Expensive art

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Expensive art

Most technology based categories of products do not tolerate or encourage art and individuality. Rather, they reward sameness and polish of existing art. Take computers, for example. The art in computers can be found in their packaging and peripherals but rarely in their performance. Yes we can have faster, slicker, more efficient but they all better do exactly the same thing or they wouldn't make it past first base. Let's put this observation in musical terms.

Most technological products resemble classical music more than jazz. In classical music perfection to the original score is highly prized. The art in classical music comes not from playing different notes than the original score, no, that is strictly verboten, but rather from slight variations from perfect. Jazz, on the other hand, rewards different notes and recoils at sameness. Jazz rewards mistakes in playing the instrument as long as those mistakes are in service of newemotion, new art, coaxed out of the artist's soul. Hit a wrong note in classical and people wince; perfection first and once achieved, let the art begin. Hit a wrong note in jazz and we tolerate waiting for the soul to emerge; to heck with the notes.

High-end audio design is more like jazz than classical. I like that. It's one of the few technologically based categories that rewards art over perfection. The mavericks in this industry are some of the most creative and artful people I know. More like musicians than engineers, high-end audio designers have soul.

Sure, as designers we want perfection, but not at the expense of art.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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