Sunday January 03, 2016

Finding the ghost in the MP3

The inspiration for Suzanne Vega's "diner on the corner" (also made famous by the TV show Seinfeld.)

The inspiration for Suzanne Vega's "diner on the corner" (also made famous by the TV show Seinfeld.) (Ryan Mcguire)

Listen 6:42

Composer Ryan Maguire finds musical inspiration in sounds that are lost. Specifically, he's figured out a way to make new music by isolating the musical "ghosts" that are normally taken away when a track is compressed into an MP3. His project is called The Ghost in the MP3.

The first piece of music Ryan created came from the musical ghosts in Suzanne Vega's song Tom's Diner. It's an apt choice -- the song played a role in the original creation of the MP3 format. Ryan calls his ghost trackmoDernisT, which is an anagram for Tom's Diner.

Suzanne Vega's 1987 acapella version of Tom's Diner.

Which then became a hit in 1990 when remixed by DNA.