After hearing Murlo’s play his edit of a Chrono Trigger tune at New Atlantis, we got talking about music from alternative realities and came up with this theme.
I really like the idea of using music to portray other worlds; since the music is created in our world it becomes almost metaphysical and abstract. Brian Eno wrote on his piece in the Other Worlds Exhibition that ‘we can’t resist imagining space as a sonic experience, translating our feelings about it into music.’ Although the mix isn’t all about space, I think he makes a really good point on our desire to use music to make sense of a reality different to our own.
I’ve taken inspiration from a few types of ‘Other Worlds’ for this mix, with space being the main one. I visited the Other Worlds at the Natural History Museum (which was a total coincidence by the way) exhibition over the Easter break (this is also where the show artwork comes from) and included some field recordings from there. I included some recordings from the NASA Voyager missions around Saturn’s rings (1hour 1 min) and also an audio sample of the frequencies of our solar system (18 mins). I play a really powerful tune by Greg Manta called Pluto (so fitting) at 41 mins
I’ve also included samples from the films Interstellar (26 mins) and Signs (1hour2min). Signs used to scare me a lot as a kid and I used to be really into aliens so it was fitting to bring them in!
I was listening to a lot of Vapourwave stuff around the time I was doing research for the show so I’ve included a lot of that in the mix. I really like how the internet has fostered a whole movement/genre of music; I would consider the internet as another world too. ‘Nobody here’ (27 mins) is also really fitting to the whole loneliness in space feeling, I think it has quite a dystopian sound too.
At 51mins is a Celtic ‘Journey through the Elven Forest’. In Celtic mythology the Otherworld is considered to be the realm of the dead and the home of the deities and other powerful spirits. After that I play the tune from the Windmill in Zelda – Ocarina of Time (games being a whole other world of course). I used to play that on the N64 when I was 7 years old and go into the windmill just so I could hear the music!
Massive thanks to Murlo for the guest mix on this one!
When me and India first chatted about this theme I came up with idea of different worlds in terms of size and environment. I wanted to go from the tiny to the massive, and have it all kind of emphasise the different worlds within the ones we know through sound.
Because the way I made the mix it will be quite difficult to tracklist it, so il chat loads in rough time stamps about why its there. As a narrative the mix roughly goes through from microscopic to interplanetary, so that where it begins.
00: The sound of the Higgs Boson:
The guys at pan-European GÉANT network put together a piece of music that was using the data from the Atlas experiment at the Hadron Collider. The process was called “Data Sonification”, and it used the data from the experiment which discovered the Higgs Boson and transcribed it to melody. I used the midi notes and ran it through some of the VST’s I use on ableton.
2:06: Sound of an Atom:
This is another piece of music I constructed straight into the mix. The grinding background synth you can hear is actually the sound of Atoms Bonding. Professor Philip Moriarty from Nottingham University (shouts to east mids) made an experiment that attached a microscopic piece of silicon to a tiny tuning fork and bounced it off a silicon/silver piece at a sub atomic level, its kind of mental but the noise you’re hearing is an actual chemical bond happening.
4:00: The sound of DNA
Using a similar process to the Higgs Boson song track where the data is data transcribed into melody, this time I came across a youtube user “heyyjune” that made a piece of music from DNA replicating. (I’ll add the youtube link at the bottom). I took the notes and again passed it through my own sounds and added some strings.
5:20: This is ambience from inside a womb ft a heartbeat.
6:45: Insect Life! The next section is music I put together in the mix, features samples of bees and cicadas.
8:35: Hawks and Crows: Another section of music I made, basically changing pace of the music as the animals get larger and faster.
10:50 Humans. This section focuses on people, and its where I naturally thought to spend the most time in the mix. I wanted to take this opportunity to put some music in that I personally listen to to escape. heres the tracklist:
Murlo – Furies Call
Chrono Trigger – WCTEND (Murlo fix)
Shigeo Sekito – The Word II
Odeko – Setsuko
Kenji Kawai – Chant 2 Ghost City
Various samples from Atalas V lift off, Earth’s message in morse code of “Hi” and radio waves that surround earth audible to us called the “chorus”. Theres a ton of stuff on NASA’s website so take a listen.
28:35: Kirill Pokrovsky – Divine Transcendence
31:58: The sound of stars. This sample is of our sun vibrating. Its pitched up to make it audible however as the frequency is super low.
32:30 Paul Warner – The Interplanetary Voyage To Arcturus And Other Compositions
I thought this would be a fitting song to go out on because there’s a ton of emptiness in this track, but clusters of notes and melodies as well. If I had to eject from my spacecraft and just float off I’d be fine with this playing through the helmet