Sunday, September 17, 2006

Glenn Gould's Ghost in the Software

This is an interesting and in some ways troubling development in the recording field. One that raises a few aesthetic, if not entirely ethical, questions.

Newly developed "software grabs musical sounds and figures out how they were made. The programs go beyond individual notes, into the idiosyncrasies that define a performance and musician's style." The company (Zenph) in conjunction with Sony and the Gould Foundation will re-release Gould's Goldberg variations recording from 1955.

"Not only can it reproduce recordings, but it also fixes mistakes. "Someone can come in with limited time, do their piano track on an out-of-tune piano and miss some notes," Walker said. "Producers can come back and make it how they wish it would be."

The company has in the works similar technology for brass, percussion, and winds.

Read the rest here.

For now, I hope nobody messes with Schnabel. Let the dead rest peacefully. Fudged notes and all.


Anonymous said...

This is the kind of post that keeps me coming back to The Well-Tempered again and again. Who knows when I would have heard of this development on my own? I have posted a few thoughts on the Celebrity Series blog. They can be summed up essentially as "Long live live performance!"

Well done, as usual!

The Well Tempered Blog said...


Many thanks for the kind word and the post on your blog is one I agree with 100% Long live performance!