[ISEA2011] Paper: Chad Eby – Duration and Dancing Bears: Halberstadt’s Cage, Inge’s Beethoven, Zimmer’s Piaf and Pittsinger’s Bieber


This short paper is a meditation on the technology, impetus, and cultural resonance of time-stretched audio.  From the lead-weighted keys and reconfigurable organ being used to perform 639 years of John Cage’s As Slowly as Possible through Hans Zimmer’s cinematic manipulations of Edith Piaf, to the digital alchemy of Paul’s Extreme Sound Stretch that was employed last year to transform Justin Bieber’s U Smile into 35:29 of lush and blurry ambient textures, a variety of tools and practices now exist to drastically alter the tempo of music without significantly disturbing its pitch.  What are the technosocial motives for the current heating up of slowed down sound?  Who benefits from these greatly elongated soundscapes?  And, in the context of the near instantaneity of the Internet, what does it mean?

  • Chad Eby  is Assistant Professor and co-Director of the Facility for Arts Research at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, USA. He is currently a guest researcher at KTH (Swedish Royal Institute of Technology) in Stockholm working in the area of semantic light and predictive content delivery.

Full text (PDF) p. 756-761