the numbers that you hear in this recording are generating the music.

cold waves is a live electronic audio/visual performance and composition inspired by childhood anxieties of growing-up during the cold war listening to spooky, coded broadcasts on a shortwave radio given to me by my estranged Father in 1981.

at the height of the cold war, so called ‘numbers stations’ were used by international government intelligence agencies to communicate with covert operatives in the field via short-wave radio.

often starting with a unique synthesised melody, or a series of bleeps, this call to attention would be followed by a disturbing, semi-automated voice dictating coded messages in 5 digit series’, and always ending with 1111.

no one has ever hacked into these messages… until now.

original transcripts and recordings of coded messages from the cold-war era (courtesy of The Conet Project, Irdial Discs 1997) have been transcoded into a live music and sound abstract using a specially developed MAX-MSP patch/enigma device and attendant modular systems.

after its premier at the London College of Music’s electronic music week event in May 2016, the piece was performed in front of a live audience in Funkhaus studios Berlin as part of MusicTechFest. The recording presented here is an entire one take live performance that took place at St Louis College in Rome on 23rd April 2017 as part of a talk on generative music composition and modular synthesis. The piece is conceived by laars decep and developed by Gaetano Auricchio and Larry Whelan (enigma operative).

…numbers stations are still broadcasting.