punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Frozen in time

One of the stupid things I do is when I have heard a song enough times, I try and picture the moment that the recording happened. What does the room look like? Is the band there? Or just their tracks? Is the artist isolated in a booth, or singing in the same room as the band, wearing big headphones, and singing into a pantyhose over a hanger in front of their mic?

What does the studio look like? Is there a half-eaten pizza on a table near an overflowing ashtray? Is someone's girlfriend sitting barefoot on an old couch, sipping a Jack Daniels, and bored after take #23 got aborted because there's a hiss on the bass player's amp no one can get tack down? Are the walls paneled with fake knotty pine, or is there professional sound-absorbing foam? Is it a private studio in someone's house or some studio in an officer building also containing a clinic and a travel agency?

What did the singer do that day? Did they get up, like we all do, tired or are they anxious about today's session? Are they sober? What did they eat recently? What other mundane aspect of this person's life are now silently frozen in a moment, to be played over and over again on the radio, until every person who was there forgets?

There's a song by a group called, "The Beatles," called "A Day in the Life" made in the late 1960s. It's pretty famous with my generation. The end of the song is three pianos hitting the same E-major chord simultaneously. The sound of the final chord was manipulated to ring out for nearly a minute by increasing the tape sound level as the vibration faded out. Near the end of the chord, the recording levels were turned so high, that on good digital recordings you can hear the sounds of the studio, including rustling papers, the AC unit, and a squeaking chair.

Frozen in time.
Tags: dumb thoughts, music
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