for years i have dwelled in darkness, seen only the shadows cast on the walls of the cave. finally i have been awakened.
yes, that’s right. i just downloaded audacity.
how did i ever survive without the ability to record multitrack harmony in the privacy of my own room? without balance control, without auto-generated click tracks, without zoom? it’s like word processing, or digital cameras. all those things that make life just a little bit easier. i love it. i played with it for hours today.
but lately i’ve been thinking.
years and years ago, my sister and i used to make cassette tapes. we’d start off singing, then lapse into joke telling, which invariably devolved into mutual insults (notably, “you’re so stupid you don’t even know what nine times nine is!” “yes i do, it’s 81!”) and fighting about who would get to hold the microphone.
clearly it wasn’t a perfect system. but i wonder if now we haven’t gone too far. i can delete my words with the stroke of a key (and have done, multiple times, in this sentence alone)– no messing with typewriter tape and backspace keys. i can erase unflattering pictures of myself, and conceal blemishes. i can tweak and change and re-record my voice until it sounds perfect.
in fact, if i wish, i can create an entirely mediated representation of myself. and that is the person people will see, when they look at me. the person people will think of, when they think of me.
i plan to continue playing with audacity, wearing makeup, and typing on computers. but… it’s almost frightening how much reality we are delighted to forsake.
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