I’ve been listening to the newest entry in the Bob Dylan Bootlegs series, Fragments: The Time Out of Mind Sessions. The centerpiece here is a remixing by Michael Brauer of the whole Time Out of Mind record. Dylan has long been dismissive of Daniel Lanois’s production of that record – inexplicably, I think, because it’s one of the coolest-sounding records I’ve ever heard – and I was very curious about what Brauer would do. Turns out that, with the exception of one or two songs, especially “Can’t Wait,” he doesn’t change it all that much. Indeed, he was unwilling to do so: “I was told to make it sound like more of a singer-songwriter record. I told them, ‘I’ll do this, but I’m not reinventing it. I don’t want it to be a completely different thing.’” In some cases I didn’t even notice a difference between what I was hearing and what I remembered from the original – a record I know very well – though I’m sure that if I had done an A/B comparison the changes would have been more obvious. I feel that the project would’ve been more worthwhile if the approach to production and mixing had actually created “a completely different thing.”
C. S. Lewis, from The Discarded Image:
At his most characteristic, medieval man was not a dreamer nor a wanderer. He was an organiser, a codifier, a builder of systems. He wanted ‘a place for everything and everything in the right place’. Distinction, definition, tabulation were his delight. Though full of turbulent activities, he was equally full of the impulse to formalise them. War was (in intention) formalised by the art of heraldry and the rules of chivalry; sexual passion (in intention), by an elaborate code of love. Highly original and soaring philosophical speculation squeezes itself into a rigid dialectical pattern copied from Aristotle. Studies like Law and Moral Theology, which demand the ordering of very diverse particulars, especially flourish. Every way in which a poet can write (including some in which he had much better not) is classified in the Arts of Rhetoric. There was nothing which medieval people liked better, or did better, than sorting out and tidying up. Of all our modern inventions I suspect that they would most have admired the card index.