Musica Iconologos

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“In this piece, Tone continues his refined, elegant work in the transformation of one sense sphere into another via small information bits. His previous efforts in this direction include Lyrictron, where flute tones triggered computer haiku stored in an archive of letter-images (on flutist Barbara Held’s Lovely Music CD). He also rearranged the laser patterns on CDs (by placing tape and other objects on the surface) in his early work Music for Two CD Players, and in his Molecular Music, images are projected onto a screen which is made from light sensors that trigger sound-producing instruments (a technique also used in David Behrman’s Clouds). In Musica Iconologos, Chinese character “poems” describing photographic images are entered or encoded via a video-to-sound transformation array which scans the characters and recognizes their smallest details (even the individual pixels become signifiers). The results of that operation are subjected to an optical music recognition computer application. One poem, Jiao Liao Fruits has 44 characters, and Solar Eclipse in October is made from 262 characters. What we hear is not the picture of a Chinese character, but the picture of Tone’s interpretation of that character in photo-images from our visual experience. This is an intriguing and pure musical process, a perfect realization of the ideal of additive digital synthesis (compare it with Tim Perkis’s Clicks on Artifact), and a compositional technique that points toward subtle natural interactions.”