Never Can Say Goodbye

DuBoisBillboard is a 37-minute sound installation for iPod that utilizes all of the songs that have topped Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 chart since its August 1958 inception as source material. In chronological order the spectral average of each of the 857 songs plays for one second for each week the song was number one on the chart.   This work grows out of DuBois’ long standing investigation of “time-lapse phonography”, a sonic relative to time-lapse photography; just as a long camera exposure fuses motion into a single image, the spectral averaging DuBois uses reveals the average sonority of a piece of music.

A programmer as well as composer, for this work DuBois has authored software that produces a sort of average timbre, offering a sense of the average key and register of a song, as well as some clues about the production values present at the time a recording was made.