22 APRIL, 2011
After many years of unsuccessful efforts, the researchers at IRCAM (Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique) finally identified the set of giant pillows through which the celebrated sound engineer Tony Faulkner recorded many CDs for the Hyperion label. The news of this amazing discovery spread like wildfire through the world of classical record labels.
Said Dr. Gunther Editmann of Deutsche Grammophon: "We tried for years to duplicate that uniquely muffled, fuzzy, and disembodied sound for which Mr Faulkner is so famous. Alas, no matter how hard we tried, our recordings still made the instruments sound somewhat similar to what they sound like in real life. Now, thanks to the brilliant scientists at IRCAM, we can finally guarantee that the sounds on our recordings will bear no resemblance whatsoever to any musical instrument you may encounter in the concert hall."
Dr. Editmann's enthusiasm was echoed by Nick Splicer of EMI Classics: "It is not only our new recordings, but also our extensive catalog of historical treasures that will benefit from Tony Faulkner's "pillow sound" technology. For example, in our many previous remasterings of Schnabel's Beethoven sonatas we used tons of filtering, re-equalization, dynamic compression, and other radical sound-altering methods. Yet despite our best efforts, one could still tell that Schnabel was playing the piano. With the new pillow-sound remastering no one will be sure about that anymore - just as no one is quite sure about the instruments played on Hyperion recordings."
Although Mr. Faulkner declined to comment, there are persistent industry rumors that he is trying to stay ahead of the competition by testing new materials through which to record music, including mattresses, rubber flotation devices, and heavy-duty thermal insulation.