Tristan Perich's 1-Bit Symphony is an electronic composition in five movements on a single microchip. Though housed in a CD jewel case like his first circuit album (1-Bit Music 2004-05), 1-Bit Symphony is not a recording in the traditional sense; it literally "performs" its music live when turned on. A complete electronic circuit—programmed by the artist and assembled by hand—plays the music through a headphone jack mounted into the case itself. The album is available from Cantaloupe Music.
A return to the format of Perich's lauded 1-Bit Music (described by the Village Voice as "technology and aesthetic rolled into one"), 1-Bit Symphony further reduces the hardware involved while simultaneously expanding its musical ideas. 1-Bit Symphony utilizes on and off electrical pulses, synthesized by assembly code and routed from microchip to speaker, to manifest data as sound. The device treats electricity as a sonic medium, making an intimate connection between the materiality of hardware and the abstract logic of software.
While 1-Bit Symphony is purely electronic in its execution, its contents reflect Perich's long-standing interest in orchestral composition. Since the release of 1-Bit Music in 2006, Perich's compositional work has combined 1-bit audio with acoustic classical instruments, providing insight into the conceptual and aesthetic relationships between physical and electronic sound. With 1-Bit Symphony, Perich brings this insight back into the digital realm, juxtaposing the grand form of a classical symphony with the minimal nature of 1-bit circuitry.
Created by Tristan Perich
Production Manager: Annie Chen
Production assistance: Argeo Ascani, Theo Baer, Daniel Fishkin, Damon Hardjowirogo, Kathleen McDermont, Seyhan Musaoglu, Jess Ramsay, Brian Shaw, Nick Shifrin, Jasmine Dreame Wagner, Owen Weaver, Alex Wilson
Made possible with generous support from Nailya Alexander, Candace Dwan, Virginia Dwan, Warren Fischer, Oscar Gerardo, Kunal Gupta, Bob Holman, Karen Japenjie, Allison Kemmerer, Miru Kim, Wynn Kramarsky, Suzanne Bocanegra and David Lang, Myo-On-Susan Linnell, John Mannix, William McGowan, Evelyn and Alan Meyers, Paul D. Miller, Edward Nersessian and Mary LuAllen, Anton Perich, Jonathan Rose, Joseph Saidock and Jaclyn Flanigan, Bernard Francis Kyle and James Schmidt, Michael Straus, Scott Varland, Gian Pablo Villamil, Laban Wingert