Published Feb 07, 2018Born in Athens, Greece but based in London, electro-acoustic composer Spyros Polychronopoulos – who also goes by the name Spyweirdos – has a deep and varied catalogue of music. He has always been concerned with the nature of sound, and his explorations led him to the works of Walter Benjamin, who posited that the mechanical reproduction of a work of art devalues its aesthetic authority.
Ruminating on both the limitations and the possibilities that surround live electronic music performance, Polychronopoulos — alongside collaborator Fotis Kontomichos — was inspired to develop software that could present generative music based on samples, performed live without the artist's presence. The resulting sound object allows a prospective listener to experience a unique composition with every press of the "play" button.
The electronics are housed in a custom, polycarbonate box, which contains a USB jack for power and a 3.5mm headphone jack as the only output source. When the system is engaged, five separate audio channels — each playing a randomly-selected sample — are filtered via unique algorithms and then mixed fluidly with each other in real time. Expanding upon the concept of the Buddha Machine, or perhaps flipping it entirely on its head, Live Electronic Music is a one-of-a-kind experience that offers endless permutations of sonic wonder. (Room 40)