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Council Rules: Viard Album Banned in City

27 Oct 05

Viard's album is said to employ 'cognitive therapy techniques' to affect mental performance when listening - and the Council doesn't fancy unleashing that kind of experiment on the public. Hesh Records, of course, is outraged. Viard himself is silent.


The City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to ban sales of the upcoming Viard album, The Silver City. The album has been embroiled in controversy after word has surfaced that the album uses controversial sonic cognitive therapy techniques, with an aim of improving cognitive function while the music is playing.

Council leader Camryn Scott said that the ban was "the only choice," given Hesh's reluctance to release complete reports on this alleged audio technology and its side effects. "The citizens of Perplex City are not test subjects in some misguided artist's attempts at experimentation," she said. "We find the very idea of this abhorrent and irresponsible."

Council member Roy Yolen suggested, however, that if Hesh were to turn over all of its research relating to the audio technology used, the council would be open to reconsidering its stance. "The point is, Hesh isn't giving its fans the opportunity to make an informed decision," he said.

Hesh representatives called the move "extremely disappointing." Said spokesman Kai Cinelli: "Viard and our production team have worked very hard on this project, and it's really a crushing blow to think that nobody will hear it. ... This kind of censorship is something I never expected to see in our modern city."

The initial uproar over the album came when rumours surfaced that the music uses embedded cognition enhancing technology, which can have detrimental side effects on a fraction of the population as a whole. Reports on test runs of this technology were given to the Sentinel by an anonymous source inside the studio. These reports were heavily redacted; further information from the source suggests that side effects could range from "temporary melancholy" and headaches, to outright psychosis.

Viard himself was -- as is typical of the elusive artist -- unavailable for comment.

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