Does it include involuntary muscle spasms?
January 6, 2011 10:06 PM   Subscribe

Patricia Bosshard and Simon Grab make music with the sounds from an MRI machine. For their project MRI Patricia Bosshard and Simon Grab use exclusively sound recordings from an MRI scanner (Magnet Resonance Imaging). In the tradition of the Musique Concrète they leave the raw material in its own radicality. The actual transformation is being achieved by layering these rich and complex sounds. You know you've thought about it.
posted by outlandishmarxist (27 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Interesting and listenable despite the arty-arty pretension. I like music made with medical procedures.
posted by carsonb at 10:23 PM on January 6, 2011


I thought the sound of an MRI most resembled thevsound of heavy shelling.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 10:25 PM on January 6, 2011


I may have thought about it, but can the MRI track my brain sugar usage while I think about it, and then make music out of that?
posted by hippybear at 10:33 PM on January 6, 2011


If you are like me, you'll want to wind up here.

I did not know MRIs could do this to aluminum.
posted by boo_radley at 10:45 PM on January 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Needs more machine-that-goes-ping!
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 1:08 AM on January 7, 2011


A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:00 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is good shit. THANKS.
posted by idiopath at 3:18 AM on January 7, 2011


After all the time I've spent cowering in MRI machines praying for that terrible noise to be over soon, please God, there's no way I'm going to follow that link.
posted by aqsakal at 3:49 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have had a few MRIs done recently and thought of this exact idea. I imagined some kind of interesting club/trance music could be made. I can't follow the link from work, what genre is it?
posted by batou_ at 5:40 AM on January 7, 2011


batou_,

Medcore?

Needs more bass. Seriously.
posted by lukemeister at 5:48 AM on January 7, 2011


batou_: "what genre is it?"

Not club or trance at all. Fairly raw mixes of unprocessed sound with minor editing / looping / overlapping. Minimal ambient ranging to harsh noise, as the blurb puts it, is pretty close. Think a kinder, gentler Aube maybe?
posted by idiopath at 6:21 AM on January 7, 2011


The stuff on their myspace page doesn't sound much like an MRI sounds from the inside- it sounds more electrical than mechanical. I'd guess they're recording electromagnetic interference from a safe distance away, because you can't put a recorder inside an MRI anyway.

During my recent scan, each time it switched to a new pattern of noises, it would startle me at first, and then I'd get used to it and start to mentally sing along. Then it would stop and I'd feel lonely for a few seconds, as if a warm blanket had been pulled away. Then another pattern.

(Charlotte Gainsbourg's song IRM incorporates some MRI sounds. I imagine IRM is the French acronym. The song was much better in my memory than it seems to be on youtube!)
posted by moonmilk at 6:44 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


moonmilk: Their facebook page features photos of the recording. It's definitely done from outside the machine and at a safe distance.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 7:11 AM on January 7, 2011


Scratch that. It looks like some of the recording is done from inside.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 7:12 AM on January 7, 2011


Thanks, outlandishmarxist! It's interesting to see the process. It does look like they're recording from inside as well as outside, but the little round pickup they use inside the machine looks more like a contact microphone or a magnetic pickup coil, which may explain why it doesn't sound they way I expected. (I still like their sounds a lot!)
posted by moonmilk at 7:23 AM on January 7, 2011


Throw in a drum machine and make it not sound like they're just making random noises with it and you could do something very interesting here. This is just raw MRI audio, and it's about as interesting as listening to unarranged samples.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:57 AM on January 7, 2011


Pope Guilty: "Throw in a drum machine and make it not sound like they're just making random noises with it and you could do something very interesting here. This is just raw MRI audio, and it's about as interesting as listening to unarranged samples"

That's sort of the draw for me. I (unashamedly) love being in a MRI. It's soothing and the noise that the machine makes is like a lullaby to me. I've fallen asleep in them more than once.


I will also take this time to remind everyone about a similar piece, The User's Symphony for Dot Matrix Printer.
posted by boo_radley at 9:21 AM on January 7, 2011


Looking forward to seeing them perform live at the World Steelband Music Festival!
posted by orme at 9:30 AM on January 7, 2011


I will also take this time to remind everyone about a similar piece, The User's Symphony for Dot Matrix Printer

If we're going beyond medical music, we should add Ligeti's Symphonic Poem for 100 Metronomes, his Car Horn Prelude to the opera, Le Grand Macabre, and Stockhausen's Helicopter String Quartet.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 10:21 AM on January 7, 2011


Pope Guilty: "Throw in a drum machine and make it not sound like they're just making random noises with it and"

It would be pandering shallow pablum that is not worth my time. Taste is subjective, friend.
posted by idiopath at 10:33 AM on January 7, 2011


Yes, because electronic music is pandering shallow pablum. Good call, idiopath, that entire genre of music is invalid.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:12 AM on January 7, 2011


Love it. I had an electronic music professor that would have loved this.
posted by Relay at 11:17 AM on January 7, 2011


I love electronic music, and I hate the fact that music made with drum machines has stolen the title. I was mocking your haughty and condescending tone, not making an assertion of fact. Like I said, taste is subjective. This music is a treasure as it is.
posted by idiopath at 1:01 PM on January 7, 2011


Oh, I'm terribly sorry that music with a beat has corrupted the purity of unstructured, unarranged sound.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:09 PM on January 7, 2011


That you cannot hear structure or arranging is your loss.
posted by idiopath at 1:20 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've never had an MRI scan or been close to one. I thought the USA was supposed to have shitty medicine.
posted by eeeeeez at 1:28 PM on January 7, 2011


you guys stop tearing this micrometagenre apart!
posted by boo_radley at 3:56 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


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