“A tree’s year rings are analysed for their strength, thickness and rate of growth. This data serves as basis for a generative process that outputs piano music. It is mapped to a scale which is again defined by the overall appearance of the wood (ranging from dark to light and from strong texture to light texture). The foundation for the music is certainly found in the defined ruleset of programming and hardware setup, but the data acquired from every tree interprets this ruleset very differently.”
From YouTube, to Pandora, to Spotify, streaming music is piloting our listening habits in fascinating new ways that both upend old hierarchies and recall innovations of previous eras. Eric Harvey explores how these developments are affecting ideas of taste, access, and ownership today—and what this shift means for fans and artists alike—in our latest Cover Story.
One of the original partners in Factory Records, Martin Hannett was the label’s best-known and most recognizable record producer. Known for giving Joy Division (and later New Order) their hollow, spacious sound, he also produced many other early Factory bands as well as Manchester acts like the Buzzcocks and John Cooper Clarke. He even taught Pete Hook and Barney Sumner to use a mixing board, thereby springboarding their own production careers. He remains the proud possessor of one of Factory’s more unusual catalogue numbers, FAC 61 (a lawsuit over financial matters), and his headstone declares him the creator of “the Manchester sound,” which, believe it or not, is a very real thing.