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RE: Humming, DSP & musical reductionism

I am intrigued by the fact that, although we all know (from many sources,,
including most prominently his own writings and interviews) that it was
virtually an article of faith for GG that the final recorded output was an
idealized, scrupulously edited artifact resulting from splicing of numerous
takes, or insertion of specific corrections or emendations (such that the
final version most likely was not identical to any single, "live" take), we
somehow regard the preservation of the integrity of his humming as a
sacrosacnt aspect of the recorded product.  Maybe that's because the editing
of the piano portion of the recording was under GG's aegis, while the
attempted elimination of the humming was imposed by outside forces, but I
still think our sensitivity to the preservation of the "humming" element is
worth pondering. Also -- perhaps my assumption is incorrect; it would not
surprise me if GG himself edited his own humming to fit his concept of the
final version.

Regards -- DB

-----Original Message-----
From: John Hill [mailto:jphill@home.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 10, 1999 10:10 PM
To: Anne M. Marble
Cc: f_minor@email.rutgers.edu
Subject: Re: Humming, DSP & musical reductionism

Anne M. Marble wrote:
> On some of the recordings, GG sounds as if he is choking or gasping
> for breath rather than humming. I wonder if those are the infamous gas
> mask hums? Or the results of some other (failed) hum-damping
> experiment. Thanks, I'd rather hear the humming.
> And yes, he probably did wind up humming louder. Just to bug the
> engineers, perhaps?! ("And he didn't even have the decency to send the
> gas mask to the dry cleaner when we were done...")

Y'know......it's a perfect complement for the glove stories, the pill
the air conditioning stuff, those impromtu photo sessions with Hunstein,
the endless piano tinkering experiments, etc.  Great stuff for a publicist.