0.01s: The First 1/100th Second of 1-Bit Symphony - Tristan Perich

December 17, 2014
5:00 - 7:00

We’re hosting a launch event with contemporary composer Tristan Perich on the publication of 0.01s: The First 1/100th Second of 1-Bit Symphony. The conceptual art book expresses the computational processes behind his 2009 composition 1-Bit Symphony, an electronic circuit housed in a jewel case and played through an embedded headphone jack. The publication is released under Perich’s own imprint, Physical Editions, and coincides with the five-year reprint of 1-Bit Symphony, now back in stock! Join us for a launch and a short talk with Perich Wednesday 5-7 PM.

Perich’s 1-Bit Symphony is a dazzlingly low-fi electronic composition in five movements on a single microchip. A complete electronic circuit utilizes on and off electrical pulses, synthesized by assembly code, to manifest data as sound. The device treats electricity as a sonic medium, making an intimate connection between the materiality of hardware and the abstract logic of software.

Digging even deeper into the basic operations of computation, Perich’s new book 0.01s captures the inner workings of 1-Bit Symphony over the first hundredth of a second after it is switched on. In just 0.01 seconds, its processor executes 80,000 computational cycles, enough information to fill a 695-page book with austere tables of numbers and machine language, beautifully chronicling the way computation works.

Tristan Perich, a composer and visual artist, has printed this processor simulation in mesmerizing detail, along with the complete source code of 1-Bit Symphony, its memory contents, and an instruction set defining the core commands that Perich used to program its music. Variations of these same basic instructions form the foundation of every computer, from our cell phones to our web servers. By visualizing these processes on paper with a minimalist elegance, Perich brings us face to face with the internal mechanics of digital technology.

0.01s: The First 1/100th Second of 1-Bit Symphonyis available here

1-Bit Symphony is available here

Tristan Perich’s (New York) work is inspired by the aesthetic simplicity of math, physics and code. The WIRE Magazine describes his compositions as “an austere meeting of electronic and organic." 1-Bit Music, his 2004 release, was the first album ever released as a microchip, programmed to synthesize his electronic composition live. His latest circuit album, 1-Bit Symphony (Cantaloupe, 2010) has received critical acclaim, called "sublime” (New York Press), and the Wall Street Journal said “its oscillations have an intense, hypnotic force and a surprising emotional depth.” His award winning work coupling 1-bit electronics with traditional forms in both music (Active Field, Observations) and visual art (Machine Drawings,Microtonal Wall) has been presented around the world, from Sonar and Ars Electronica to the Whitney Museum and bitforms gallery.

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