Rain Motors: magnetic motion

by Absolute Value of Noise

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Modified film projector, electric bicycle, transit bus, rain motors, and solar engines.

This album features recordings of the magnetic radiation from various motor systems. I used my ELF preamp and a collection of different coils and antennae. Some of the motors are recorded from afar with my large bicycle wheel antenna (this is the antenna I used for Magnetic Focus); some are recorded up close using smaller wheel antennas (1 foot), and some have coils wrapped around the motors themselves.

1. Eiki ELF (April 2015): a modified Eiki 16mm film projector, updated with a DC brushless motor and a DC lamp. I originally recorded the "Eiki RT-0 Modernized" for a piece for Musique Concrète goes to the Movies - ifarmusiqueconcretecompilation.bandcamp.com/album/ifar-musique-concr-te-goes-to-the-movies-compilation - a compilation released on June 20, 2015.

2. Crystallite (April 2015): riding/driving around town on my electric bicycle with an old 500 Watt Crystallite hub motor. This was recorded trucking up a steep hill from 8th Avenue to 11th on the Ontario Street bicycle route in Vancouver.

3. Number 25 Bus (August 2008 / May 2015): sitting at the back of the bus recording acceleration and deceleration. This is a diesel bus that runs past my house. The engine is at the back under the floor-boards. I imagine that the antenna is picking up the firing of the spark-plugs and whatever other electronic signals are flying about when the buss pulls away from the stop.

4. Rain Motors (October 2015 .. had to wait for the rainy season .. too much sun this summer!): the ELF sounds from my "rain powered" pager motor + bamboo resonator installation piece - Rain Stick - absolutevalueofnoise.ca/2013_rainstick/ . I wrapped tiny coils around a set of pager motors. Then I wired them up to my "rain powered" circuits and stuck them out the window. The ELF signal is so quiet that there's a fair amount of white noise, which sounds a bit like rain.

5. Solar Engines (January 2016 .. hanging out the window on a rare sunny day): a solar engine is a type of circuit that stores up little bits of energy until it has a large charge, then it releases all of its energy in a short burst - typically to spin a motor or drive some other power-hungry device. In this case I hooked up a few circuits to some DC motors and recorded the (mostly) short bursts of action.


released March 12, 2016


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absolute value of noise Vancouver, British Columbia

Influenced by Merzbow, the Haters, Negativland and other denizens of noise-art culture, Absolute Value of Noise takes sound to the extreme. The artist likes to work with "gadgetry" - custom turntables, lamp filaments, wire coils, high voltage ionizers, robots, feedback systems, magnetic transmitters and receivers - to create both intense collages and minimal sonic threads. ... more

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