Machine in the Shell

Acousmatic for 16 loudspeakers dome
21 minutes

Machine in the Shell is inspired by Apollo program astronauts who have dedicated their lives to exploring the unknown, realizing their dreams through a totally experimental machine.

The work is questioning the interactions between an autonomous generative device that produces the musical material for 16 channels with the hyperactivity of a computer system and the composer in his role of formatting and supervising the syntax.

Sound materials used explores different kind of machine’s sounds archetypes like pure sounds, noises, glides, glitches, mechanical iterations and so on with perfect parametric control on every aspect as well as some anthropomorphism of the machine as imagined by my human ears influenced by popular and sci-fi culture trying to giving it a language.

Finally, some on-board conversations of the Apollo 11 crew were used (NASA, public domain). I’m fascinated by space and those people who explores the unknown. The piece is largely inspired by the sci- fi literature and space conquest is a prolific field of how human dreams can be fulfilled by relying on machines

Technical note
Generative algorithms using a Turing machine, clock dividers, modulators, sequencers and oscillators have been developed in Reaktor to control the synthesis engine (FM, additive and granular). He uses approaches of computer-assisted composition but applied to acousmatic music.

A sound library of 16 audio tracks has been created, paying particular attention to spatial polyphony and polyrhythm. Then, the material was organized and recomposed by editing.