Monday, June 7, 2010

Concerto with Dot Matrix

Old is gold. Once again this proverb is rightly proved with Mutek Electronic Music Festival. The festival is organized in Canada from June 2-6, 2010. Architect and installation artist Thomas McIntosh and composer and sound artist Emmanuel Madan has redifned the relationship between technological systems, culture and human experience in conspicuous ways. “Symphony for Dot Matrix Printer #2” will be performed to coordinate the operation of a variety of rapidly clacking dot matrix printers to produce musically fascinating sounds. Madan and MacIntosh have gathered as many dot matrix printer as they can and carefully auditioned each of them. Some of them print a lot faster, some of them print slower, some have low rumble sounds, some of them are more prickly. The duo vigilantly assembled the printers to make an orchestra.

Each printer is paired with an old PC, all of which are networked to a file server. At the beginning of the performance, each computer downloads the text it will print from a file server. Each then waits for instructions from another server, an old Next box in this case, for when to print some text on its printer. The PC is the musician, the text file is the score, the printer is the instrument, and the server, which instructs the PCs at the precise moment when to print a section of their files, serves as the conductor. Those hearing any given 10 seconds would associate it as nothing more than office noise, but a few minutes' exposure reveals amazing achievements of rhythm, harmony and composition.

Our society is fueled by the ideas of unending advancement. The archaic equipments can be readily used for a range of purposes. We have to think that how we are going to reuse the waste products even as ingredients to our progress. The “Symphony for Dot Matrix Printer” throw the leading light to this idea. This June the world is waiting to welcome the amazing achievements of melody, composed by the genius duo which open up new doors and ideas of tapping unused and abandoned computer equipments that can be readily used for other purposes.

Contributed By:
Rik Das
(Globsyn Business School)

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