Slovenia: Tinder-tedious?

17-year old Gašper Cvetič shares his opinion about the Slovenian youth’s music taste (via Are We Europe)

Tucked away between mountains and lakes in central Europe, Slovenia offers a diverse music scene, that has largely remained unknown to the rest of the world. Before Slovenian independence, all of the publishing was under the control of the Yugoslav regime. After, private publishing houses started to bloom, with many new music producers entering the market and local artists performing in regional and international festivals. Folk, jazz, electroacoustic music, contemporary classical music, and more experimentally oriented electronic music have echoed through country’s beautiful landscapes ever since.

I feel like the younger generation in my country no longer seems to enjoy music by dancing their shoes off and enjoying the eclectic local music festivals. Instead, they spend most of their time listening to music online, or trying to get a date using dating platforms like Tinder.

On Tinder, a person can select a person they like with a left or right swipe, and find their match. It seems like the Slovenian youth uses the same method to find their music: whatever their app of preference introduces them to, they will instantly judge by figuratively swiping. Although national radio stations have quotas concerning the obligated amount of Slovenian music to be played, some commercial stations bypassed this by playing the necessary quotas only during night time. Using online streaming services, sidesteps these quota entirely, which is how Slovenian youth miss out on their country’s rich music culture.

Through applications like Spotify and Youtube, people have the ability to reject music before even taking the time to actually interact with it. Moreover, the algorithms create filter bubbles around people and reconfirm people’s own taste. This makes it more challenging for many of the upcoming artists in the country to surprise people with their music, since these applications work better for big labels. About 10% of the top artists around the world dominate Spotify. With almost every youngster using Spotify to listen to music, the songs they listen to are mainly from these big artists. This is a shame for local artists trying to make a name for themselves in the country. Although the country is home to several well-known local musicians, like Magnifico, Laibach, or the alternative rock band Siddharta, the number of songs produced in the local Slovene language are diminishing.

But Slovenian music has played an important role in challenging the socialist-communist regime of Yugoslavia and its disintegration. Laibach (“Ljubljana” in German), the Slovenian avant-garde music group that was associated with industrial genres, played an important role in the formation of Neue Slowenische Kunst (NSK), or “New Slovenian Art.” As a beacon of counter culture and protest, the collective has been credited with making a substantial contribution to the pluralization of the former Yugoslavia and Slovenia’s politics, society and culture. They even declared to be a “sovereign statein 1991—their artwork was represented by an unofficial embassy, and the collective issues their own passports.

I feel like my generation seems to enjoy music from international artists more than their own local singers. They swipe left and forget about the beauty and wholesomeness of songs in the local language. By rejecting music in this manner, roots are forgotten. As a youngster in this country, not being able to embrace my mother tongue through my country’s cultural heritage is difficult. Music should bring people together, and also celebrate something that we all have in common. In shaping our national identity, Slovenian music could be the social glue that is currently missing. What is there to unite and surprise us, if we stay within our own filter bubble?

While I am no different than any other young Slovenian, I suggest that we change our everyday “Tinder lives” by not treating the country’s music like a superficial dating application. The music industry should be appreciated with an open mind. S-love-nia! It is time we stop swiping left. 

 

 

Slovenija: Tindersko zdolgočasena dežela?

17-letni Gašper Cvetič deli svoje mnenje glede glasbenega okusa slovenske mladine

Slovenijo, državo lezečo med gorami in jezeri v srednji Evropi, odlikuje raznolika glasbena scena, ki pa ostaja pretežno neznana po svetu. Pred osamosvojitvijo Slovenije je bilo celotno glasbeno založnistvo pod nadzorom jugoslovanskega režima. Nato so pričele cveteti zasebne založniške hiše, na trgu je bilo opaziti številne nove glasbene producente ter lokalne umetnike, ki so nastopali na regionalnih in mednarodnih festivalih. Odtlej je na slovenskih tleh moč slišati folk, jazz, elektroakusticno glasbo, sodobno klasično ter bolj eksperimentalo usmerjeno elektronsko glasbo.

