Tristan PERICH


Inspired by the aesthetics of math and physics, Perich works with simple forms and complex systems. The challenge of elegance provokes his work in acoustic and electronic music, and physical and digital art. Wired magazine describes his compositions as “an austere meeting of electronic and organic.” He had a 2009 solo exhibition at bitforms gallery in New York. Ars Electronica awarded him the 2009 Award of Distinction for his composition Active Field (ten violins and ten-channel 1-bit music). Rhizome awarded him a 2010 commission for an upcoming audio installation. Perich studied math, music and computer science at Columbia University.

1-Bit Symphony, 2009
Electronic composition in five movements on a single microchip

A departure from traditional recordings, 1-Bit Symphony literally “performs” its music live when turned on. A complete electronic circuit — programmed by the artist and packaged into a standard CD jewel case — plays the music through a headphone jack mounted into the case itself. The layered tones in its score are synthesized by binary pulses of electricity, emphasizing the physical quality of sound. Probing the principles of digital sound, 1-Bit Symphony celebrates the virtuosity of electricity.
Based on the foundations of computation and data, 1-Bit Symphony treats electricity as a sonic medium. On and off electrical pulses, routed from microchip to speaker, manifest data as sound, bypassing the layer of translation inherent in higher bitrate digital-to-analogue converters. Programming in assembly language with microchips that are only capable of binary input and output provides Perich with an ideal medium for this music: an intimate connection between the materiality of hardware and the abstract logic of software. Returning to the format of 1-Bit Music (2004-2005), the new album further reduces the hardware involved while simultaneously expanding its musical ideas.
Since 1-Bit Music, Perich has composed for acoustic classical instruments accompanied by 1-bit audio. These compositions provided insight into the conceptual and aesthetic relationships between acoustic and electronic sound. With 1-Bit Symphony, Perich’s compositional approach now returns to the purely electronic domain, juxtaposing the grand form of a classical symphony with the minimal nature of 1-bit circuitry. Perich’s 1-Bit Symphony will be released in 2010 by the New York-based record label Cantaloupe Music.