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Time-Lapse Phonography
February 25, 2007 11:26 AM   Subscribe

R. Luke Dubois' Billboard is a study in time-lapse phonography. Dubois digitally analyzed every #1 Billboard single from 1958 to 2005 and found a "spectral average" sound for each song. Every second of the piece represents one week in music history. The results are more interesting than you might think: compare the Beatles-dominated 1964 with the more processed, percussive sounds of 1997. Dubois has also created a time-lapse study of Oscar-winning movies. See also: "Chart Sweep" (scroll down to bottom of page). (via)
posted by roll truck roll (10 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
It would be cooler if the samples faded into eachother.
posted by delmoi at 11:30 AM on February 25, 2007


"It would be cooler if the samples faded into eachother."

That would kind of spoil the artistic point though -- that each moment in time corresponds to a moment in the past.

I know Luke slightly -- he's pretty amazing. That said, this isn't very exciting -- I grew tired before I clicked on the third sample.

But those academy award movies -- wow! They blew my mind!!!

The "Chart Sweep" reminds me of a K-Tel ad. :-D


The best along these lines we ever had was the program that randomly mashed up your itunes library. I made several of these and I love them -- they're still in my itunes library!

But I don't remember the name of it... what was it?!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:41 AM on February 25, 2007


This?
posted by roll truck roll at 11:43 AM on February 25, 2007 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure who's taking credit for that "chart sweep", but part one at least was produced for "The History of Rock and Roll", a syndicated radio series.
posted by evilcolonel at 11:55 AM on February 25, 2007


My first thought when I listened was that the sound textures reminded me of thursday afternoon
posted by vronsky at 11:59 AM on February 25, 2007


roll truck roll: That's it! Brilliant! "signature" was the missing word in my searches...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:01 PM on February 25, 2007


Every second of the piece represents one week in music history. The results are more interesting than you might think: compare the Beatles-dominated 1964 with the more processed, percussive sounds of 1997.

You know this is a hoax, right? All the samples are exactly the same.
posted by cillit bang at 1:42 PM on February 25, 2007


cillit bang writes:You know this is a hoax, right? All the samples are exactly the same.

I dunno, man, I heard a distinctly organ-like quality in that Animals House of the Rising Sun snippet from 1964!

And kudos once again to the ever-interesting WFMU, New Jersey's tireless providers of high-quality audio adventure!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:48 PM on February 25, 2007


I'm almost positive this is a double.
posted by Brainy at 7:28 AM on February 26, 2007


Is it? Sorry about that, I searched for everything I could think of. Feel free to flag.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:25 AM on February 26, 2007


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