[Dixielandjazz] Restoration of Art

Don Ingle dingle@baldwin-net.com
Sun, 18 Aug 2002 07:50:55 -0400

One should be careful what one prays for -- he might just get it. Case in
point, re: music sound restoration.
Using the recording technology of 1930, a group of musicians including Bix
made a record of "Barnacle Bill the Sailor." The record has been out for
many years and until more modern recording, enhanced  in high fidelity, came
along, no one noticed Joe Venuti's non-typical lyric addition. For 40 years
collectors and listeners had thought Venuti's gravelly voice had said
"Barnacle Bill the Sailor." With the sound cleaned up and enhanced in hi-fi,
it was learned that he had in fact said "Barnacle Bill the a**hole."
As I say, be careful what you ask for in sound restoration.
Make certain the ladies and small children are not on hand for the first
Don Ingle
----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen Barbone" <barbonestreet@earthlink.net>
To: "Dixieland Jazz Mailing List" <dixielandjazz@ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Saturday, August 17, 2002 5:57 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Restoration of Art

> Kash wrote: (polite snip)
> I'm all in favor of restoration, as long as it doesn't become the major
> attraction of the piece of art that is being restored.  (Is that a clear
> statement, or should I do a bit of restoration on it?)
> Restoration as I see or hear it is to bring the art, or recording back
> to what it would have looked like originally, or sounded like live,
> prior to being muted by the passage of time, (eg. paintings) or the
> primitive recording machinery of those early days (recorded music).
> Regarding art, The Sistine Chapel frescoes were dulled by candle smoke,
> and climactic effects as well as CO2 breathed out by humans, over a
> period of several hundred years. Prior restorations only served to
> reinforce the dullness of the colors. Now, a few years ago, a
> restoration took place that most experts say brought back the original
> brightness to the work. A vast difference to those who have seen the
> before and after.
> If, a process like Kash describes can restore sound (and why shouldn't
> that be possible?) then I eagerly await the restoration of all those
> early records. Not so much for stereo effect, but so we can hear tuba
> and drums, other than wood blocks, more clearly, and the other
> instruments more cleanly.
> Of course, for all I know that might defy the laws of physics. :-)   If
> so, we'll have to figure out a way to modify those laws.
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone
> PS. That's also a good argument for recreating the music on those old
> records with a contemporary band. An exact arrangement of "One Step" or
> "Livery Stable" or of those early King Oliver sides on Gennett, by a
> good band, is certainly worth listening to, if only to hear what the
> music really sounded like to those lucky recording engineers there at
> the time.
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