"The days when an artist could record in a studio, under contract, for decades, for a major label as Gould did, and make a lot of steady money for himself and his record company, are over.
Glenn Gould’s idealism was ultimately all about control - of himself and the medium, and I think he would have been extremely uncomfortable in the modern pick’n'mix supermarket. It was fine for him to take an exposition from here and a coda from there and stitch them together with an expert and patient producer, but I can’t imagine him welcoming ten thousand Joe Goldbergs doing the same on their iTunes programmes … free, swapped, downloaded, or deleted as the fancy takes them.
I’m sure he would have loved the internet (I can imagine dozens of his alter egos in dozens of forums), and he would have written a fascinating blog; but if he had been starting his career now, rather than in the golden youth of the 1950s LP, it might have to have been on YouTube where he would make his mark - or miss his mark - in the cruel (and free) lottery of cyberspace’s billion dancing bytes."
By Stephen Hough Music Last updated: April 17th, 2009