“One resting and one awake. Catching loose electrons with my fingertips as they scurry away.”
I made this composition for the 2016 LOM Records compilation album Sensing Electromagnetics. It is made up of the electromagnetic emissions of two laptops.
When I taped inductive pickups to my fingers and explored these machines I was struck by the variety of noisy, animated sounds that emerged. It sounded like sonic weeds were growing out of the stark aluminum shells of the computers. These were the sounds of a deterministic universe of codes and protocols, but their patterns were never designed to be interpreted by human ears. Much of the sound that I hear underwater or in Earth’s ionosphere strikes me as similarly chaotic. These are sounds that might make sense to animals or other listening subjects, but once complexity exceeds a certain threshold they become more noise than signal to me – more music than text.