In 1998, geophysicist and flautist Dr. Andy Hildebrand seemed to have transcended the limits of the human voice. He made Auto-Tune, “a box that could make [anyone] sing in tune,” and his invention was a hit: producers prized it, studios bought it, and Auto-Tune quickly became ubiquitous in pop music production and beyond. Provenzano will give an ethnographically-grounded history of digital pitch correction technologies and the kinds of vocalities, production practices, anxieties and innovations that have bloomed, and withered, around them.
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This event is part of a series of Digital Alchemy Talks at Design By Cosmic, probing the intellectual and ideological histories of art and technology.
Catherine Provenzano earned her doctorate in ethnomusicology from New York University in 2019, where she completed a critical ethnographic account of digital pitch correction softwares (Auto-Tune and Melodyne), and their development and use in US Top 40 and hip-hop. She has conducted ethnographic research with software developers, audio engineers, music producers, and artists in Los Angeles, New York, Silicon Valley, and Germany. Catherine is examining racializations and genderings of digitally-mediated voices and the ways these intersect software aesthetics and techniques of signal processing. She attends to the dimensions of skilling, labor, and emotion that shape musical production and listening. She is also a singer, songwriter and performer under the name Kenniston.
Manicule Digital Alchemy Design by Cosmic
Digital Alchemy Talks at Design by Cosmic supported by Jean-Marc & Rebecca Jot.
Thank you to Design by Cosmic for hosting the Digital Alchemy Talks.
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