So, I was listening to Kenny G’s Intelligent Design show on WFMU yesterday, and he starts playing a piece by Steve McLaughlin called “Run for Your Life.” The piece consists of all of the Beatles albums, from Please Please Me to Let It Be, played at eight times normal speed. The whole thing is just over an hour long.
About the time it got to the White Album, I decided to hijack a little of the audio and see what it sounded like if it was slowed back down. I used Peak DV to slow it down 800%. Hmm, that’s odd, I thought, it sounds too slow. I concluded that the 8x figure must have been (at least slightly) inaccurate. But when I tried other speeds, I realized my ears were playing tricks on me. After having been sped up and then slowed back down, the music just sounds slower. A lot of information has been discarded in that process, and the result seems to be a psychoacoustic illusion of slowness.
For your listening “enjoyment,” and I use the term loosely, here are three tracks:
- Revolution 1 – If you’re familiar with the original, I think you’ll agree this sounds as if it’s slowed down. But it’s not. It’s four minutes and fifteen seconds long, just like the original.
- I Will – Which has the advantage of being shorter.
Julia[Note: this audio removed upon DMCA notice from IFPI in 2019] – I think the effect is actually kind of beautiful on this song.
Kenny G said he’s going to play these on his show next week. I am going to be famous at last.