Mixtape: Sepand Shahab’s “Sounds over the Internet”

A long time ago in Italy, people wrote music for pipe organ in combination with other instruments. At the time, most organs were very large and they were built into big, reverberant churches. An interesting thing about these pieces of music is the wording of the titles. Instead of being titled, for instance, “piece for violin and organ”, they were titled something closer to “piece for violin over the organ”. This seems to imply that the sound of the instruments should blend together as one in the reverberant space of the church. Perhaps the other instrument or instruments were simply meant to be additional pipes of the organ.

This issue’s mixtape is mostly made up of excerpts of a church organ recital that I recorded recently. While working on it, I couldn’t help thinking about the very different ways in which it will also blend into other sounds and media that are happening in a vast continuum of real and virtual space. Calling the tape “sounds and the internet” sounds just as funny to me as “violin and organ” must have sounded to those Italian composers long ago.


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