Michele > On
the backcover of Washing Machine there is an analog recorder in
package, is this when you started making music through a digital
machine? And are there any significant reason for making this
choice? What has changed in your relationship with music?
> It's much more recently that we've begun to make digital
music--but then we don't make "digital music"--we make
"music" and it happens to be packaged in different ways.
Sound postcards. We use computers regularly now but also plenty
analog---the sounds in our ears are changing---no vinly pop n
click no more--sometimes but it's a vanishing trend---now music
heard is lo fi MP3 thru computer spkrs and about something totally
different that it was mid century.
Michele > Yes
it's true; now music heard is mostly lo-fi MP3 but it's even alot available from all over the world, what do you think about?
> It's a weird development---at once great because of the ease
it allows music to be spread---I like the idea of the internet--both
listening and downloading--as the equivalent of what we had here
in the states in 60s and 70s--AM Radio---where you could hear
the latest tunes before buying---I still like to buy and own the
stuff I hear that I like, but it's great to be able to sample
so many things w/o buying just to hear what's going on. The other
side of this is that people are listening to very lo-fi music!
In again (60s and 70s and beyond) we were all hep to have good
stereos and hear all the fidelity we could---and now the record
companies are releasing music in SA format for even higher fidelity
but kids take these SA-CDs and burn em to MP3 for their iPods!!!
It's weird. I think higher quality files will come along to alleviate
this dilemma soon.....
Michele > After
'twenty' years CD is pension off and new higher-fi formats come
in. We can just buy Super Audio CD, DVD Audio and HDCD and these
supports have different characteristics, all advanced ones to
the CD... what do you think about these new supports and what
about DVD Audio: it will kill the stereophony? smile...
> New formats means better sound and that's always good news,
but formats are always in the service of the music, and I can
listen to a cheap cassette (or MP3!) if I have to and still hear
the music---by which I mean it's the music that counts more than
the medium---we still listen with our human ears and they have
not been upgraded for 40,000 years or so. And speaking of ears---yes
we listen in stereo (2 ears) and therefore I don't think stereo
mixes will ever vanish----I am into the surround aspect of 5.1,
etc ---especially for the film-viewing environment, as in that
situation it seems ideal to enhance the total surround environment.
If I always sat in a dedicated room to listen to music I might
like it there to but in general I find stereo sound more practical
in most situations. For instance we have refused to mix the new
SY record in 5.1---it's like doing the work twice and right now
we don't have the heads for it---and I just mixed a new Text of
Light record in Mono becuz it sounded better that way!
Michele > The sound of yr songs is structured on alternative
tunings, what are you looking for when you build, every years,
> Beautiful sounds, new sounds, familiar sounds, surprising
sounds, unheard sounds, old sounds, groovy sounds, comforting
sounds, meloncholy sounds, fierce sounds, all encompassing knock
you on the head sounds.........
Michele > Now,
after many years of experiments, you know in advanced where looking
for what you think? it's a never ending experimentation?
> No there is still a lot of searching and looking for new
things, but after so many years of experiments we have certain
discoveries we've found that we return to again and again. Both
are great fun---but it's ultimately the use of these tunings,
findings, whatever, that is where it's at.
Michele > ..and
about experiments and development, in witch way Jim contributes
at the sound of SY?
> He contributes as a 5th voice/sensibility/pair of ears. We
are a collective and things rub off in all sorts of directions.
We have developed a language of sorts amongst the 4 of us and
now jim is a part of the conversation.
Michele > We hope that yr conversation will be forever!!
Thanks alot Lee for yr availability, it was really interesting;
my last question is about the new SY record 'Nurse': have you
Lee > Our latest album, we're real proud of it--10 songs---the record is called & quot; sonic youth nurse& quot; not & quot; nurse& quot; ---when the cover paintings by richard prince are seen an understood the title will make more sense---the paintings are based on pulp novels each with 'nurse' in the title---i.e. 'surfing nurse', 'backdoor nurse', 'office nurse', etc.... There should be lots of info coming on our site about the album---it's due out june 8 and we will be touring everywhere, starting with australia in june...
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Feb/Mar 2004 electricity-good friend!
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