studios.

In the 20th century, the expansion of media created in both local and worldwide networks a more profuse and complicated world of celebrities. With the ascent of popular music, radio, television and movies, one path to riches and fame was popular music. By giving public performances, selling recordings and appearing often in the media, a few popular singers became stars, even with mediocre musical ability. If you look closely at 21st century celebrities, you find mostly attractive, photogenic people whose faces are recognized by a large audience. Photographs of celebrity faces became commodities purchased by a receptive marketplace. Celebrity faces appear everywhere. Facial recognition is an important determinant of human behavior. A familiar face becomes a friend; a friend becomes family or even a lover. Fantasies of sharing wealth and fame develop around the familial face. Some idolize and worship a familiar, celebrity face.

Page wrote: “Celebrities are fascinating because they live in a parallel universe—one that looks and feels just like ours yet is light-years beyond our reach. Stars live in another world entirely, one that makes our lives seem woefully dull by comparison. It’s easy to blame the media for this cognitive whiplash. But the real celebrity spinmeister is our own mind, which tricks us into believing the stars are our lovers and our social intimates. Celebrity culture plays to all of our innate tendencies: We’re built to view anyone we recognize as an acquaintance ripe for gossip or for romance. Since catching sight of a beautiful face bathes the brain in pleasing chemicals, George Clooney’s killer smile is impossible to ignore. Stars summon our most human yearnings: to love, admire, copy and, of course, to gossip and to jeer. It’s only natural that we get pulled into their gravitational field. John Lennon infuriated the faithful when he said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, but he wasn’t the first to suggest that celebrity culture was taking the place of religion. With its myths, its rituals and its ability to immortalize, it fills a similar cultural niche. In a secular society our need for ritualized idol worship can be displaced onto stars. Horan speculates that celebrity fills some of the same roles the church fills for believers; the desire to admire the powerful and the drive to fit into a community of people with shared values.”

  • Topics presented at Persona Digital Studio are from the book,
    The Sound of Music
    by Stephen Gislason.
    Click the Download button to order the eBook 

  • Persona Mandala

    Persona Digital Studio is located on the Sunshine Coast, Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada.

    Persona Music Recordings: Our Music Catalogue includes recorded performances under the names P2500 Band, Em4U, and the Persona Classical Consort. Some music online is offered to illustrate music history, advance music education and appreciation. The recordings presented online demonstrate Persona Studio's composing, arranging, recording and mastering techniques. All the recordings are completed in house by Stephen Gislason.

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