What Is Our Actuality?


“What Is Our Actuality?”

The sonic foundation for “What Is Our Actuality?” is the voice of continental philosopher Michel Foucault, lecturing at UC Berkeley on the topics of Kant, Enlightenment, historical archaeology and power (its construction, institutionalization, technologies etc.).

Other sound sources are numerous (a partial inventory provided below).

“What Is Our Actuality?” was improvised on the Grand Holocaust Keyboard, Deep Space Version 17, the evening of January 25, 2017.

The engine of the Grand Holocaust Keyboard (GHK) is programmed in Max/MSP, and the GHK’s primary controller is a qwerty keyboard programmed for control of synthesizers internal and external to a computer. External synthesizers are made in Portland, Oregon and Russia–a selection made in pursuit of a sound that blends the sonic aesthetics/characteristics of Pacific Northwest and Iron Curtain musical electronics.

Compositionally/structurally, “What Is Our Actuality?” is performed retyping passages of Issue #2 of “The Black Panther: World of Wakanda.”

Partial Inventory of sound sources:

– Motion picture soundtrack for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

– Motion picture soundtrack for Lone Wolf McQuade

– Yasunao Tone, “IA Deviation”

– Sounds of the motion picture The Cat from Outer Space

– Cassi, Emil. Prf, Hamilton Fish, Bucky O’Neil, and Captain Capron. [Bugle calls played by chief trumpeter Cassi of Roosevelt’s Rough Riders]. [United States: E. Berliner’s Gramophone, 1898] Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

– La Flesche, Francis, George Miller, Alice C Fletcher, and Francis La Flesche. Funeral Song. /09, 1895. Audio. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/omhbib000457/

– Pierre Boulez, “Doubles”

– Daphne Oram (various)

– Alpha Prhyme, “Misanthropic”

– Sounds of the motions picture The Day the Earth Stood Still

– Clifford Burke, interview with Studs Terkel

– Radio broadcasts, The Lone Ranger

Image: Michel Foucault, Port Magazine.