Last week we made our way to Proud Camden for the launch of their collaboration with Sony on an exhibition called ‘Studio to Stereo’. This is a show that brings together iconic music photography and Sony’s innovative hi-res audio technology, to bring to life some pivotal moments of recording history. Curated by Alex Proud and presented by DJ Tom Ravenscroft (BBC 6 Music), each of Proud’s infamous stables plays host to a different music icon, from Coldplay and Bob Dylan, to The Doors and Tame Impala, by way of Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd.
Alongside intimate and unseen photos of each act in the studio, Sony has laid on various devices playing re-mastered tracks from the associated albums- music landmarks such as The Doors’ LA Woman and Coldplay’s X&Y. The idea is that the Hi-Res Audio technology allows for the music to sound as if it’s fresh from the studio, showcasing subtleties apparently missed the first time round (one label noted that when recordings are converted for CD, only 3% of the original sound quality remains.)
Recapturing this ‘lost magic’ is a bold ambition, and on some tracks it was definitely more successful than others. However, no-one can argue that this show isn’t an exciting sensory experience. Alex Proud writes that he wanted to showcase “the different and unique ways that artists set themselves up in the studio […] the rooms they choose, the way they set up the instruments and spread themselves across the space, the clothes they wear and the look they project while they’re recording, it all has an effect on the end sound”. Seeing these historic photos on display, with the songs playing full-blast and the moody red lighting of Proud Camden overhead (a venue with so much musical history of its own), the exhibition came together to brilliant effect, doing real justice to the legends on the gallery walls.
Here are FAULT‘s exclusive highlights from the show.