[microsound-announce] Markus Jones - send & receive (new online ep on con-v)

ubeboet ubeboet at gmail.com
Thu May 21 05:16:09 EDT 2009


Questioning what kind of sound could possibly be heard when sending an
e-mail, whilst on a journey across a network and whether the sound differs
when you receive an e-mail or when any form of data is being transferred
across a Network.

A New Musical Environment

The opportunity presented itself when an IT friend and I were having a
conversation about his place of work and invited me to pop along and record
the potential sounds. Not wanting to miss the possibility of investigating
further, I spent the next few days, equipped with a number of recording
tools sitting in an enormous network server room. My initial thought was
that of complete astonishment! I couldn’t quite get over how noisy the space
was! I perhaps ignorantly always imagined that it was going to be a very
tranquil space, with just the discreet sound of a small fan and the
occasional bleep. The vast amount of noise was mainly due to the number of
cooling fans required to prevent the servers from over heating. Never really
wanting to capture the sounds of cooling fans (perhaps I’ll save that for
another project) I started focusing on the light sources from the many LED
lights, using a number of different photocells, and to capture the actual
sounds being transferred across the network I constructed an audio/ network
cable that allowed me to connect to both the server and my laptop using
Plogue Bidule and writing a MSP patch that recorded to one soundcard when
data was being sent and to another soundcard when the data was being
received. This method allowed me the option of manipulating in real-time
either sound source whilst the data was been transmitted.

The Sound

Seemingly a collection of simultaneous granular sounds, altering in
frequency, tone and timbre, and with very little uniformity. A signal is
received from the unpolished and altering sound. Once captured, it was then
expanded through forming sequences of a coarse sonic progression and with
the aid of Bidule it was possible within real-time to manipulate and begin
to structure.

The Completed Work

The final piece is comprised from 16 different servers and from 1200
different ports, collecting close to 16,000 sounds. The first section of the
piece is the sounds heard when the data is being ‘Sent’ and the second half
of the piece is the perceived sound of the data being ‘Received’.

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