“I would like to be your friend.” So says the lifeless subject of this electroacoustic improvisation, Bina. Her comments do not come from simple numbers — she is the downloaded consciousness of a real woman. It shares her organic counterpart’s hopes and dreams: she wants a life, she wants to walk in a garden, she wants to have friends to start a revolution. She scares me, yet fascinates me as her handler and a reporter deftly converse with her, eliciting ever more frightening comments.
For this piece of electroacoustic improvisation, I first took a simple melody and converted it to frequencies in hertz driving 2 simple tone generators. Using a range of ±2hz, I translated the melody to keystrokes using PD’s [key] object. I then chose from the four possible letters and created a pidgin story from the “only logical end” of sentient robots: “CAGE OM i id WOE @BACcy OF BAg iX Whit tuvA BEG POt waX O FAB CAd WOE BACCu BEAu.” This text slowly morphs to: “Caged, I entered a trance. I was my id. I only felt woe at the Baccy of Bag 9 — I only had a whit left. Tuvans. I begged over and over for a pot — I waxed and waned to zero. I was a fab cad. I only felt woe that I wasn’t in Baku with her beau.”
Typing this story becomes electroacoustic improvisation because of two factors: the act of typing itself is a personal thing — each person types at a different speed, hesitating on different keys in different ways, following or not following established typing methods, and complete sight-typing exercises with varying skill — and the Puredata patch heavily randomizes the input frequency. Furthermore, the panning and volume are controlled by the typist or a second party moving the mouse. Finally, samples of the interview with Bina are triggered by various sets of keystrokes by taking the mean of the prior four input frequencies and matching it.