Re: [rumori] more kinds of silence

From: Steev Hise (
Date: Wed Nov 07 2001 - 18:46:37 PST

Wed, 7 Nov 2001 found { brad brace } writing:

>* Jliat "Still Life #5: 6 Types of Silence" CD

yeah i saw a page about this guy and this CD, referred to me
by the same source that told me about the Rogalsky piece,
but i didnt think much of it. if you're familiar with the
way sound and digital audio works, this is all old hat. (Can
anyone say "Fourier Transform"?)

but to bring this back home, this reminds me of an idea for
a IP-infringement prank sort of project that i remember
discussing with the Evolution Control Committee many years
ago. I can't remember if whoever was going to do it ever did
it, but the idea was to release a CD similar to this one
with very simple strings of numbers on them, and then
copyright the "pieces". all digital sound would contain
these numbers so any music would be infringing.

dumb, but it's the only way i could make this relevant
again. sorry.


> $10.99 "This latest installment in the Still Life series
>trades the brevity and clarity of the previous two ('Jazz' and 'Rock
>and Roll') for a rather enigmatic, lengthy, and potentially
>destructive silence. "One of the fascinating things is that given the
>medium of CD (16 bit 44.1 khz) you can have upwards of 65536 types
>silence - all silent but in all the tracks there is different data!
>As an artist working in this area I find this weirdness intriguing.
>The permutations of the data are staggering as are the ideas
>associated in such very minimal works. For instance, by mixing short
>lengths of these silences, all the other sounds which you can hear on
>a CD are produced. Given that CDs are *just* numbers other things
>arise - just the first second of a CD has 65536 to the power of 44100
>variations - working through these you have the first second of
>any/all CDs From "My Way" to Beethoven's 5th! However this number is
>quite large - there are only 10 to the 79 protons in the universe! So
>although we can "hold" these CDs in our head - there is probably
>insufficient matter and time to make them all. This (still life #5)
>continues the series of works made by writing data directly to a PCM
>file. In this work there are 6 ten minute pieces made by setting all
>values in a track to the same binary values. There are 65536 possible
>values in all - and so this number (6) of potentially similar tracks.
>All result in producing silence - though all these silences are not
>the same. Pausing the playing of a track will show this to be so,
>for the data being played is halted and the CD system jumps back to
>zero - resulting in a click (if the value 'playing' was not zero or
>near to it). Interestingly this click is heard but is not actually on
>the recording - it physically doesn't exist! It is the interference
>of the continuos stream of data which causes the sound. Maybe
>cosmologically things are created out of similar emptiness, or a jump
>between two nothings. So each continuous set of binary values will be
>rendered by the CD player as a DC voltage - which could be dangerous
>to the electronics and speaker systems in some HI FI Equipment. This
>is because playing a silence which is based on a very high or low
>binary value at high volume will produce a high DC voltage in the
>system. This could cause overheating of speaker coils and other
>electronics." -- James Whitehead. Edition of 300 CDs in cardboard
>slipcases. edition . U.S. edition xi
>Rumori, the Discussion List
>to unsubscribe, send mail to
>with "unsubscribe rumori" in the message body.
>Rumori list archives & other information are at

Steev Hise, Infoserf
*Recycled Culture:
*Watching power flow:
*Democratic sound collage generator:
                     *** sig almost over ***
"Innocent civilians should not have been killed, but America and
other big countries must understand that people in
Palestine and Kashmir suffer like this every single day."
        -Hamid Ali, 18, student in Pakistan
"...dissatisfaction itself became a commodity as soon as economic
 abundance could extend production to the processing of such raw
            -Guy Debord

Rumori, the Discussion List
to unsubscribe, send mail to
with "unsubscribe rumori" in the message body.
Rumori list archives & other information are at

Home | Detrivores | Rhizome | Archive | Projects | Contact | Help | Text Index

[an error occurred while processing this directive] N© Sharerights extended to all.