“Working with noise came out of my visual art,” says Perich. “I made a simple machine to execute these algorithmic drawings, and in the drawings I explored the difference between randomness and order… It took a long time for me to realize the harmonic, pitch-based music I was making was a lot like the ‘order’ side of the drawings. There was this randomness I realized I just wanted to explore in music.” Choosing to work with noise instead of pure, easily manipulable pitches meant composing in a different language. “It’s all about texture and pattern and rhythm and beat and pulse,” he says, “and I didn’t have any of the tone-based musical qualities to work with. It was a totally different approach to music writing and sound.”
Perich’s music is radically simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to concerns about audio fidelity. Noise Patterns is just as vulnerable to digital processing as the stuff you hear near the top of the charts. “If you’re listening to it on the board, you’re getting the exact output. You’re as close to the sound synthesis as you can get,” says Perich. “It’s not a recording. This is full fidelity — it’s like performing live… MP3 compression absolutely destroys this music. The 1-bit signals rely on how sharp those edges are, and they get approximated and rounded out by MP3 compression. It sounds awful, and it’s a really different experience to listen to it on the device.”
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