[f_minor] Glenn Gould Unhummed

Robert Merkin bobmerk at earthlink.net
Sat Apr 2 03:35:14 MDT 2016

One of the things I love most about the GG community are the periodic outbreaks of hostility and ferocity between the Hummists and the Antihummists. And this won't be the first time the war was re-triggered by just such a re-mastering, or rumor of such a re-mastering, with the humming digitally removed or suppressed.

The whole kerfuffle says nothing about GG or music. It's rather a poll or census of a tiny, trivial aspect of the personality of each GG fan.

Okay, I'll come out of the closet: I'm a Hummist. The Antihummists and Hum Suppressors are jerks.

Thomas Stockham is credited with first digitizing recorded sound/music. His Soundstream process premiered with a reissue of the 1906 (?) Caruso recordings ( Caruso - A Legendary Performer, RCA 1976.) Analysis of this new way of storing sound showed that most of the unwanted noises weren't from the abuse of decades of time on the grooves pressed into Bakelite cylinders. They were instead chiefly from the primitive giant sound-collection horn into which Caruso and the orchestra had to shout their voices and instruments. These effects could be described fairly precisely numerically, and then mathematically deleted. Comparing RCA's previous (33 1/3 vinyl) release with the Stockham Soundstream vinyl release is startling.

So can we hose up the Hum? Sure.

Should we? Can removing something GG intentionally left possibily improve what GG left? Is there a quote or citation that suggests GG had wished to have that annoying humming suppressed or removed?

The kerfuffle raises another issue. Does the legal owner of a body of recorded music have the absolute and unlimited right to re-shape it as he/she/it wishes? A disco percussion track to GG might be a treat. Does anything stronger than hurt fan feelings exist to keep the owner from distorting the music from GG's original recorded state?

Massachusetts USA

P.S. & OT: I just saw and heard a BBC segment on UK's Aurora Orchestra. Just one aspect of their philosophy and performance grabbed my attention: The instrumentalists and conductor perform without music scores. Every note they play is in the memories of the musicians. From what I saw and heard, Aurora certainly deserves our attention and a New Thing Under The Sun award.

News, Global Warming, Mozart, Sports, Intergalactic Travel, sausages,
VOLCANOS!!! opera, PIRATES!!! Filth in Extinct Lingos,
Big Integers & BOINC: http://VleeptronZ.blogspot.com/
Remarkable Older Stuph: http://Vleeptron.blogspot.com/


  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tony Cimino 
  To: Discussion of the Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. 
  Sent: Friday, April 01, 2016 10:44 PM
  Subject: Re: [f_minor] Glenn Gould Unhummed

  First I have heard. 
  I love his humming. T

  Sent from my iPhone

  On Apr 1, 2016, at 3:45 PM, Pat <pzumst at bluewin.ch> wrote:

    Hey everyone

    Did anyone hear about this rumoured project by Sony Classical that they are planning to re-release some GG material without the humming and singing ?

    I forgot where the original source is but from memory they are using some nifty software similar to what AutoTune or Melodyne can do – find the singnal of the humming/singing in the mix or master tapes and then reduce or remove these “artifacts” digitally. I reckon some people (not me) would find that rejoycing.....

    Can anyone confirm that ?

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://ff0.org/pipermail/f_minor/attachments/20160402/9e6a14d5/attachment.html>

More information about the f_minor mailing list