R. Luke DuBois



R. Luke DuBois' Billboard is a composite of all the Billboard #1 Hits from 1958-2000.

DuBois analyzed all 857 songs digitally, and created a "spectral average" a sonic summation of all frequencies in the song for each one. He then allocated each song 1 second for each week it was #1 on the charts. The resultant 37-minute-long piece contains beautiful washes of sound, serving as a unique chronicle of the history of US pop charts and the songs' continually-changing longevity, tonality, and production.

The enhanced CD offers a Quicktime version of the song, with text indicating which hit song is being processed at each moment.

"I didn't write this music, and I didn't curate this music. I'm just figuring out a way to present it for people to listen to."
-DuBois on NPR's Studio 360

"R. Luke Dubois could be a strange man. He could also be a genius."
-London Times

"The most awesome thing we've heard of, ever. Time-lapse phonography. Yeah. We just learned how to turn the light off on our iPod." - Gothamist.com

R. Luke Dubois on Timelapse:

For the last couple of years I've been thinking a lot about musical time and the sonic memories we take with us after listening to a piece of music. The technique of phonography (the act of recording sound), allows us to not only disembody an acoustic event from its source, but also to take it into the timeless context of the recording, where we can consume it in any place, in any time, in public or private, over and over. This not only changes how we listen to music, but also radically increases the amount of listening we perform in our daily lives. I thought it might be interesting to try to find a way to compress sonic time, not simply by speeding it up, but by using statistical averaging of the sonic information in the sound in a way that preserves what I feel to be many of the cues that we need to appreciate musical detail.

Time-lapse phonography is the name for this technique, which collapses sounds into smaller frames of time than they originally lasted, much like a long-exposure photograph can compress a sequence of visual events into a single image. This process generates an overall impression of the sound fed into it, blurring and fusing its features into singular, sustained, and very rich tones. This record documents three pieces made using this technique, drawing on source material from the rich aural documentation of the 20th Century (the first century to really have such artifacts).

Hope you enjoy.


For more information about the composer, visit the artist page for R. Luke Dubois.

For more information about this release, click here.

May 30, 2006
Cantaloupe Music
R. Luke Dubois