Friday, June 10, 2005

The Record Effect

Last week in the New Yorker, Alex Ross had a great piece on the effect on music from recording technology. Among the more interesting theories he discusses is vaulting of particular musical styles for their fidelity ability to fit on vinyl; the widespread adoption of vibrato in string performance; and to what extent recording, and particularly studio recording has driven classical music towards so-called perfect execution as opposed to more dynamic performance.

It's a great read and brings to mind a parallel, that with each new technology, there is a new type of distortion or corruption which filters it's way back as nostalgia.

Broadcast radio: Squelching, faded signal, Emergency Broadcast signal
Vinyl: hiss and pop, skipping, scratching, speed manipulation
Tapes: hissing, rough cuts, speed manipulation
Electric ampification: feedback
CDs: skipping, repeats
MP3s: digital distortion

Transparency/Film: so many.... frame, textured film, melting, light strobe
Broadcast Television: Snow, Emergency Broadcast tests, CRT flashes
Video Tape: FF/RW/Pause with lines
Digital: pixel breakups
Computer: blue screen of death, monitor testing
Internet: Page not found (google WMD)

And so on, please help me add to this list!

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