The Sound of Yesterday’s World of Tomorrow

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Most of my work incorporates recordings of unusual sounds or ambiances from daily life. The Cardiovascular Medical Unit piece started with a recording of my heartbeat that was done on the two track reel to reel. A second tape machine plays a collage that was assembled from other hospital sounds recorded at the end of March. A solid state sine wave oscillator is being gated by a vintage General Radio burst generator and 40s era RCA tube driven sine wave oscillator is being played through a guitar effects device with a pedal controlling amplitude.

The piece expresses the symbiotic relationship between man and machine in modern western medicine and the uncomfortable emotional state produced by a trip to the hospital.

In March of this year the Science Museum in London announced the results of a remix competition celebrating the works of electro-acoustic pioneer Daphne Oram. The track “DO3” took second place in the event that was judged by The Wire Magazine, DJ Spooky and Brian Eno.

Irish film maker Michael Dodds has just completed a short film using the February piece from 12FM.

7 Responses to The Sound of Yesterday’s World of Tomorrow

  1. Iffer Mitchell says:

    I love the title “yesterday’s world of tomorrow” it makes me think of the hope we once had and the dream of space travel. Space travel is a reality but the possibilities we imagined once were of colonies and settlements that included families. It’s nice to listen and imagine it once again.

  2. matrix says:

    A look back into the future all in the present. Atomic Shadow captures the art and beauty of sound. A friend of mine recently took some time off to spend at a Buddhist retreat. I asked him what he did. He said they spent much of their time meditating and just being. He said meditating was a lot harder than you might think. It wasn’t just merely allowing yourself to relax and “space out” but rather to let go of the past and the future and become aware of your being in the present. Focusing on the sound in Atomic Shadow’s pieces reminds me of this. Rather than listening to the music to escape, I listen to sound as it takes place in the present, focusing on the sound I am listening to here and now.

  3. Timo says:

    Cardiovascular Medical Unit – spooky and yet relaxing, a dreamy distant past or possible future yet to be, or not to be, depending on how well the cardiovascular unit fares. I like it.

  4. There’s a certain atonal elegance and beauty to the retro-futuristic music of Atomic Shadow that really demonstrates the feel of “yesterday’s future”. The use of vintage oscillators and signal generators fed through effects and tape machines is serious electronic music in it’s purest form. Great and inspirational work.

  5. Bill Woodson says:

    Cerebral yet visceral. Presently exploring the technological past in a non-nostalgic way to inform a future. Brilliant work.

  6. Brilliant work, as always!
    Love your heartbeat!

  7. Spider says:

    Fantastic!! See, I knew hospitals were good for something! Atomic Shadow is in the rotation now & I’ll purchase whatever I can from the label too (Hollow Sun Records)!!

    Peace,
    Spider