Jeff Tweedy dei Wilco, dopo aver pubblicato con il figlio Spencer il disco Sukierae (dietro il moniker Tweedy), interviene sul Guardian per dire la sua sulla fine del disco. Qualcuno ascolta ancora i dischi come si faceva una volta?, si chiede. E cioè: mantenendo il rituale del passaggio tra un lato e l’altro o, come nel caso dei doppi album, del passaggio da un disco all’altro?
I understand in this day and age there might not be many people who will listen to [the album] that way, but it doesn’t matter – because I want to listen that way. I’m not a curmudgeon, a luddite or anti-modern technology doomsayer. I just want to listen to the album and have a feeling that one part ,has ended, and now I can take a little breather before I listen to the second part. Or I can listen to the second part another time. It’s a double record on vinyl, so there are three breaks like that. I wanted it to have different identities artistically and the album format allows me to do that.
An album is a journey. It has several changes of mood and gear. It invites you into its environment and tells a story. I enjoy albums, and I assume that if I enjoy them there must be others who feel the same.
Dopo un po’ di ricordi d’infanzia, mescolati all’inevitabile nostalgia, ecco individuare in maniera del tutto pressapochista il carnefice della morte del disco: il compact disc:
The decline of the album began with the advent of the CD. The maximum amount of music on a vinyl album is 50 minutes over two sides. The CD format is much longer. I don’t think there are many pieces of music – my own records included – that can sustain interest over 40 minutes without a break, and leaping around from idea to idea for that amount of time gets exhausting.
CD artwork also reduced the album’s impact. If you’ve got a 12-inch album with a picture of somebody’s head on it, it’s the same size as your head. You can sit it up and talk to it. Not that I’ve ever done that; really, I’ve really never done that! But the White Album artwork is incredible. Having a white square in your room looks like there’s some piece of your world missing, that’s only really being filled by this music.
Sul finire dell’articolo si mostra parzialmente più positivo: forse non è tanto il formato ad essere importante, quanto il contenuto:
So does the album format matter? In one sense, I don’t know if it does. The crucial thing is that people keep making art. I just think the world’s a better place when people make stuff not to make a million dollars or to make them famous, but just to be creative. On the other hand, the album format matters, because it matters to me and I don’t think I’m particularly unique or special. If it means a lot to me, then it must matter to someone else as well, and if that’s the vocabulary or language we have to speak to each other, that’s to be honoured and that’s beautiful. There’s no reason to question it.
(foto Lubomir Panak via flickr)