-- Personal: Technology --

Issues Index


This page archives comments by Bruce Cockburn on his views of the new technologies that computers and the internet have brought into our lives.

  • 3 March 2001 - Reflecting on the rise of the Internet as a communication tool and his own World Wide Web connection and Napster

    "Well, up to a point, I don't do the Web. I don't own a computer. I suspect [his record label] True North will have a site eventually and that I'll be on it, but I doubt I'll ever get on line. I pay attention to [the Internet fan groups] vicariously, but I'm not interested in spending my time that way. The Humans are the one Web group I'm most familiar with. They make themselves known at shows. Once in a while, someone will give me printouts of their online exchanges. I used to be excited by that, by knowing there were intense conversations going on about what I do, conversations that aren't intended for my ears. But after a while, the novelty wore off and I started to feel like an eavesdropper.

    For people growing up with computer technology and its possibilities, there's no problem, it's the world they're living in. They've learned the instrument. It's second nature to them. And that's the reason I don't want to get involved with computers. I don't even type. It's too much work. It's another instrument entirely. I worry it will interfere with what else I've got to do."

    However, Bruce embraces most forms of new music technology - looping, sampling, sequencing "the folk music of its time . A lot of really good music is being made by people who probably aren't good musicians at all. It's folk art, it's what music was before it became a commercial art. In a way that's a welcome development, nothing at all to be frightened of. It's inevitable."

    Reflecting on music-file sharing systems such as Napster

    "It's hard not to notice that stuff. It makes me worry about what my old age is going to be like in economic terms. Napster frightened me up to a point, but I realize it too is inevitable. I'd rather see Napster than the kinds of control required to stop it. Who wants to see that much power concentrated in the hands of so few people? It's bad enough as it is. I guess I'll have to live with it. I'd just like someone to figure out a way that will allow me to continue making a living at what I do."
    -- from "Why Bruce Matters Now", The Toronto Star, March 3, 2001, by Greg Quill.

  • 3 March 2001 - Commenting upon cable

    "It's too much trouble to get cable. I mean, it's only a phone call, but -- no, the real reason is that I don't want to be seduced by my own TV in my own house."
    -- from "The Witness", Saturday Night Online, March 3, 2001, by Bill Cameron.

  • 4 March 2001 - Commenting on the use of computers

    "I don't like the notion of being accessible through the computer. I can call my friends on the phone."

    Commenting on fan-sites that go beyond his music into his personal life

    "I really don't want to know what they think of my shoes," he says, wincing. "It kind of feels like I have 'followers.' Having an audience is wonderful, but I don't aspire to have followers."
    -- from "In Praise of Bruceness", Ottawa Citizen, March 4, 2001, by Craig MacInnis.

  • Help out! To add material to this section, see this page first.

    Issues Index

    This page is part of The Cockburn Project, a unique website that exists to document the work of Canadian singer-songwriter and musician Bruce Cockburn. The Project archives self-commentary by Cockburn on his songs and music, and supplements this core part of the website with news, tour dates, and other current information.