Citizen Bravo presents "The Terrifying Miracle of Recorded Sound"

Citizen Bravo presents "The Terrifying Miracle of Recorded Sound"

School of Culture & Creative Arts
Date: Thursday 11 April 2019
Time: 18:30 - 20:30
Venue: University Concert Hall
Category: Concerts and music, Films and theatre, Public lectures, Academic events, Student events
Speaker: Matt Brennan

Citizen Bravo is Matt Brennan, a dual citizen of Canada and Scotland. His debut album, Build A Thing Of Beauty, was recorded the album with the help of friends including Andy Monaghan (Frightened Rabbit), Malcolm Benzie (Withered Hand), Raymond MacDonald (Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra), and Pete Harvey (Modern Studies). Brennan also found inspiration in scavenging and manipulating orphaned samples from antique recording formats and integrating them into his songs.

The short film The Cost Of Music (directed by Graeme O’Hara) documents Matt’s journey making the album: disillusioned by prevailing attitudes about the disposability of new music and the decline of physical formats, Matt set out to record his own songs and release them in an unusual way: not so much a ‘concept album’ as a musical sculpture that explores the concept of albums as historical artefacts. In doing so, he discovers how the cost of listening to records has changed over the past century: while the economic cost of listening to one’s choice of recorded music has never been lower, the environmental cost has never been higher.

While the album will be available for online streaming, the sole physical copy of the album is a one-off interactive musical sculpture called the SCI★FI★HI★FI. Built in collaboration an electronics engineer (Peter Reid) and metal worker (Mark Reynolds), the SCI★FI★HI★FI is what its name suggests: a science-fiction inspired hi-fi system that can play seven of the most historically significant recording formats (Edison wax cylinder, 78 rpm disc, vinyl LP, cassette tape, compact disc, mp3 on hard drive, and streaming remotely from the cloud). To listen to the album Build A Thing Of Beauty via the SCI★FI★HI★FI is to make sense of recorded music not as a fixed, frozen object but as an historical event unfolding over time. How was recorded music valued before the advent of albums, and how might it be valued after albums are gone?

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