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  • on 21.06.2015
  • at 08:00 AM
  • by Kevin Hind

Buika is the best 0

Earlier this week I was at the launch of a friend’s excellent book about music piracy. The book goes into the nitty-gritty of how the MP3 file was first developed, through a painstaking process of figuring out how to compress recorded sound without the smaller file sounding any different. (This, of course, permanently changed the music industry.)

Sounds made by instruments like violins, guitars and drums were straightforward to shrink down, but the human voice proved extremely difficult, because its sound is very complex and because our ears expect to hear that complexity.

This was many years ago, and they figured out how to compress the human voice by working on a few bars sung by the backing singers on Arlo Guthrie’s song “Alice’s Restaurant.” It’s a good thing they didn’t have to work on a track by Maria Concepción Balboa “Concha” Buika, because the scientists would probably have given up and nobody would have gotten all of that great pirated music.

Buika’s voice comes to us laden with centuries of feeling: pain, joy, loss and hope. Everyone should hear her music.

Continue reading on Africa Is a Country

by Elliot Ross

Photo Credit: Flickr/Alejandro Diaz

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