Sleeps All Night

hardware:   Sun 3/280 workstation
software:   cmix

This was the last piece I completed on our Sun workstation at Columbia. I used to dial in from home, and to save on long-distance phone charges, I would use the (then relatively unknown) internet to connect up to Alan Croswell's office computer. From there I would dial out to our machine at Prentis Hall. What a scheme! We couldn't hear what we were doing, so I would often batch up a bunch of jobs, run them while I left to commute up to NYC, and then listen to them after arriving.

One of the people hanging around the Center those days (for our "woofmeetings") was Brett Masterson, who enjoyed hacking hardware in his spare time. He built a little box that would answer the phone and connect to the output of our convertors -- I wrote the driver software to support it. We could login remotely, then tell the machine to answer the phone in 1 minute, and logoff from our personal modems and make a call to hear our soundfiles. Oh the things we did! I had digitized a recording of our dog, the looch, and I used to tell people I had trained Loocher to answer the phone. This was back when technology was magic.

I still have all of the toy instruments used to make this piece, I think. Because the pitches for the pitch-shifting algorithm were specified as frequency multiples, the piece uses just-tuned notes giving it a nice archaic and fragile quality, at least to my ears. I could probably spout some new-agey nonsense about this and the spirit of life, etc. but I won't.

I also used Doug Scott's PLACE room-simulation algorithm to situate each sound in a different virtual location. I like the way it works at the beginning in particular.