Friday, 17 September 2010

The miracle of music

In my last piece I talked about my love affair with House music. In the way that it was my first love, it will always be powerful but sitting on a train to Zurich airport I am reminded of the incredibly evocative nature of all kinds of music.

I am listening to K&D sessions by Austrian lounge lizards Kruder and Dorfmeister. I have no heard the album for a long time and it immediately takes me back to a period in 2003 when I spent my evenings with two friends, all of us battling our own demons, escaping by kicking back with a good sound system and major amounts of air fresher from Bern.

It not hyperbolic to speak about the sound track of our lives for anyone born from the 1940s onwards. Sound and music are plainly more evocative and words and pictures. Ask anyone missing a loved one if they would rather see a photo or hear their voice?

What if we were missing something in our sounds and music? Vinyl-heads will speak at length about the death of real music since its digitalization and from the little records I ‘d heard, I was tending to think they might have a point. But there have been some recent developments in sound techologies that may reverse this trend.

I was previlged to hear a demonstration of the JMC Luterie soundboard recently. It uses traditional techniques used in handcrafted guitars and violins, with a particular kind of hardwood, and conbines them with the latest digital technology. The physical result is a good-looking wooden ‘speaker’ which can be used with any stereo system. The auditory result is something which has to be heard to be believed.

It makes any other stereo or loudspeaker you have ever heard seem like water for chocolate.

Nearest I can describe it is like suddenly hearing in 3D, after the demo the whole audience fell silent. The demonstration was done with rock music but I cant help wondering how Billy Holiday or Edith Piaf might sound on the speaker.

I rarely get in enthusiastic about consumer products and even less so about those in the luxury category. I never really understood fascination with fancy cars, watches or clothes. But I want this loudspeaker!

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