The technological form we have already encountered: “the dials…the dials.” “Dial twiddling is in its limited way an interpretive act.” The reduction of performance, from public to private, from the sorts of manipulation required by a piano or a guitar or a string section to the sort of manipulation required by a Tascam console can seem to be a great loss, hard to distinguish from the onanistic regression that Adorno ridiculed in “The Fetish-Character in Listening”—those “countless radio listeners play[ing] with the feedback or the sound dial.” The dial is the barest index of interpretive will. For Adorno, that reduction is a falling away from the challenges of real listening; for Gould, the attenuation of effort opens up the possibility of analysis. For analysis to take hold, then, it needed more than technological support; it also required a temporal form: ABA, counterpoint, Romantic revelation.
» Nonsite Author: J. D. Connor
January 20th, 2013
Glenn Gould, Petula Clark, and the Possibilities of Pop