11/24/11

20 years ago today

Today it is 20 years since Freddie Mercury succumbed to AIDS. I remember recording this song from radio to cassette tape after seeing the movie Highlander. Listening to this song over and over again in the context of the movie was one of those early "musical goosebumps" moments.


"The etymology of the word recording, meanwhile, tells us already that this thing which is not always already has to do with loss. Tracing this word back to its Latin root recordari, we understand that recordings are always imbued with a function of remembrance, intended to allow that which has passed to be again. This function was perhaps more present in the minds of the early pioneers of sound recording technologies. This is precisely what is suggested by Jonathan Sterne when he writes: 'If there was a defining figure in early accounts of sound recording, it was the possibility of preserving the voice beyond the death of the speaker' (2003: 287). But this function is present in all recordings and describes not only the past of all recording formats but also their future. It is a future haunted by the spectre of death, of an object or event that is no longer, but which it is the recording's capacity and function to make present again."
-Greg Hainge in Vinyl is Dead, Long Live Vinyl: The Work of Recording and Mourning in the Age of Digital Reproduction

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