Algorithms for Electronics,
Fake Woodwind and Strings
USB flash drive (E176)
“I’ve been working on an algorithmic system for live
audio visual performance and composition for a few
years now. AFEFWAS (3) is a sequence of five frag-
ments of differing lengths and contrasting energies
which are recordings of its output. At the heart of
this system is a source of random data, in this case
generated using the Cauchy probability distribution,
which can be shaped by the performer both in real
time and by a careful choice of starting conditions.
This data source is used to create both the audio
and visual elements of the work.”—Tim Wright,
East Witton, April 2015
Audio mastered by Jacques Beloeil.
Tim Wright (E123)
Distributed via a USB stick, Algorithms for Electronics,
Fake Woodwind and Strings (Third Collection) is a five-
movement audiovisual work comprising geometric shapes
— predominately lines and circles—that periodically
materialise, shift and vanish, simultaneously with slow-
moving layers of the kind of timbres intimated in the title
(a clip can be viewed here). The relationship between
sight and sound is ostensibly clear but a persistent line
of ambiguity keeps one guessing as to the true nature of
their interactions (both of which are formed from the
same source of random data). Wright’s algorithms result
in swathes of warm ambience as well as rapid-fire faux-
chamber music-like episodes of imitation and counterpoint,
often underpinned by juddering slabs of bass. The fourth
movement is especially intense in this respect, focussing
on strings and revelling in some lovely collections of
frequency-clashing beats that become locked in place.
Simon Cummings at 5:4
Five pieces of audiovisual work segued into a single
track with a 22-minute running time, it’s classic Wright,
a multimedia extravaganza with truly eye-popping visuals.
The concept and methodology is technical to the point of
being highly scientific, but thankfully a priori knowledge
of the Cauchy probability distribution is not an essential
prerequisite for appreciation and enjoyment of AFEFWAS
as a work of multimedia art.
The music: dark, shifting drones, rumbles and chilling top-
end contrails crawl and scrape through galactic domains,
stretching out in all directions, expanding time and space.
It doesn’t sound like any woodwind or strings, fake or other-
wise, you’re likely to have ever heard. The sounds have
been heavily manipulated, resculpted, twisted and stretched
to form something entirely different, something that’s
sinister, unsettling, uncomfortable.
The visuals: not as synapse-annihilating as those on some
of Wright’s releases, such s as his 8 Switches, for example,
but nevertheless, the clinically incisive lines through over-
lapping circles which build ever-evolving vectors of Venn
diagrams and seeming optical illusions are striking. They
also serve to emphasise that this work exists at the point
at which art and science intersect.
Christopher Nosnibor at whisperinandhollerin.com