A Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner provided the sound source for ”Splinter Guard“.
MRI scanners work almost like loudspeakers: A strong magnet is surrounded by coils through which a current flows. In millisecond intervals the magnetic field is built up and reduced. Indeed, the audible sounds of the scanner are governed by mechanical events. When the strong electromagnetic forces tear at the coil suspension they create very loud sounds of intermittent chirping, knocking, buzzing, rattling or sawing. These sonic emissions are always accompanied by the quiet, constant sounds of a helium pump and air conditioning.
Jo uses the MRI scanner not so much as an underlying soundscape but more as a distinct instrument at the centre of the work. The only additional sound sources are the human voice, which form a subtle contrast to the main instrument. This restriction of sound sources conversely opens up a unique sonic scope explored through these three distinct songs.
released February 22, 2020
Siemens Biograph mMR operator: Simone G.
1 – Jo
2 – Mute Swimmer, Jo
3 – field recorded radio song
Mastered by Frank Schültge
Final clearance song by song: Timo C Engel
Advice, participation, technical guidance and critical commentator: Frank Nagel