Date(s) - 02/24/2017
2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Digitizing Chopin: Grids, Filters, Networks, and Aliases
Musical images of Chopin at the keyboard mediate Romantic fantasies that at once reveal and disavow the mechanisms that bring them to spiritual life. In particular, the digital transmission of Chopinian signals via the keyboard’s grid has been liable to introduce technical artifacts that can be elucidated via phenomena associated with contemporary attempts to mitigate aliasing (the jagged presentation of smooth contours). This paper addresses the networks and interfaces via which Chopin’s music was filtered over the course of the century following its composition. Moving across time as well as the discursive registers of pedagogy, performance, recording, media theory, and cultural techniques, the paper pursues the notion that the realization of Chopin’s music has always depended on the inevitability of communicative distortion and the impulse to transcend such artifacts via the fine-grained technical manipulation of the very digital elements that gave rise to them.