Chip Interpretations (composition)

2011 Till Bovermann, Tom Hall

What is the character of discrete information? This multichannel sonic study explores the very nature of digital material and its representation in sound. The interpretation of data as code on a sub-semantic level incorporates the very basics of computing: a stack, a heap, an instruction set and a program counter. Using a software probe inserted into the fictional CPU BetaBlocker, we listen to the data as if it were raw material. By carefully selecting datasets, we carve out structures as compositional resources for electronic music composition and live coding.

For more in-depth information, please see the documentation on Till’s work on BetaBlocker.

Performance Practice

For sound distribution, we used DPL’s custom-built headphone performance system in combination with a four-channel loudspeaker setup. While the loudspeakers provided a spatiality in the room, the headphones (to be worn for the complete concert) created a narrow, intimate space. A switch on each individual headphone amplifier gave the audience the opportunity to select between two sound sets that were playing at the same time.


Performed on the 8th December 2011 at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK.


This work was kindly supported by the Digital Performance Laboratory (DPL), Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK and of course the MediaLab Helsinki.

One comment

Comments are closed.