Son of A Quad

From a technical perspective, I was approaching this project as a means to appraise 5.1 (so-called surround sound) as a viable alternative to stereo. From the standpoint of utilising the technology via its intended purpose (home cinema entertainment), it was not difficult to find the inherent limitations of a format developed with industry concerns in mind; namely, movie DVD sales and a music business intent on regurgitating back catalogues while pushing 5.1 as the latest, greatest, music delivery format. With respect to the latter development, some commentators were seeing a repeat of what happened with quadraphonic “hi-fi” systems in the early 1970s (something that turned out to be a doomed enterprise); hence 5.1 being disparagingly referred to as “son of quad.” This would seem to be suitable terminology for the title of a work that is more or less a parody of the medium; one in which various elements of the soundtrack (dialogue, foley, score) collide. Undoubtedly, owing to the very nature of the sound world and the events that unfold within it, listeners may assume there is a narrative, and perhaps the composition could be interpreted as a cinematic excursion (for the ears) involving murder, mystery and suspense. However, as we will see below, a very different agenda motivated the work.

Advertisements