Slow Down, Justin Bieber!

If Justin Bieber were the love child of Diamanda Galás and Philip Glass, he might sound something like this. Actually, the clip was made by slowing down Bieber’s “U Smile” to 1/800 its original speed. Even teenage heartthrobs sound cosmic after remixing with a piece of open-source software called Paul’s Extreme Sound Stretch.

According to NPR:

Last week, a similar recording went viral, this time a stretched version of the theme from the movie Jurassic Park. Listeners compared it to the early work of Brian Eno.

As it turns out, almost any song slowed down to the extreme seems cosmic, from Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister,” to Eiffel 65’s “Blue.”

Aaron Ximm, a sound artist from San Francisco, tells Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz it’s because slower music forces our brains to “downshift” to a slower listening plane. “You realize you don’t have to be in a hurry — you can stay here for a while and take a look around with your ears,” he says.

Ximm hosted a listening event in San Francisco last year for one of the more popular examples of hyper-stretched music, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. A Norwegian artist stretched it to last an entire day and called it, “9 Beet Stretch.”

“It was kind of mind-altering in a way,” Ximm says. “At a certain point, I was aware of living in this slow or almost honey-like time.”

The first ten minutes of the second movement of Leif Inge’s 9 Beet Stretch played on Audiosurf from Steam.

9 Beet Stretch is Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony digitally stretched out to a duration 24 hours with no distortion or change in pitch, turning it into a strange, ambient soundscape.

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