Enigma Hoyong Lee

The viral word in media shapes our sense of the world, of the scale and color and character of our problems. It functions as the parasitic organism which frames and affects how we think. Sometimes, it is transmitted as splendid hallucination invading our nervous system. Reflecting the whole process of mental infection by the sonic ‘data body’ in media, this acousmatic work ’Enigma’ highlights the perceptional context in which the stream of self- consciousness is intoxicated with the viral word induced-hallucinations.

Especially considering the transitional segments of the radio broadcast band as the altered consciousness in a state of precarious drift, this piece is mainly composed of fragmented verbal particles and the fields of synthetic sonic elements which were described as something that inhabit the range of radio frequency interval between streaming channels. In this area, the listeners can experience a declension of floating sonic grains.

Based on this point of view, the auditory sense-scape in ’Enigma’ is such a scrambling of transmitted sonic figure and ground. It’s an infection of temporal gestalt relationship whose symptoms are not only the subversion of acoustic figure and ground. In the realm of transitional auditory canvas in which the numerous interchangeable sonic figure and ground interplay, sweeping the radio frequency represents the emotional state of drift in the circuit of hallucinatory message and information. The signal jamming and the words simultaneously intersect and equally coexist behind the ‘noise curtain’ in between channels, as transitional path.

Encompassing the verbal lines from the broadcast — commercials, public campaign, political speech, mutter of priest etc.-, another layer of parasitic sonic mixtures which is emerged as stretching zipper sound feature which comes and goes on the surface of radio wave. It implies the very catalyst of the cracks in self-awareness destroying the state of silence on mind.

Adhering to counteract against this infectious self-division, the interference by white noise against the mutter lines by social celebrities rebelliously manifests itself as the movement with occasional hisses and pops, to break the cyclical tide of this hallucination. In parallel with subtly stretched arpeggio (designed by supercollider), the morse code features gradually, and it’s successively linked side by side and vanishes bit by bit which is juxtaposed with upper musical tide eventually.

Source: 2022

Translation: Hoyong Lee

  • Year of composition: 2019
  • Genre: Acousmatics
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Hardware used: Zoom H5 Handy Recorder, Macbook Pro
  • Software used: Pro Tools, Audacity, Supercollider
  • Duration of the submitted work: 5:17

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