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About this Piece

Composed: 2007
Length: c. 10 minutes
Orchestration: string quartet and 4-channel 1-bit electronics

I am interested in the threshold between the abstract world of computation and the physical world around us. Works scored for traditional instrumentation combined with 1-bit electronics are duets between musicians and code, exploring an interest in the foundations of electronic sound. The simplest electronic tones can be created by sending on and off pulses of electricity to a speaker, creating an oscillation at the desired pitch. These pulses are represented digitally in binary as 1-bit information, where a 1 or 0 signifies the corresponding electrical state. When working with 1-bit waveforms, data is equivalent to sound; no higher-level translation is needed.

In this piece, two spheres gently brush. Their interface: molecular filaments invisible to the naked eye yet varied, geometric in their spininess. These patterns interlock, communicate via barbs and valleys, exchange information, transfer entropy. A literature grows and dies during their contact, a libretto of the encounter. Surface meets surface, singly, briefly, in anticipation of the next vast divergence.

— Tristan Perich