machine read

Music text film.

This short music text film was made for an event organized by Terras based on Dick Raaijmakers 1978 essay 'The Kunst van het Machine Lezen' (The Art of Reading Machines). The piece is a reaction to texts from section 100-102 of Raaijmaker's essay, in which he discusses the tape recorder, typewriter and piano in the context of language, trying to find the common factors in their function. Taking the statements that Raaijmakers makes I convert them into questions and try and find answers to them by consulting my iPhone. First the questions then the answers are encrypted into music using a Polybios cypher and a just-intonated pentachord that does not repeat at the octave. The main question posed in the piece is whether music or a tone-system can be considered a language.

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performance history

  • 18 May 2012 - Premiere; Terras event, Perdu, Amsterdam.