listen to radio transmissions on bandcamp, or here:
About the album
The album “Radio Transmissions” by “Infinite Digits” is a set of experimental easy-listening electronic music created using the op-1 synthesizer. The op-1 has a built-in radio that was used to sample snippets of broadcasts from public radio. These public radio snippets are taken randomly, usually between recording tracks, and they are meant to reflect a random sample of the world with regards to science, culture, and politics. In a sense, the entirety of this album “radio transmissions” is a musical readout of the current state of society during September and October of 2019. A description of the songs are listed below.
“Rose Torphy”: an interview with Rose Torphy, a woman who joined the national park junior ranger program at the age of 103.1 “How Clever”: an interview with a researcher about saving the Florida grasshopper sparrows from extinction.2 “A world elsewhere”: an interview with legendary director peter brook about his adaption of Shakespeare to the stage.3 “Loved moons”: an interview with scientist Dr. Scott Sheppard about cataloging Saturn’s moons and his enthusiasm for studying space.4 “The past is never dead”: changing culture has influenced the Dixie classic fair in North Carolina to adopt a name that no longer associates itself with slavery.5 “Gen GND”: schools in Seattle faced a walkout by students who were part of a global climate strike to spur action to avoid potential catastrophic effects from climate change.6 “Once in a generation”: a speech by Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, speaking about her battle against corruption.
Infinite Digits is composed of just one person and just one instrument. The name “Infinite Digits” also references the idea that some pieces of music may necessitate a certain number of fingers to play and that more fingers the can improve the production of the piece (e.g. In the movie GATTACA, a genetic mutant plays a song which “can only be played with twelve fingers”). The name “Infinite Digits” also references an aspect of synthesizer music where analog signals are often transformed into digital signals to produce music. The digital representation of analog signals often includes numbers that are irrational, like 1/3 or pi, which can never be fully realized unless their decimal expansion includes an infinite number of digits.
“103-year-old becomes grand canyon ranger.” NPR, NPR, 2019, www.npr.org/2019/03/01/699261929/103-year-old-becomes-grand-canyon-ranger. ↩︎
Green, Amy. “endangered florida grasshopper sparrows released into the wild despite concerns.” NPR, NPR, 23 sept. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/09/23/763521144/endangered-florida-grasshopper-sparrows-released-into-the-wild-despite-concerns. ↩︎
Lunden, Jeff. “at 94, director peter brook is still asking the deep questions.” NPR, NPR, 6 oct. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/10/06/766836746/at-94-director-peter-brook-is-still-asking-the-deep-questions. ↩︎
“October 08, 2019 episode transcript | cbc radio.” cbcnews, cbc/radio canada, 9 oct. 2019, www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-tuesday-edition-1.5313282/october-08-2019-episode-transcript-1.5315058. ↩︎
Brown, Keri. “renaming the dixie classic fair.” NPR, NPR, 12 oct. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/10/12/769688175/renaming-the-dixie-classic-fair. ↩︎
Brady, Jeff. “a rising generation asserts itself on climate change.” NPR, NPR, 20 sept. 2019, www.npr.org/2019/09/20/761916356/global-youth-climate-strike-expected-to-draw-large-crowds. ↩︎