Philip Julian – Low Activity Computer Solo

Philip Julian

CD – Free Software Series
Recorded in London and Berlin between September and November 2008, this work uses the induction coil of a telephone connected directly to a PC running GNU/Linux and a piezo contact microphone in order to pick up the electromagnetic activity inside the machine. Philip Julian’s “Low Activity Computer Solo” achieves a more direct correspondence between the conceptual aspects of the project and the machine in order to use both hardware and software as objects and instruments with their own peculiar characteristics. The traditional model of using a mouse or a trackpad as control devices, in order to “make sounds” with a computer according to precise routines and algorithms, may create – according to the author – “too much distance or a disconnection between the technology/instrument and the performer/user”. In contrast with much of the current computer music, which relies on a rapid succession of sequences meant to be played at a high volume, here the sounds are interspersed with digital pauses, to be enjoyed – at last – in the entirety of a non-mediated and essential performance.