Notes on The Album as a Cultural Unit

- other cultural units: a film, a book; a play; a waltz; a portrait; a river...

- the album contributes to the idea of the 'sound object' (embodied sound)

Established by the 33rpm LP, the 45min album has come to feel like a square meal; the 70min possibility of the CD makes this a large meal or one that breaks down into servings or helpings. The iPod, like the cylinder or the 78 and 45 rpm gramophone records, returns to giving us pieces of food - we choose the size of the meal ourselves. There is the possibility here of losing the art of a good meal cooked by somebody else (other people's cooking always tastes better).
The shape of the album has been so established it feels like a natural form - but it isn't. Now, when releasing material, record labels have a choice about duration, presentation, use of chance or external factors, linearity etc.

an album whose components change over time
an album with some fixed material; some fluid material
an album that responds to the time of day
an album that melts over time (i.e. eventually dissipates so you don't own it anymore)
an album that sometimes has three tracks, sometimes has twenty five
- and so on (develop & expand on this list)

'Works of Friction' album - an album of scraped surfaces/specially built scraping devices etc.
Kevin's palette story
Stones etc. with Steve Thorpe
Walls & Floors

- see also 'rethinking albums' in the Motile area
  (This page - all work in progress)
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