The Wire’s Emily Bick interviewed bandleader David Kant about the process of creating ORGANVM PERCEPTVS, out Friday on Indexical. Head over to the interview, and while you’re at it listen to the full streaming album, available online for the first time.
Pick up a vinyl pre-order of ORGANVM PERCEPTVS from Indexical, and you’ll be the first to receive the full album with a liner notes booklet delving into detail about the process, plus an essay by writer Kurt Gottschalk about the band’s first gig in the Czech Republic.
The new Happy Valley Band album ORGANVM PERCEPTVS is a compilation of pop standards by the likes of Neil Young, Patsy Cline and Madonna interpreted as you’ve never heard them before – because they’re played as computers hear them. HVB’s founder David Kant began the project in 2009, as part of an exploration into auditory source separation and signal processing software. He takes pop recordings, runs them through source separation software to isolate the vocal track, then analyses the remaining waveforms to separate out the rest of a track’s instrumentation, and transcribes the results into hyper-specific sheet music interpretations for HVB to read and perform. Depending on how the original tracks were recorded, effects like studio panning or doubling instrumentation lines, or subtle shifts of pitch, are refracted and amplified through the software in often mystifying ways, resulting in warped interpretations that are unexpected, to say the least.