by Canton Becker
dedicated to Michael P. Becker (1944-2018)
I remember one time when my friend Matt was taking a break from work, playing a Zimbabwean melody on his mbira (thumb piano). I told him I liked how he made the song fade in and out, eventually playing so quietly you could just hear the flesh of his thumbs brushing the metal tines.
Matt said, "These songs don't really have beginnings and endings. It's more like 'Ancestor Radio'. You use your mbira to tune in and sing along with your ancestors. But the song was already out there waiting to be picked up."
This composition was made to work in the same way. It loops without end. When you tune in, you're invited to listen and watch for as long as you like.
Headphones are recommended for listening.
For eighteen years, my father ran the Electric Sheep screensaver on his computer. Similar to how the SETI@home project distributes the computational search for for alien radio signals across the Internet, electricsheep.org pools together the resources of 1000's of computers every night to render short clips of fantastically complex "fractal flames". Scott Draves developed this project to help us imagine what kinds of dreams androids might have.
This video sequence was made by stitching together a few of these clips, slowing them down, and arranging them in a perfect loop synchronized with the music.