Daisy Bell

Ryan Page

In this digital mash-up recording, the artist has recreated the early 20th century song Daisy Bell. The song sits squarely within a history of the digital interfacing with speech synthesis/AI formats to produce new sound experiences; notably, here it references, and starts off from, how the song is used in the movie Space Odyssey 2001 as part of the computer HAL’s database. Through the compilation of various versions and recording instruments the musical piece/artwork here showcases how, symbolically, the translation and transmutation of voice and music across modes can produce the uncanny and force us to question what is essential, what is persistent, and what changes through different formats. It combines the voices of earlier singers and earlier modes of recording with new technologies for sound making as well as “voices that were never alive to begin with.” It explores the ontology of simulation and addresses how the digital engages questions of nostalgia and the uncanny.

Click this link to access Page’s full artist statement.

Ryan Page is a composer, performer, sound artist, engineer and Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work focuses on the nostalgic, uncanny aspects of digital simulation and exploration of the interstices between analog and digital media. His current research includes the design of hardware systems offering digital state recall and interpolation of chaotic analog systems for audio synthesis, the use of human flesh to convert 8-bit digital audio signals to analog, the design and creation of a modular synthesizer featuring a light-reactive case, photocell mixers, dirt and ash as audio processors, anachronistic methods of signal modulation/demodulation, and digital oscillators with hand-drawn wavetables..

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