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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Noise Club-A Noise in the Dark

This EP represents some of Noise Club's most recent studio work.

Sirius B
Sirius (also known as the Dog Star) is the brightest 'star' in the night sky. In fact, Sirius is actually a binary star system, comprising of two stars locked in orbit: Sirius A, a main sequence star like our Sun; and Sirius B, a white dwarf.

Slime Mould Memory
Slime Mould Memory was inspired by the memristor. In 1971, Professor Leon Chua of the University of California proposed that there must be a fourth fundamental circuit element along with the resistor, capacitor and inductor, one that connects charge and magnetic flux. The memristor, as he called it, could remember its resistance, even when switched off. The element was finally created by a team at Hewlett-Packard's laboratories in April 2008.

The importance of the memristor is not limited to electronics, however; it can also help explain how the brain works. In 2008, a team led by Tetsu Saisuga at Hokkaido University in Sapporo discovered that the single-celled slime mould, Physarum polycephalum, could not only sense and react to its environment, but could anticipate periodic events and even solve simple puzzles. "The Japanese paper rang a bell with Max Di Ventra, a physicist at the University of California, San Diego. He was one of the few who had followed Chua's work, and recognised that the slime mould was behaving like a memristive circuit. To prove his contention, he and his colleagues set about building a circuit that would, like the slime mould, learn and predict future signals."

This research inspired a piece based on the principles of memristivity. Noise Club had already been asked to produce two tracks for an Irish internet-based radio show called Found Sounds on Iúr FM, so we thought this would be an ideal opportunity.

Because we wanted to play around with the idea of memory in this piece, we decided to use just a single sound sample: a recording of a piezo contact mic being scraped across a desk.

Medusa Cascade
The Medusa Cascade is a fictional space anomaly from the BBC series, Doctor Who. According to the Doctor Who wiki, it is a rift in time and space first visited by the Doctor at age 90, and later sealed by him. In fact, the imagery used to portray the Cascade is inspired by the pictures of nebulae taken with the Hubble telescope.


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