Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Feist and the Lingering Moment of Experience
In The Record Effect, a recent New Yorker article on the dehumanization of music through advances in recording technology, Alex Ross states, "Twenty years ago, the American composer Benjamin Boretz wrote, “In music, as in everything, the disappearing moment of experience is the firmest reality.” The paradox of recording is that it can preserve forever those disappearing moments of sound but never the spark of humanity that generates them."
Also, "Modern urban environments are often so chaotic, soulless, or ugly that I’m grateful for the humanizing touch of electronics. But I want to be aware of technology’s effects, positive and negative. For music to remain vital, recordings have to exist in balance with live performance, and, these days, live performance is by far the smaller part of the equation..."
KEXP and KCRW (see sidebar) are two stations who are helping to balance that equation, broadcasting live in-studio performances over the internet. KCRW even lets us watch the performances as they occur.
Yesterday KCRW entreated us with the live, breathing dimension of the Canadian artist that is Feist. Her performance shone with that spark of humanity that can be lacking in those perfect studio recordings that are often lauded for their "stellar production." It was as close to being in the room with her as you can get. (Listen, Watch)
From that show, here's her opening song, her version of Ron Sexsmith's Secret Heart (mp3), from Let it Die.
Too bad KCRW is in danger of extinction.