Director Tucker Walsh teamed up with The Barbarian Group, musician Matthew Dear and General Electric Acoustic Engineer Andrew Gorton to collect and compose thousands of audio emissions from the world’s most powerful machines. The result is this engrossing video and an original track of music titled “Drop Science.”
The electronic musician and DJ visited the brand’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, New York, to sample sounds from its many diverse machines. The musician spent the day at the facility, which he describes as being like a giant science lab, gathering bites from a wide variety of whirring, bleeping, vibrating, moving machinery. He wandered around freely, recording the sounds of the facility.
Once he had all of the bleeps and boops recorded on his device, Dear tinkered and toiled in his studio for nearly two weeks, sorting through the over 1,000 sound samples he’d obtained.
He wound up using the distinct whirring and beeping of an MRI machine, putting it through a granular synth sampling app: this stretched out the sound, making it more of a melodic musical note that sounded almost like an organ.
It is no secret that machinery often has a harsh, abrasive sound: something the average listener tries to tune out. With this in mind, Dear wasn’t trying to dissuade listeners. Instead, he was interested in challenging listeners perceptions of what music can be, while also making something sonically engaging.