Tracing the contours of this history, Greg Milner takes us through the major breakthroughs and glorious failures in the art and science of recording. An American soldier monitoring Nazi radio transmissions stumbles onto the open yet revolutionary secret of magnetic tape. Japanese and Dutch researchers build a first-generation digital audio format and watch as their "compact disc" is marketed by the music industry as the second coming of Edison yet derided as heretical by analog loyalists. The music world becomes addicted to volume in the nineties and fights a self-defeating "loudness war" to get its fix.
From Les Paul to Phil Spector to King Tubby, from vinyl to pirated CDs to iPods, Milner's Perfecting Sound Forever pulls apart musical history to answer a crucial question: Should a recording document reality as faithfully as possible, or should it improve upon or somehow transcend the music it records? The answers he uncovers will change the very way we think about music.
Representing Sound elucidates the base technical ontology, the machine essence, of every recorded musical communication. In so doing, it suggests the broad contours of an unprecedented theoretical basis for considering recording practice that posits no fundamental relationship between it and live performance. Representing Sound thus complicates common conceptions of sound to include different ontological states. This seemingly simple notion–that the acoustic phenomena we encounter in concert are, by nature, different from those we encounter when we listen to records–should have profound consequences for the way everyone, from musicologists to rock stars, considers recording practice.
In the tradition of books like Marshall McLuhan’s and Quentin Fiore’s The Medium Is The Massage (1968), Representing Sound sets its text within more than one hundred original visual artworks, each designed to reinforce the essay’s broader creative resonances. This allows readers to approach the larger ontological argument either atomistically (i.e., on a frame-by-frame basis) or holistically, depending on their creative or analytic needs. In this way, Representing Sound provides a possible model for creative scholarly work in the impending post-book era.
In this updated and expanded edition, Chion considers many additional examples from recent world cinema and formulates new questions for the contemporary media environment. He takes into account the evolving role of audio-vision in different theatrical environments, considering its significance for music videos, video art, commercial television, and the internet, as well as conventional cinema. Chion explores how multitrack digital sound enables astonishing detail, extending the space of the action and changing practices of scene construction. He demonstrates that speech is central to film and television and shows why “audio-logo-visual” is a more accurate term than “audiovisual.” Audio-Vision shows us that sound is driving the creation of a sensory cinema.
This edition includes a glossary of terms, a chronology of several hundred significant films, and the original foreword by sound designer, editor, and Oscar honoree Walter Murch.
Then, in 1966, at age nineteen, Geoff Emerick became the Beatles’ chief engineer, the man responsible for their distinctive sound as they recorded the classic album Revolver, in which they pioneered innovative recording techniques that changed the course of rock history. Emerick would also engineer the monumental Sgt. Pepper and Abbey Road albums, considered by many the greatest rock recordings of all time. In Here, There and Everywhere he reveals the creative process of the band in the studio, and describes how he achieved the sounds on their most famous songs. Emerick also brings to light the personal dynamics of the band, from the relentless (and increasingly mean-spirited) competition between Lennon and McCartney to the infighting and frustration that eventually brought a bitter end to the greatest rock band the world has ever known.
With his characteristic originality, Chion performs a poetic inventory of the possibilities of written text in the film image. Taking examples from hundreds of films spanning years and genres, from the silents to the present, he probes the ways that words on screen are used and their implications for film analysis and theory. In the process, he opens up and unearths the specific poetry of visual text in film. Exhaustively researched and illustrated with hundreds of examples, Words on Screen is a stunning demonstration of a creative scholar's ability to achieve a radically new understanding of cinema.