The starting point for this piece was this haiku by Issa –
beautiful, seen through holes
made in the paper screen:
the Milky Way
There are two major themes that run through much of my soundwork and that’s memories and static, be it electrical sounds or in this case radio waves.
I have only seen the Milky Way once. It was a long time ago and on a visit to the Lake District, I lay flat, facing upwards on a shingle lakeside beach and marvelled at the sight.
Then recently, I was listening to a radio programme about Cosmology and was blown away by the thought that the radio static that I love so much, and have done since a child, is what is referred to as Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the sound of electromagnetic radiation left over from an early stage of the universe in Big Bang cosmology. It is also called “relic radiation” and makes up 1% of the static radio noise and if you tune your TV between the stations, the static on the screen is from the big bang fireball.
This has only increased my love of radio static sounds.
Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB), the radiation from approximately 300k-400k years after the Big Bang, is also composed of thermal noise and other electronic noise from the radio receiver’s input circuits, and by interference from radiated electromagnetic noise picked up by its antenna, such as the microwave, electric razor or next door’s power tool being used nearby.
Radio static sounds are from my own large collection of electrical noises but I have also used samples of the sounds of Ganymede from the audio files of NASA –
Use of the sounds are under the Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0)
Artwork based on a photograph of Pink Star Roses of the Galaxies on PublicDomain.net and also the raw image of the soundfile.