Damon Krukowski

Damon Krukowski is a writer and musician. Author of The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World, he has taught writing and sound (and writing about sound) at Harvard University. He was in the indie rock band Galaxie 500 and is currently one half of the folk-rock duo Damon & Naomi. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

  • Ways of Hearing

    Ways of Hearing

    Damon Krukowski

    A writer-musician examines how the switch from analog to digital audio is changing our perceptions of time, space, love, money, and power.

    Our voices carry farther than ever before, thanks to digital media. But how are they being heard? In this book, Damon Krukowski examines how the switch from analog to digital audio is changing our perceptions of time, space, love, money, and power. In Ways of Hearing—modeled on Ways of Seeing, John Berger's influential 1972 book on visual culture—Krukowski offers readers a set of tools for critical listening in the digital age. Just as Ways of Seeing began as a BBC television series, Ways of Hearing is based on a six-part podcast produced for the groundbreaking public radio podcast network Radiotopia. Inventive uses of text and design help bring the message beyond the range of earbuds.

    Each chapter of Ways of Hearing explores a different aspect of listening in the digital age: time, space, love, money, and power. Digital time, for example, is designed for machines. When we trade broadcast for podcast, or analog for digital in the recording studio, we give up the opportunity to perceive time together through our media. On the street, we experience public space privately, as our headphones allow us to avoid “ear contact” with the city. Heard on a cell phone, our loved ones' voices are compressed, stripped of context by digital technology. Music has been dematerialized, no longer an object to be bought and sold. With recommendation algorithms and playlists, digital corporations have created a media universe that adapts to us, eliminating the pleasures of brick-and-mortar browsing. Krukowski lays out a choice: do we want a world enriched by the messiness of noise, or one that strives toward the purity of signal only?

    • Paperback $19.95 £15.99
  • The New Analog

    The New Analog

    Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World

    Damon Krukowski

    A meditation on what was lost—and on what is worth preserving—in the movement away from analog music and culture.

    Although digital media have created new possibilities for music making and sharing, they have also given rise to new concerns. What do we lose in embracing the digital? Do streaming services discourage us from listening closely? In this book, musician Damon Krukowski uses the sound engineer's distinction between signal and noise to examine what we have lost as a technological culture, and to identify what is worth preserving.

    Krukowski examines experiences from the production and consumption of music that have changed since the analog era—the disorientation of headphones, flattening of voice, silence of media, loudness of mastering, and manipulation of time—and employs them as a lens through which to consider digital culture. When music went digital through such streaming services as Napster and iTunes, it was reduced to signal only, stripped of its analog-era noise. But the analog and the digital need not exist in isolation from one another, Krukowski argue; noise can be as communicative as signal, conveying time, location, and space. The New Analog urges us to reconsider the role of noise in our increasingly digital lives, to appreciate its continued relevance, and to plug in without tuning out.

    • Hardcover $24.95 £20.00