Ep.06 - Empty, Hot, & Remote

The sixth installment of Galaxy Express 555 is a nexus of personal catharsis and abstract geographic resonance, as inexplicable to its creator as is may seem to its intended audience. Using the Renaissance composer William Byrd’s “Miserere Mei” as a starting point, a MIDI file of the 16th century composition was executed through a synthesizer at 5 BPM, turning a roughly three minute motet into more than three hours of audio data. This sample was then cut down to 15 minutes over a period of weeks. The final composition is paired with an excerpt of a very unique field recording of silence taken in the afternoon of 20 December, 2011 by Belgian sound artist Peter Lenaerts.

More on this recording, in Peter's own words:

“The Church of Saint Elijah the Prophet is located 8 km outside the remote town of Coober Pedy, deep in South Australia, roughly 847 km from Adelaide, or 2088 km from Sydney. The town has a population of 1695 and average summer temperatures around 34 ̊C. The highest temperature recorded was 47.8 ̊C. The church no longer has an active parish. Only tourists visit, and because of the heat, not many tourists travel through this part of Australia in summer.

"I originally intended to record the empty quiet of the church interior, but when I first got there the wind outside was audible in the sub frequencies inside. So I changed my idea, placed a stereo microphone between two candles and recorded the entire process of both candles burning. For good measure, I let the recording continue for another half hour after both candles had burnt up.”

This episode is dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Oakland Ghostship Fire of December 2, 2016.