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  • Open Sesame Gallery 220 King Street West Kitchener, ON, N2G 1A9 Canada (map)

RETHINK the symphony, REWIRE the CD jewel case!


1-Bit Symphony is an electronic composition in five movements on a single microchip. Though housed in a CD jewel case, 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.

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.

0.01s, Perich's new companion to 1-Bit Symphony, is an impressive synthesis of art and computation in book form, giving a tangible mass to the code behinds its music. Digging even deeper into the basic operations of computation, 0.01s captures the inner workings of 1-Bit Symphony over the first hundredth of a second after it is switched on. In just 0.01 seconds, its processor executes 80,000 computational cycles, enough information to fill a 695-page book with austere tables of numbers and machine language, becoming a visual meditation on the internal mechanics of computation.

Good things can come in small, jewel case-sized packages. It’s a perfect model of how art can take and combine long-existing technology, turn it on its head and create something completely surprising that will make you rethink everyday objects.

NOTE: Copies of 1-Bit Symphony and 0.01s will be available for purchase at Open Sesame Gallery.

CREATED BY Tristan Perich
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


Tristan Perich‘s (New York) work is inspired by the aesthetic simplicity of math, physics and code. The WIRE Magazine describes his compositions as "an austere meeting of electronic and organic." 1-Bit Music, his 2004 release, was the first album ever released as a microchip, programmed to synthesize his electronic composition live. His latest circuit album, 1-Bit Symphony (Cantaloupe, 2010) has received critical acclaim, called "sublime" (New York Press), and the Wall Street Journal said "its oscillations have an intense, hypnotic force and a surprising emotional depth." His works for soloist, ensemble and orchestra have been performed internationally by ensembles including Bang on a Can, Calder Quartet, Eighth Blackbird at venues from the Whitney Museum and Mass MoCA to Sonar and Ars Electronica. He has received commissions from Bang on a Can, Meehan/Perkins Duo, Dither Quartet, Yarn/Wire, and others.

As a visual artist, Perich has had solo exhibitions at bitforms gallery (NYC), Mikrogalleriet (Copenhagen), Museo Carandente (Spoleto), The Addison Gallery (Massachusetts), Katonah Museum (New York), Monster Truck (Dublin), LEAP (Berlin) among others, as well as group shows around the world. His Machine Drawings, pen-on-paper drawings executed by machine, are described as "elegantly delicate" by BOMB Magazine.

Perich was a featured artist at Sonár 2010 in Barcelona, and in 2009, the Prix Ars Electronica awarded him the Award of Distinction for his composition Active Field (for ten violins and ten-channel 1-bit music). Rhizome awarded him a 2010 commission for Microtonal Wall, an audio installation with 1,500 speakers. Perich attended the first Bang on a Can Summer Institute in 2002. He was artist in residence at Issue Project Room in 2008, at Mikrogalleriet in Copenhagen in 2010, at the Addison Gallery in Andover, MA and Harvestworks in New York in Fall 2010, and at the Watermill Center in 2012. His work has received support from New York State Council on the Arts, the American Music Center, Meet the Composer and others. He has spoken about his work and taught workshops around the world.

Perich studied math, music and computer science at Columbia University, and received a masters in from the Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU.

Earlier Event: May 28
Later Event: May 28