STRACH

October 2020
Give the gentleman something cool, dear, can't you see he's wired his brain to the water pump and his ears to the generator ... stand back, those sparks! Back off, maybe he's too far gone ... coil a snake around him ... get that drink, boy, you are slipping, we need CONCENTRATION! ... yes, the music...
Hunter S. Thompson

After experimentations with both bought-and-built devices to convert scintillations in the electromagnetic field into audio, I found myself overburden with samples of bizarre otherworldly glitches and surreal digital clicks. I decided the only fitting use for these obscenely harsh timbres was an album composed algorithmically. Taking inspiration from the many pieces of music by Steve Reich (in particular his 1976 piece “Music for 18 Musicians”), I developed a programmatic system of overlapping and repeating these samples such that their sequential oscillations would phase in-and-out, creating a complexity through their disconcordant rhythmic patterns. While the programmatic nature of these pieces might suggest that they were composed deterministically, in fact each was arranged live and improvisationally using the TidalCycles environment, which allowed me to orchestrate each looping sequence like a keyboard wielding conductor.