Canadian pianist Glenn Gould would have loved the notion of computerized grand pianos. Notorious for rejecting live performance in pursuit of studio perfection, Gould's Goldberg Variations are a testament to his recording prowess. Yet, according to software entrepreneur John Q. Walker's TED Talk, not all audiophiles accept that studio production has secured complete and total optimization over musical output. Especially with respect to older, scratchier, and poorly mixed recordings, some still regard studio work as a stop-gap measure for the kind of experience only a live performance can give. Still, despite this seemingly anti-tech attitude, it may in fact be technology that restores live performing capabilities to long-departed performers.
In his TED seminar, Talking Heads frontman David Byrne exhibits an acoustical awareness that might surprise his fans. Stemming from self-awareness in his own music that suggested mixed success across diverse music venues, Byrne stresses the importance of acoustics and characterizes acoustical engineering as "sound architecture," demystifying the long-held views of audiophiles that, talent aside, acoustics can make or break a performance.