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How spoiled have we all become.

I was waiting at the waiting room at my doctor today, reading chapters 8-9, 13 on the textbook assigned to our class and found it extremely fascinating on the lengths people used to go through just to make a record back then. . The idea of singing of playing and instrument through a horn that is connected to a wax cylinder truly boggles the mind. The conditions were almost like being in a sweat shop, literally, with high temperatures the permeated in these recording studios because not only to keep the wax nice and malleable for the needles to penetrate the cylinders but rooms had to be closed off to prevent outside noise from leaking into the sessions. This is true analog technology. It was a hundred years ago that musicians cataloged their art the same way ancient men drew on the walls of ancient caves with just the basic tools and without the need of electrical devices. Outside of my building here in Riverdale is a leftover relic from around the same time period in which devices that would qualify as  steam-punk  collectibles  prevailed. There are inactive two gas lanterns that are outside reminding us of an era which electricity was still not available in this part of town. Recording had to be precise and songs had to be done in within three minutes so it would fit on the either disc or cylinder. Singers couldn’t wail into the horn or they run the risk of making the needle jump off due to vibrations. Today you can record a whole album on your Macbook Pro. I know, I have. And as long as the the terabytes of available hard drive space keep flowing, my song can be hours long. But then again, if for some reason, all the power in the world was to go off at the same time time, we might revert back to horns and wax again.

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~ by Nelson Torres on September 23, 2010.

2 Responses to “How spoiled have we all become.”

  1. It really is amazing thinking about how far we’ve come since electricity began. I agree with you – we are all so spoiled! Musicians and artists who have become so used to using technology to record their art would barely be able to cope if power stopped working and they no longer had access to Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and Logic Studio. Would we even know how to revert back to primitive ways of making art? We would all panic.

  2. I loved how you touched on the facts that when music was 1st recorded it was placed on “wax” and when the ancient men drew on walls their art was done with basic tools. The reason I appreciated these facts is that art today is almost intangible. When a singer records music in a studio everything is recorded digitally. Once an album is completed, it’s likely that a consumer will purchase the digitally recorded album on I-tunes. It’s unfortunate, because 30 years from now we won’t hold collectibles from great artist to show to our grandchildren. Sometimes, what makes art a “work of art” is when we’re able to use more than just one of our five senses.

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