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Recorded Sound

Open Skies Exploding Orangish-Blue Last of the Curlews

I’m not sure yet about releasing a hard copy version on CD or vinyl. I’ll see how it goes. I always ask my students (college age) if they are still buying CDs. The affirmative raise of hands is getting less to none each semester. Technology is indeed progressing quickly. In my short lifetime, music recording/playback devices (and mediums) have gone through a plethora of both consumer and professional inventive changes. Here are a few off the top of my head to underscore my point of what I’ve personally utilized in my life:

1. Vinyl “records” – 45, 331/3 , and 78rpm

2. Tape machines – 2, 1, 1/4 and 1/8 inch machines

3. Cassette tapes (two track and 4 track)

4. 8 track cassettes

5. Digital tape machines

7. DAW (Digital audio workstations, e.g., Protools, Logic, etc.)

8. Smart phones

9. Portable digital recorders

10. CDs

Edouard Leon Scott invented the first device (Phonautograph) to record sound in 1860-ish. His invention was the metaphoric inspiration for my (echolyn) song, Speaking in Lampblack. Scott couldn’t play back his recordings but Thomas Edison figured out how, 17 years later, with his Phonograph. Imagine the context of this invention. It was the first time actuality could be heard. The importance of this cannot be overstated. Interpretive accounts of events and the affects/effects of whisper-down-the lane information sharing could, for the first time in history, be reigned in and minimized. People could hear the way in which a musical composer interpreted their own music. Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, and countless other musical composers could not say the same. Instead, their music has always been a form of interpretation from others. The same can be said for many other experiential occurrences, e.g., historical flash-points. The invention of recorded sound left no doubt to first-hand historical accounts. Thanks to people like Fritz Pfleumer and his invention of magnetic tape recording, we have voice recordings of Adolf Hitler and his ilk during the rise of dangerous Nationalism in the 1930s. These recordings are available for us to access, remind, and learn from. This could never happen without the objective invention of recorded actual events. On a side note this poignantly highlights the recent recorded pontifications of political figures and their admission, rejection, or imaginative back peddling – in regard to their what their recorded voices actually demonstrate (this is another topic, but obviously related to recorded sound and actuality). The monumental nature of sound recording inventions, not unlike the printing press centuries before, expanded the capability of sharing information accurately. Historically, recorded sound took many decades to develop: from Scott’s invention, to Pfleumer’s, to the portability of Stefan Kudelski’s Nagra tape machine, to optical audio disks, to portable digital playback/recording devices (the list is long and I’m obviously leaving many important events out in this technological listing, but you get my point). The invention process has only sped up with each incarnation of Scott’ and Edison’s initial intent. What’s next?? It’s a cool thing to think about and worthy of discussion.

Back to my album ~ I’m releasing my new music, like the last two echolyn albums, at their recorded resolutions via digital download. In this case that is 96kHz/24 bit. This marks where we are in the progress of audio technology (higher sample rates can be used but the advantage of these in relation to human hearing is still debated). I’ll also make them available at CD quality (44.1kHz/16bit) and probably a compressed version as well to match consumer standards.

I have 20 songs, but I’ll probably whittle it down to a more potent concoction. Not sure yet; I’m still finalizing many of them. I have the first two songs ready to go, along with a video for one of them. I just need to cross a couple Ts before I put them up for sale and start the process. I’ll let you know more details in the next few days.

Good chatting with you


BWK ~ 20 December, 2016

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