“She Blinded Me With Science” by Thomas Dolby (1982)

21 12 2008

Forget having a beer with politicians, I’d much rather raise a couple o’ pints with artist/pioneers like Thomas Dolby.  Not only did he make some great music which is near and dear to my heart, but he was a vanguard of audio technology which we all take for granted today.

In 1982, when his debut album, “The Golden Age of Wireless,” was released, few people were making “electronic” music.  For one, the technology was very primitive and untested.  There were no presets or templates for Mr. Dolby.  His sounds and samples were painstakingly created, equal parts art and science.

Secondly, there was a pretty negative attitude about electronically-created music, that it could never sound natural (and thus “good”), and purists turned their noses up at it.  But Mr. Dolby’s music helped change that.  Somehow, despite the technical challenges and uncharted waters, he managed to create a great variety of terrific music which would convert even the most hardened music snobs.

So when you hear today’s music, with its drum loops and orchestral samples and synthesizers, raise a glass to Mr. Dolby, thanking him for all those endless hours tinkering in the basement.

Just a final thought, sweetheart, but an important one, something I want you to know.  I think you’ve always understood how important music and the arts are to me, but I’m not sure I’ve impressed upon you my reverence for another human achievement:  science and research.  Some of the best of our species have spent their lives trying to advance our knowledge, and we would still be living in caves if not for them.  There has been an “anti-science” vibe in this country lately, and that’s just insane.  Along with artists, scientists are my heroes.  Hands down.  There should be an Oscar ™ ceremony for these folks.

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