Words In Motion
Spellbound - Vol IV Iss II
© October 1998

From Lyndsay S., Australia -
A few days ago I received Volume IV Issue I of Spellbound. As always, I am really impressed with the way you have produced it.
I was interested in Information Technology in the Entertainment Industry. It is a reprint and so is not quite up-to-date. If I remember correctly, Fairlight went bankrupt quite a few years ago. Another historical point: the first recordings were on cylinders wrapped in aluminium foil and later on wax disks and later still on acetate disks. Tape recordings came much later and were preceded for a while by recordings on reels of iron wire. If one dropped a reel on the floor, the tangles in the wire were usually a disaster, so I have read! The history of recording is fascinating. The latest innovation is the DVD (Digital Video Disk).
Iva mentions that sound is complicated. Something that many people don't know is that the pitch of a sound depends to some extent on its loudness. Many years ago when I worked in TV for live variety shows, I got complaints from the singer Diana Trask. She complained she was being put on the air "flat." The situation was that a band tape was being put on air and she was in the studio to sing the accompanying vocal. So that she could hear the band (without using headphones that would look bad on TV) the band tape was played at low volume to a loudspeaker near her. High volume would have caused feedback and other problems. She matched her pitch to the low volume sound from the band tape, and so she sang "flat."
Spellbound -
A big thank you to Iva's Uncle Lyndsay for filling in the "before & after" of Iva's Information Technology article (printed in Vol IV Issue I), and for explaining that it may sometimes be technology at fault if a singer sounds flat!

From Bernhard S., Nailsworth, SA, Australia -
The last issue of Spellbound said that Iva wasn't sure who was going to be producing the new album. This is a bit of a surprise to me, as I thought Iva was pretty determined to do most of that kind of stuff on his own from here on in. Is there any reason for this change of mind?
Iva's answer -
I'm outsourcing. It's just a different process than the conventional process. It's not the same as me sitting here controlling absolutely everything or doing everything, and it's not the same as somebody else being in charge. It's a case of everything that goes out of here gets experimented with by other people, and if I like it, I do and I'll keep it, and if I don't like it, I don't.

From Ed E., Wellington, Somerset, England -
Just a thought regarding compilations - instead of releasing any more (besides the Curios CD) - would it be possible for a live album instead? I don't know if Massive have any plans for either, but whilst I'd buy either, I'd much more enjoy a live album, whether it be from a single concert (even if it was one already released on video) or from various concerts.
Iva's answer -
A live album is one of those things that has been in the back of my mind for a long time, but it would be a really major undertaking. I wouldn't want to do it without putting a lot of effort into it, so I think it would be a big project. I think I'd want to go through everything that I've got and find the best of everything from the various periods rather than doing just one concert. I don't know how other people do it, but if I were going to do it, I'd want to make it a double album with a book. It would have to be a fairly big deal. I don't even want to think about that at the moment. Apart from anything else, I don't think now is the right time for us because I don't think there would be the sort of demand there could be in the future, and I only want to do one.
Ed again -
Interesting article on the Fairlight. Does Iva have any opinions on other famous users of the instrument such as Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel, both favourites of mine.
Iva's answer -
I don't really know about Kate Bush, having never really studied her. I did at some point buy Hounds Of Love and I can't even remember what happened to it. I must have listened to it twice. I think the famous album for Gabriel and the Fairlight was the fourth album, which was also the one that David Lord produced. It's a great piece of work, but sonically I find it a bit dull. I think David Lord would probably strangle me because he's a very hi-fi producer, but everything was a copy of a copy of a copy because of the way that Peter Gabriel works. So the net result is that I find it sort of dull to listen to - it's not a sparkly album. I think part of that has got to do with the fact that the old Fairlight was pretty low-fi in a lot of ways, which was forgivable because it was the first machine of that type.