Sunday, I had the opportunity to sit in the WPVM studios during a broadcast of WordPlay. Katherine Min read from Secondhand World; a lyrical novel of sorts. Sebastian Matthews discussed the autobiographical elements of the novel. Katherine Min responded, “Fiction is the elegant lie that leads to the truth.” And I wrote it down in my notebook along with other jewels I gathered from observing the recording of WPVM’s WordPlay.
I’ve been dubious for years at the proliferation of iPod/MP3 music. I find this article, “The Death of High Fidelity,” delicious. Maybe it’s the former radio guy or just plain audiophile geek in me that screams, “Rawk on!.”
It’s not just new music that’s too loud. Many remastered recordings suffer the same problem as engineers apply compression to bring them into line with modern tastes…. MP3 and other digital-music formats are quickly replacing CDs as the most popular way to listen to music. That means more convenience but worse sound…. MP3s don’t reproduce reverb well, and the lack of high-end detail makes them sound brittle. Without enough low end… “you don’t get the punch anymore. It decreases the punch of the kick drum and how the speaker gets pushed when the guitarist plays a power chord.”
Still, “it’s like going to the Louvre and instead of the Mona Lisa there’s a 10-megapixel image of it… I wouldn’t look at a Kandinsky painting with sunglasses on.”
Now, I am not advocating abandoning iPods and other MP3 players.
It is just the fact that art, literature and music have been so diminished in the last couple decades that most people in our culture couldn’t tell quality art, literature or music if it was served them on a silver platter with a cue card reading “applause.”