Chad Eby will be presenting his paper, “Duration and Dancing Bears: Halberstadt’s Cage, Inge’s Beethoven, Zimmer’s Piaf and Pittsinger’s Bieber”, this summer at the Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts (ISEA) conference in Istanbul.
This short paper is a meditation on the technology, impetus, and cultural resonance of time-stretched audio. From the lead-weighted keys and reconfigurable organ being used to perform 639 years of John Cage’s As Slowly as Possible through Hans Zimmer’s cinematic manipulations of Edith Piaf, to the digital alchemy of Paul’s Extreme Sound Stretch that was employed last year to transform Justin Bieber’s U Smile into 35:29 of lush and blurry ambient textures, a variety of tools and practices now exist to drastically alter the tempo of music without significantly disturbing its pitch. What are the technosocial motives for the current heating up of slowed down sound? Who benefits from these greatly elongated soundscapes? And, in the context of the near instantaneity of the Internet, what does it mean?