T Bone Burnett reveals a whole new medium for music

The American producer hopes the technology will help to “reset the valuation of recorded music”

T Bone Burnett has been attempting to improve the quality of recorded sound for several years. Now, the producer has been testing his Iconic Originals technology with none other than Bob Dylan, the pair using Burnett’s new format to record some of Dylan’s biggest hits.

Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin' (Official Audio)

There is still a far amount of mystery around what form analogue reproduction will take – Burnett has described an analogue disc as “lacquer painted onto an aluminium disc, with a spiral etched into it by music”, but not much further information is out there. The technology marks a major milestone in the music industry, being the first major development in analogue sound in over 70 years. Not since shellac phonographic discs were replaced with polyvinyl plastic has there been another shift this huge.

“An Ionic Original is the pinnacle of recorded sound,” says Burnett. “It is archival quality. It is future-proof. It is one of one. Not only is an Ionic Original the equivalent of a painting, it is a painting.”

Photo credit: Jason Myers