“One of these days it will come to pass that someone will present us with… something like a box within which melodies would be fixed and retained, the way the camera fixes images,” explained one French photographer in the 1860s, over a decade before the first phonograph was invented.

Kronos Quartet The Kronos Quartet. Photo © Jay Blakesburg

It would be so effective, he said, that “a family, I imagine, finding itself prevented from attending the opening of a Forze del Destinoor an Afrique, or whatever, would only have to delegate one of its members, armed with the phonograph in question, to go there.”

Recorded music is now ubiquitous. But is this the ideal state of affairs? Can recorded music – reproduced as a commodity, on demand, a thousand times over –
truly capture the experience of music in our lives? They are among many questions examined in a “live documentary” set to receive its Australian premiere at Melbourne’s International Arts Festival in October.

A Thousand Thoughtsfollows the New York-based Kronos Quartet’s groundbreaking career across decades and continents. Written, directed and edited by Sam Green and Joe Bini, it had its world premiere at...