Grammy-winning choral director Kevin Fox was in the capital, of late. He started his musical journey at the age of eight and since then there hasn’t been any looking back for him. The choir maestro gets candid and shares his journey while slurping coffee at Café Turtle.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q.1: Do you think that advent of digitization has impacted the popularity of choirs, considering music industry’s dependence on software?
Yes, I think the digital overhaul has definitely changed the dynamics of the music industry. Earlier the recording sessions used to take days to be completed but now the same recordings are wrapped up in hours. That’s the impact of technology you get to see. But I believe choir would be the last one to be completely digitized. Choirs rely wholly on the instruments without which they have no essence. As far as popularity is concerned, there hasn’t been much of an impact because those who are interested, still attend choir concerts. The popularity quotient is yet not beatable.
Q.2: The music industry and choirs have always been two different fragments; even in movies, the presence of choirs has barely been noticed. So is there any possibility that the two will collaborate in the near future, thus setting a new trend?
It’s the director who decides the fate of a movie. If a particular music can be achieved through the software then why would anybody want to devote time to choirs which are comparatively time-consuming mediums. Also, it depends on the requirement of content. So far there have been rare instances of choirs being presented explicitly but if the possibility appears in the coming time, then why not.
Q.3: What is more important to you, fan base or music?
I would say it’s both, nevertheless it’s music which comes first followed by the fan base. In fact I would say both music and fan base share a symbiotic relationship because when you create good pieces the fandom automatically clings to you. And it’s the audience that impels us to produce good music. It’s also about being content about your work. If I don’t enjoy my music, how would the audience do.
Q.4: Why haven’t the choirs been able to make it to the mainstream and have only narrowed themselves to a specific audience?
Choir is a different genre in itself, hence it can never become mainstream or an element of what we know as contemporary music. It’s designed for a specific audience and that’s why its prevalence in movies doesn’t happen often. The good news is that it has not become prey to commercialization unlike the mainstream music, thus still clenches its authenticity.
Q.5: You have been in India for quite some time now, and probably the first time when you have merged for a musical fellowship program. Any take away from India that you would like to share?
Though I have come here to teach the westernized version of the choir, but have myself mustered a lot of new things from the music point of view. Therefore the experience has been an enriching one. The Indian musical instruments though appear simple, but playing them is no smooth sailing. Rhythm is something I have learnt to entail while playing instruments.