In all kinds of forms of contemporary art, duration has been an important concept. But particularly with social practice, or so-called socially engaged art, the idea of duration forces us to think about art in relation to everyday life because art often is a framed experience. It's limited in it's temporal scope. But we all know that life just keeps flowing and continuing. So, for many artists who wanted to confuse or blur those distinctions between art in everyday life, works would become longer and longer, and have a more kind of challenging duration element. There is one such piece that we thought we'd focus on, which is the Dream House. Back in 1979, two artists, La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela, they decided to make a sound and light piece as an installation that was just going to exist in the room. Marian worked on a very specific lighting design and La Monte Young arranged a series of oscillators, synthesizers, so that the sound appeared to hang in the space. And it's basically been running ever since the late 70s. And so, this challenges all sorts of ideas about how sound exists in the world, how long a sound piece can be. The actual experience of walking in the room means that as you move around the space, the acoustic properties means that the sound is constantly shifting even though a sustained tone is being held just because of room acoustics. But then equally, it interrupts this idea that music is a commercial thing that should be bought and sold, that should be under three minutes. They're saying, "Music doesn't have to change. Music could just stay the same and they can exist in this place like architecture." We're always bringing the acoustic, and just generally the experience of sound in conversation with the digital and the electronic. And as we were discussing Dream House, it's important to kind of recognize how new technologies have created perhaps the territorialized experiences of duration. And so, streaming is probably the best example of that, right? Yeah. Absolutely. When I came up, it was listening to a record, start to finish, or a CD, or a tape, or seeing a band perform, DJ perform, where you got exactly what they wanted to hear in that order. With digital streaming, everything changes. It can actually be harder to listen to an album in it's entirety using a streaming service than it is to just surf different sounds. So, on the one hand, with audio streaming, you've got this digital super abundance. You can listen to anything you want endlessly all the time. But on the other hand, that notion of plotting and narrative that duration allows the artist to work with and the audience to enjoy, that gets seriously challenged by streaming environments. And there's also sometimes this conflict, right, between the experience of streaming or it's physical existence and metadata, right? How we access the streaming and what we know about it. Yes. Do any interesting conflicts come to mind with this? Absolutely. And maybe the easiest thing is on the streaming service, you can usually see the front cover of an album, but not the back or the liner notes are. Which is to say, when you get music and a physical media, often it will have all the information that the artist wants you to know, the songwriter, the studio it was recorded in, any notes they might want to share with the audience. But with streaming, more often than not, you're only getting the audio and if you've met the most basic of information, the name of the performing artist, the name of a song, the name of the album. So, what that means is that a lot of the original context of a song can't make it and it can't exist in the streaming medium. So, there's this real tension between knowing where a song comes from, and what the artist might want you to know about it, and the ease of access that streaming allows. For Jace, this idea of sampling has also changed quite a bit over the decades, right? Now, we think of copy, paste, and the ease of like just pressing a few buttons. It's true. But for groups like Public Enemy, this was almost like it was a manual craft literally. Exactly. You listen back to the beats made in the 80s and it sounds very fresh and energetic, but the compositional process was extremely painstaking, very sort of primitive electronic tools that they were using to put it all together, so it's really a work of patience and studio refinement. And of course, that has all changed as you can copy and paste in our phone, as copy and paste has become just almost the default mechanism for sharing images online for example, or manifesting yourself in digital networks. And for many of these groups, performing live was essential and remains essential. But what this process of sampling also strengthen was the notion of the studio itself as the musical instrument or the sound instrument. Is there a particular genre or kind of context in which you think this idea of the studio as an instrument to have a particular strength? For me, it really kind of blossomed in the golden era of 1970s Jamaican record recording studios. Artists like King Tubby and Lee Scratch Perry, they were had a very basic rudimentary equipment and they would record songs. But then, it's on separate channels, but then they would say, "Hey, what if we start removing parts? What if we start creating echo box and delay units to add subtle sound effects to use what was formerly a full object, creatively subtract elements, and mix the dub version of that? " And so, this was this first moment of saying, "Okay. The musicians have left, but I'm working in the studio still. How can I reuse and reinterpret this material using subtraction, using ghostly trails?" And they really changed the way studio producers around the world thought of what could happen in a studio. It wasn't merely constructing a song and recording. You could actually use subtraction and other sort of sideways techniques to develop. One of the tools that has come out of this studio as an instrument and is used and abused a lot in our days is the tool of Auto-Tune, right? And you've written about this, not much to say about it. If you have to choose like two examples that give us a bit of the two extremes in which this auto-tune can be used, what would you say they are? Okay. Yes. I mean, first off, we should say that auto-tune was invented by Andy Hildebrand in 1997 to correct out of tune notes. The idea is that if you sang a notes slightly out of key, Auto-Tune could sort of almost magically go in and bend that note back, so you wouldn't need to re-record it. So, for the first year, people did it as purely corrective. But then, starting with Cher's song Believe, her studio producers realized that if you cranked up one knob, turned another knob to zero, Auto-Tune created a really fantastic and strange electronic sound effect on the voice, which was very innovative. And so, people have run with that. So, my favorite example of the corrective Auto-Tune has to be Billy Joel singing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. It's unclear whether or not he knew it was on, but you'll hear him start to go slightly out of pitch, and then you'll hear underneath his voice goes kind of robotic with a kind of sour lemony aspect to it as the Auto-Tune kicks in. Say, can you see by the dawn's early light? What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight. And as you can hear, it's subtle, but very, very present. There was a huge uproar online after this aired. We wanted the natural voice and we got this strange robot. But the people who are using Auto-Tune as a corrective, as a way to enhance pop music, they take it to the other extreme. They are very interested in how all sorts of melodic movement can actually provoke the software into sounding even more, more wild. And one of the places where that tradition of cosmetic Auto-Tune the strongest strangely enough is in remote Berber, Moroccan weddings. So, here's an incredibly popular wedding singer in Hafida and you get to hear her voice. And this is a typical, otherwise conservative, wedding song from Morocco from about eight to 10 years ago.