Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded MusicHD
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Music has been a constant in human history, an intermingling of voice and instrument that for all its local variation and increasing sophistication nevertheless endured in more or less the same form for centuries. Then came recording––and music was forever transformed. Soundbreaking, an eight-part event television series, traces this ongoing sonic revolution, and explores the nexus of cutting-edge technology and human artistry that has created the soundtrack of our lives. Featuring more than 150 original interviews with some of the most celebrated recording artists, producers, and music industry pioneers of all time, Soundbreaking charts a century's worth of innovation and experimentation, and offers a behind-the-scenes look at the birth of brand new sounds. From The Beatles’ groundbreaking use of multi-track technology to the synthesized stylings of Stevie Wonder, from disco-era drum machines to the modern art of sampling, the series highlights the dynamic tension between the artificial and the natural––between the man-made and the god-given––and explores the way in which that tension has continuously redefined not only what we listen to and how we listen to it, but our very sense of what music is and can be. In the end, Soundbreaking makes us hear the songs we love in a whole new way, and illuminates the sonic alchemy by which the music we listen to becomes a fundamental part of who we are.
|1||HDClosed CaptioningVideoThe Human Instrument||Celebrating the most powerful of all instruments – the human voice – this episode of Soundbreaking surveys the range of ingredients that go into a perfect vocal track. At once the most fundamental component of a song and the most challenging to capture, the vocal track is the product of a complex collaboration between performer, producer, and sound engineer – a titrate of artistic commitment, compelling concept, and technical wizardry that, at its best, turns a lyric into the soul of the song. Featuring rare studio footage of some the world's most renowned vocalists – from blues divas to suave crooners to rock star screamers – the show considers the gamut of tricks and techniques that can both enhance and alter the human voice, and explores the ineffable emotional quality that makes a vocal track truly great.||47:21||$3.49||View in iTunes|
|2||HDClosed CaptioningVideoThe Recording Artist||Soundbreaking begins where a recording does - at the intersection of inspiration and execution. There stands the enigmatic figure of the record producer, the person charged with the critical task of both realizing an artist's vision and capturing it for posterity. Profiling some of the most accomplished and revered producers in the recording industry, Episode One offers a study in contrasting styles and approaches: between the inspired guidance of George Martin in his work with The Beatles and Phil Spector's dictatorial insistence on his signature sound; between the gentle coaxing with which Rick Rubin brought Johnny Cash back to greatness, and the fierce creative independence of artist-producers such as Joni Mitchell and Prince. In the process, The Recording Artist underscores the way in which any music recording is the product of a delicate and infinitely variable balance between man and machine.||49:31||$3.49||View in iTunes|
|3||HDClosed CaptioningVideoPainting with Sound||This episode chronicles a watershed event in the history of music: the moment when the recording studio itself effectively became an instrument and gave rise to sounds that could never be reproduced live. Beginning with the advent of magnetic tape and multi-tracking technology, and charting its evolution from the four or eight tracks used by The Beatles and The Beach Boys, to the sixteen and twenty-four track productions created by Pink Floyd and Fleetwood Mac, to the digital innovations that today fuel the work of artists such as Beck, Bon Iver, and Radiohead, Painting with Sound traces the birth and development of a new art form - one wholly distinct from what throughout all prior human history had been meant and understood by the word "music".||49:21||$3.49||View in iTunes|
|4||HDVideoGoing Electric||The next episode in our series tells the story of the most elemental force in recording - electricity - and the musical revolution it sparked. Highlighting the way in which electricity has been harnessed and channelled to create new and never-before-heard sounds, Going Electric traces both the chain reaction unleashed by the invention of the electric guitar and the evolution of synthesized music. From Delta blues to Chicago blues to The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, from Stevie Wonder and The Who to EDM, Soundbreaking looks at the process by which science and engineering becomes sound, and reveals the power of technology to continuously redefine what we mean when we say the word music.||46:55||$3.49||View in iTunes|
|5||HDClosed CaptioningVideoSound & Vision||This episode examines the once - preposterous notion that music is a visual art form. Chronicling the era in which MTV forged an indelible and inextricable link between recorded music and the newly emergent music video, Sound & Vision considers what it means to see music as well as hear it. Offering unprecedented exposure to artists with a knack for the form – Michael Jackson, Madonna, Billy Idol, the Eurythmics – MTV turned singles into smash hits and musical performers into international celebrities. It also created new expectations of musical entertainment and imposed new burdens on recording artists. Tracking the music video from MTV to the internet, telling the story of how a one-time marketing tool became a powerful mediator between artist and audience, and illuminates the music video's role in the popular music of today.||49:52||$3.49||View in iTunes|
|6||HDClosed CaptioningVideoFour on the Floor||If the vocal track is the heart of a song, the rhythm track - the beat – is its body. It is the sonic element that taps into the most primal part of us and makes us want to move. Four on the Floor breaks the beat down, and examines the endless experimentation that has taken place in its core, the very bedrock of all music. Charting the progression of the beat from drum and bass to beatbox and beyond - from Little Richard and James Brown to disco and EDM – listen in on the ongoing dialogue between dance floor and recording studio, and captures the ever-evolving process of building an irresistible beat.||49:39||$3.49||View in iTunes|
|7||HDClosed CaptioningVideoThe World Is Yours||Soundbreaking looks at a musical revolution that was not only inspired by recording but born from its history: the art of sampling - a kind of musical equivalent of Adam's rib. Beginning with the pioneers of hip hop (Afrika Bambaataa, Chuck D, Rick Rubin), this episode tracks the way in which the practice of borrowing fragments from existing records created a new genre - a potent musical form that emerged from the margins, up-ended the establishment, and set in motion a controversy over copyright that has yet to be resolved. As we survey the development of sampling and its multiple, varied incarnations over the years since, exploring the complex sonic landscapes which, by their very existence, pay tribute to the art of recording itself, and examines the eternally blurred line between theft and homage.||48:59||$3.49||View in iTunes|
|8||HDClosed CaptioningVideoI Am My Music||I Am My Music, shifts the focus away from the creation of music to the experience of listening to it, and to the formats that have shaped and ultimately defined that experience. From vinyl discs to the cassette tape, the CD, and the MP3, each generation has had a piece of musical media to call its own - a way of listening that determines not only how and where we listen, but also the manner in which we collect, store, and share the music we love. What was once an almost tactile experience - a matter of cover art and liner notes and record collections that encapsulated our identity and even telegraphed it to visitors - has now become a blizzard of 0's and 1's, a kind of listening that is at once more intangible, more private, and arguably, by virtue of our nearly limitless access to history's entire catalogue of recorded music, also far more varied than ever before. What remains unchanged is the fundamental miracle of recorded music for the listener: it is music that is ours to command and control. We have come to understand the true meaning of that miracle: we listen to what we like when we like, and the music we hear entwines itself with our daily lives and then our memories - until, at last, it becomes an essential part of who we are.||49:10||$3.49||View in iTunes|