Professor | University of Oslo
Kyle Devine is Head of Research and Associate Professor in the Department of Musicology at the University of Oslo. He is the author of Decomposed: The Political Ecology of Music (MIT Press 2019).
It’s about the history of what recordings are made of, and what happens to those recordings when they are disposed of. “I focus on three materialities—shellac, plastic, data—which correspond to the main commercial recording formats since 1900: 78s, LPs, 45s, cassettes, CDs, audio files. Common sense suggests that the history of recorded music has been a progress of dematerialization—an evolution from physical discs to invisible digits. Decomposed shows that recorded music has always been a significant exploiter of both natural and human resources, and that its reliance on these resources is more problematic today than ever before.”