Before the Flood – A Junto/SETI sound project

Before the Flood

This Disquiet Junto assignment was to combine three field recordings from artist Charles Lindsay, the head of the Artist in Residence program at the SETI Institute, to explore and express notions of perceived techno-organic intelligence and done in conjunction with .


Step 1: Consider what it is that Charlie is exploring in his work: “I’m thinking about evolution, entropy, sentience, and the complex signatures of intelligence: what microtonal soundtrack would best express the micro and the vast, the field and the matrix, what we call nature and what we call machine, in unity, as music or as sound?”
Step 2: Download the three tracks recorded by Charle that are in this playlist on SoundCloud. The first track was made on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica, rain-forest ambient sounds caught with a parabolic microphone at nightfall. The second was made with a hydrophone at dusk amid the Bunsby Islands in British Columbia. The third was made at the D-WAVE2 Quantum Computer at NASA Ames.
Step 3: Follow this request from Charlie: “Please process, merge, and mix these tracks to seven minutes total. Imagine the final track looping indefinitely in a sound installation in a museum or gallery environment. This use of sound in controlled space is something I’m very interested in, as a real time, real space tool to blend so-called realities. Imagine dream images, much the way our mind seems to, glitches and all. I look forward to what you come up with, and thanks very much for your interest.”



Uploading each of the three tracks in turn to a granular sampler (software: Ambient) and recording the results of my sound experimentation was the first step. In thinking about this project, I considered the obvious environmental concepts raised in the choice of field recordings: from rain forest to ocean by means of the technological advancement of the quantum computer. Without overstretching this environmental motif, the oceans overwhelming the technology overwhelming the natural world was a powerful theme and this is the order I pulled the arrangement together with. The sound fragments were collated in Logic in this order with little further processing being necessary. I felt there was enough of the original – albeit granulated – sound coming through to give the listener a trace of the original field recordings.


More on this 213th weekly Disquiet Junto project (“The Assignment: Combine three field recordings from artist Charles Lindsay to explore and express notions of perceived techno-organic intelligence”) at:…complexsignatures/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

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Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

The photo above is an edit of the cover of Charles Lindsay’s forthcoming book, Carbon, more on which here:…lindsay-carbon

And here are details on a MASS MoCA exhibit he will be participating in. It begins May 28, 2016:


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