Osebno menim, da mlajsa generacija v moji državi ne uživa več v pristnem plesanju ob glasbi, ki jo slisimo vsepovsod na lokalnih glasbenih festivalih, temvec večino svojega časa porabi za poslušanje glasbe na spletu ter obiskovanjem spletnih platform namenjenim zmenkarijam, kot je Tinder.

Na Tinderju lahko izberemo osebo, ki nam je všeč, s preprostim potegom po ekranu v levo oziroma desno in počakamo na ujem. Zdi se mi, da slovenska mladina uporablja isto metodo pri iskanje glasbe. Tisto glasbo, ki jim ponudi najljubša aplikacija, bodo takoj ocenili s potegom v levo ali desno. Čeprav so nacionalne radijske postaje primorane izpolnjevati določene kvote obveznega prevajanja slovenske glasbe, se nekatere komercialne radijske postaje izognejo obveznemu predvajanju tako, da kvote izpoilnjujejo le v nočnem času. S predvajanjem glasbe po spletu pa se kvotam v celoti izognemo, kar pomeni, da slovenska mladina tako žal ne sliši bogato glasbeno kulturo svoje države.

S pomočjo aplikacij, kot sta Spotify in Youtube, imajo ljudje možnost, da zavrnejo glasbo, še preden si zanjo dejansko vzamejo čas. Poleg tega nam algoritmi ustvarijo personalizirano selekcijo glasbe, na podlagi naših preteklih glasbenih izbirah. Na ta način je udejstvovanje mladih umetnikov precej oteženo, saj so tovrstne aplikacije naklonjene predvsem velikim korporacijam. Približno 10% najboljših svetovnih umetnikov prevladuje v aplikaciji Spotify in ker mladina pretežno uporablja Spotify za predvajanje glasbe, so pesmi, ki jih slišijo, v večini produkt teh velikih glasbenikov. Na ta način je mladim umetnikom pot do uspeha zelo otežena. Čeprav imamo v Sloveniji veliko znanih glasbenikov, kot sta Magnifico, Laibach ali alternativna rock skupina Siddharta, se število pesmi v slovenskem jeziku znatno zmanjšuje.

Kakorkoli že, slovenska glasba je igrala pomembno vlogo pri izpodbijanju socialistično-komunističnega režima Jugoslavije in njenega razpada. Slovenska avantgardna skupina Laibach je igrala pomembno vlogo pri nastajanju Nove Slovenske Umetnosti (Neue Slowenische Kunst, NSK). Kot gonilno silo protikulture in protestov, so kolektivu pripisali velik prispevek k pluralizaciji nekdanje Jugoslavije in slovenske politike, družbe in kulture. Leta 1991 se je kolektiv celo razglasili za “suvereno državo”, njihovo umetniško delo pa je predstavljalo njihovo veleposlaništvo, izdali so tudi lastne potne liste.

Menim, da moja generacija uživa bolj v mednarodni glasbi kot tisti slovenski.  Potegnejo v levo ter pozabijo na lepoto in celovitost pesmi v našem jeziku in tako prispevajo k pozabi naših korenin. Zal mi je, da mi kot najstniku v Sloveniji ni dano pogosto slišati maternega jezika prek naše glasbene kulturne dediščine. Glasba naj bi združevala ljudi in slavila nekaj nam vsem skupnega. Slovenska glasba bi lahko bila tisto socialno lepilo, ki bi pripomoglo k oblikovanju naše dandanes pomanjkljive nacionalne identitete. Kaj nas lahko združi in preseneti, če pa ostanemo v lastnem filtriranem mehurčku?

Čeprav nisem čisto nič drugačen od vseh ostalih mladih Slovencev bi pa vseeno rad predlagal, da spremenimo nase vsakdanje „Tinder življenje“ tako, da ne obravnavamo glasbo naše države kot  površinsko aplikacijo za zmenkarije. Glasbeno industrijo je treba ceniti z odprtim umom. S-love-nia! Čas je, da prenehamo brskati levo.