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May 11, 2020

Recording is fundamentally wrong...

quote:
Recording is fundamentally wrong. Playing live is what it’s all about.


-- Jeff of Cowboy Junkies from “Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Session Revisited”

I just saw this documentary, heard the line, and it resonated.


This is pretty representative of Cowboy Junkies
Sweet Jane.
Blue Moon

And decades later
Trinity Revisited and Trinity Revisited
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May 16, 2017

Re: Recording is fundamentally wrong...

quote:
Playing live is what it’s all about.

He certainly has a point there, and I agree.

But I feel that recording, especially video/audio is a great tool for learning and improving your performance.
Your offspring might like having the recording someday too.
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Jun 6, 2005

Re: Recording is fundamentally wrong...

quote:
Originally posted by ST:
quote:
Recording is fundamentally wrong. Playing live is what it’s all about.


-- Jeff of Cowboy Junkies from “Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Session Revisited”

I ... heard the line, and it resonated.
It resonates with me, too.

Music, to me, is fundamentally an ephemeral transient event that encapsulates -- no, embodies, or is -- a "piece of life".

A recording, even of a live performance, bears much the same relation to the "living music" as a photograph or a video relates to the original "live" subject.

Those 'facsimiles' to the original may be inspiring in their own right, but should one ever try to pass them off as "the real thing"?

One doesn't typically assume that a photo captures more than just a small aspect of the original subject -- yet, with music we often equate a recording with the "reality" of music.

Perhaps that's a bit of what Jeff of Cowboy Junkies was hinting at with that statement.

==========================

Having written that, however, one has to wonder how it is that recorded music *does* seem to become 'alive' for so many people ... is Jeff's statement only true for performers?

Perhaps.

And perhaps, also, there is a process of listening to music where the listener re-infuses that "listening event" with the feelings and intensity which an original live performance might have also evoked.

A wrinkled, faded, slightly off-kilter photo can revive unexpected emotions for the subject captured in that photo... if one had a relationship with the subject of the photo, then the feelings for that subject can re-surface in spite of all the imperfections of that 'facsimile'.

So, too, perhaps the imperfections of a recording can evoke the feelings "projected" by the original performance -- if we are open to "listening".
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Apr 2, 2007

Re: Recording is fundamentally wrong...

quote:
Recording is fundamentally wrong

There ya go. Ban recording and maybe the clubs will have to go back to hiring live bands.

JD
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Jul 26, 2007

Re: Recording is fundamentally wrong...

Ahhh Grass Hopper - Is a bad band band better then a Steely Dan album? These are questions we must all ponder.
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Jan 16, 2006

Re: Recording is fundamentally wrong...

quote:
Originally posted by ST:
quote:
Recording is fundamentally wrong. Playing live is what it’s all about.


-- Jeff of Cowboy Junkies from “Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Session Revisited”

I just saw this documentary, heard the line, and it resonated.


This is pretty representative of Cowboy Junkies
Sweet Jane.
Blue Moon

And decades later
Trinity Revisited and Trinity Revisited


I disagree. I've personally found that recording, that is multitracking and trying to get the best possible performance, really quickens improvement in writing, vocal performance and musician ship.

I've found it to be the final step in writing a song and really polishing it.

The process up to the final process really improves me in all areas.

As I listen back to a track things become very obvious that could be better or tried a different way. Then when I go back to rehearsal I find playing the songs easier and they come out better because I've played every part of the each song numerous time, taken it apart and put it back together.

While live music may have more energy and with a crowd a lot of back and forth and off the cuff stuff, recording really polishes musical abilities.

Also, with a recording you hear a musical moment trapped in time as the artist intended it.
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Jun 6, 2005

Re: Recording is fundamentally wrong...

An interesting perspective, Ric.

What you're presenting is that the "process of recording" is a means to refine both the composition and the performance ...

I know that Cliff (a.k.a. Cliff-at-Bose a.k.a. Col. Cliff) (and others) have talked about this issue of "recording a live performance" vs. "creating recorded music".

It may come down to what your 'goal' is with respect to music:

-- are you seeking "perfection in the performance"? Perhaps the recording process will get you there most effectively.

-- are you seeking "uniqueness of life in the music"? Perhaps the recording process will hinder.
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Jun 30, 2004

Re: Recording is fundamentally wrong...

Ric,

I think Cliff feels that he is getting that final bit of polish through rehearsal before live recording. Of course that doesn't work for those of us who multitrack several instruments played by ourselves, does it?

More to ponder about this whole idea of recording versus live. I agree that in songwriting I really like being able to sketch out ideas on multitrack.

Tom
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Re: Recording is fundamentally wrong...

I find that multitrack recording enables an artist to look at their own music in a brutally honest way.

If the artist allows the process to happen, without it hurting their ego to bad and just giving up, they can come at the song from an ouside perspective. It ends up making it like the artist has their own producer.

Instead of just approaching the song from the perspective of just how they sing or play their instrument in respect to the rest of the band, you end up seeing the possibilities that hadn't occured before.

Don't get me wrong, nothing can replace the energy and off the cuff nature of live playing. I find that as an artist I play the same orignal with a different delivery just about every time. Multitracking allows me to hear all of my different versions and see which one I like best and would probably get the best response from a listener.

For vocals I can even molt different deliveries. For some songs I find I may alternately sing them a bit higher or lower or with different timbre or clean or raspy. Somtimes I molt these together and really find something special.
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May 11, 2020

Re: Recording is fundamentally wrong...

Hi everybody,

My issue is not with recording. It is when THE RECORDING is the ultimate goal. When it becomes the embodiment of what it means to be a musician.

To me:
Recording as a tool in any of the ways that this aids in creative process is great.

Recording as a tool to help someone improve his/her craft - of course.

Recording as a way to share an experience with others - sure we can't all be everywhere all the time.

Recording as the perceived ultimate proof that one is a legitimate musician - not for me.

It's taken a couple of days to think about this, and reading your comments above have helped.

It got me thinking about conversations with the audience and how those have influenced my perception of THE RECORDING.

I think that is different topic so I started one here:

Questions and Answers - the subtext - what have YOU heard?