Hecker – Synopsis Seriation


2CD – Editions Mego

How is it possible to decipher the most important auditory characteristics of a sound emission? During his career as a composer, Hecker has carried out several research projects. For this reason, in the past he used computer generated voices that mimicked the narrator’s voice, some synthetic voices that used deep neural networks, and also performed many synthetic articulations of the relationships between the textual content and the music. In Synopsis Seriation, he took his attention to sound a step further and reworked four multi-channel pieces from 2015. These pieces were analysed, decomposed and reconstructed using information geometry, a sub-genre of mathematics that includes subjects such as statistics and differential geometry. Here we must highlight the research of Vincent Lostanlen, a specialist in artificial intelligence to whom Hecker also refers in this project. A non-human brain-ear should therefore be the one to breathe life into the extensive corpus, a total of 2 CDs with more than 141 minutes of listening time. The release also includes a booklet where we can find some graphic representations of the analysis and manipulations of the sound during the composition process. It is difficult to say how much of this is due to the aesthetic inclinations of the author. At the same time, it is difficult to understand how certain parameters were set to achieve certain effects, or, to put it more directly, it is difficult to discern the boundary between what the “machine” did and what is the result of human application. How much does the analysis affect the audio content? Is it really possible, thanks to voice recognition techniques, to revise existing data automatically and produce new music? “Our auditory system is highly complex,” Lostanlen reminds us, “which requires the development of scientific protocols at different levels of abstraction: from closed physical models of sound synthesis to qualitative studies of musical interactions involving both humans and machines.” Synopsis Seriation, with its cuts, abstractions and basic glitch set, takes us back and forth between detailed audio samples, drones, distorted passages and cybernetic ideal worlds. It is the power of a transitional age like ours that once again tells us about the future and how much, for better or worse, what awaits us is surprisingly different from what we know today.


Hecker – Synopsis Seriation (Excerpt)