Wednesday, January 14, 2004

As I was sorting through my massive CD collection, I came upon a CD by Wendy Carlos called Switched-On Bach 2000. Wendy Carlos, who used to be Walter Carlos, is best known for the Switched-On Bach series and the soundtracks for A Clockwork Orange and Tron. She was the first person to publicize the real possibilities of electronic synthesizers being real instruments.

This is from the liner notes of Switched-On Bach 2000:

"If by that you mean that the sound quality can now exceed the best we could do in the late '60s (stress on 'can'), it's probably true. I shudder to think of the shock of hearing what the vinyl version of my carefully engineered master tape sounded like. At best the groove noises covered up some of the tape hiss. Even though I had been a stereo master cutter and recording engineer, I was taken aback by the pinch distortion, pre- and post-echo, popping and ticking, and inner groove losses that passed as state-of-the-art. It was a losing battle to try to get the levels up with minimum limiting while squeezing in about twenty-two minutes a side. Of all media some audiophiles worship (how about Dolby A tape?), this one I can least understand. Yuck!"

Wendy is talking about LPs or vinyl.

And she just doesn't get it.

I love the imperfections of vinyl. Yes, it's not the exact reproduction of the musical event that I suppose that CD can be, although, CDs are subject to their own series of limitations. Digital slices of sound, instead of a continuum of sound, and so on.

What I love about vinyl is how much of an artifact of a time and place that it can be. It's not just the music on the vinyl that's important. It's the physicality of the record that also signifies something for me. I can pick up a record. It has a certain feel, a smell. It looks like something that's passed through time. Ever CD looks the same.

I like groove noises. There's a warmth and a pressure that comes from the sound off a record. I rarely hear that warmth coming from a CD.

Speaking of records, if anyone knows a good place for me to buy some cabinets that would hold a bunch of records, let me know.
Ok, we are now moved.

It was surprisingly less stressful than other times that I've moved. Mostly that's thanks to good friends who A) helped and B) kept my wife and I from going insane.

The new house is very cool. I put together my new CD organizer yesterday, and spent today doing laundry, unpacking, sorting CDs, etc.

I also have my home studio setup in a more sane and rational manner, so hopefully the world will be able to hear some more of my matured compositions soon.

In related news, I have high hopes that I may be able to organize the first ever Fayetteville Electronic Music Festival. Long story short, some people from my wife's bellydance troupe now have access to a large space, and I thought it would be a cool thing if I organized this festival as a fundraiser for the bellydancers. Cool, cutting edge music, locally made, some of it funky, some of it wierd, and all the procedes would go to the bellydance troupe so that they can continue shaking their collective groove thangs in the nice big space.

I'm sure I could get the good folks at KXUA to publicize the event.

If anyone is interested in performing pro bono, understanding the above, give me a call or email me.