absolute value of noise
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Extremity Cassette
A generative audio piece by Anna Friz and Absolute Value of Noise © 2009

Extremity Cassette is a generative audio piece that imagines samples on a near-endless stretch of audio tape. Wound through a complex, multi-head cassette machine, the samples overlap with themselves, repeat, vanish and reappear. The magnetic nature of the machine itself picks up noises from the ether and mixes them with free reed and heterodyne sounds.

The piece imagines a prehistoric mechanism from the time before the emergence of water and organic life .. an ancient magical sound machine that loops and churns out a never ending, ever changing musical score. It works with the sounds of crystals, the creaking of shifting rock, and the magnetic resonance of the earth .. until one day the organic world is introduced .. then rust interferes with the workings of the cassette .. the sounds become progressively more erratic, and eventually it stops.

".. from a torn out seam there dropped an invisible spore, a spore so small that even a hundred like it could have been covered by a single grain of sand. And from this spore there hatched - at night, in the dust and ashes among the stones of the cavern - a white bud. From it sprang a second, a third, a hundredth, and in a gust of air they gave off oxygen and moisture, wherewith rust attacked the flagstones of the mirror cities, and imperceptible threads wound and wove about .. And a year did not pass, and they were stricken down. In the caves machines stood still, the crystal fires went out, a brownish leprosy ate at the sparkling domes, and when the last atomic heat had leaked away, darkness fell .."

- from "The White Death" by Stanislaw Lem.


Extremity Cassette (Take One) - recorded January 17, 2009.

AF - Theremin, Harmonica, Kazoo, Melodica | AVN - VLF Antenna and Receiver


A "Magical Sound Machine" for Art's Birthday - noon January 16th to noon January 18th, 2009, PST.

The piece was re-jigged and played for Art's Birthday 2011 as part of Audio Out at the Art Gallery of York University, January 5 - March 20, 2011.

A new version of the piece was recorded to two sides of a cassette tape for the Klang Canteen at Elysium Gallery, Swansea, Wales, an Art's Birthday exhibition, January 14-28, 2012.

A 40 1/2 hour version aired on Mobile Radio at the 30th São Paulo Bienal, November 2012. Mobile Radio is produced by Sarah Washington and Knut Aufermann.



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