Conspiracy 8

"One of the major difficulties with the hybrid performance systems of the late 1960's and early 1970's was the sheer size of digital computers. One solution to this problem was presented by Gordon Mumma in his composition Conspiracy 8 (1970). When the piece was presented at New York's Guggenheim Museum, a remote data-link was established to a computer in Boston which received information about the performance in progress. In turn this computer then issued instructions to the performers and generated sounds which were also transmitted to the performance site through data-link." Source: [Dunn1992]


Conspiracy 8 (1969-70) is a collaborative project by Mumma and Stephen Smoliar, then a doctoral candidate in applied mathematics at the MIT. The present recording documents it's February 20, 1970, premiere at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of MIT, with Mumma performing on a bowed musical saw processed sporadically with cybersonics, and Smoliar at the audible teletype console, communicating in real time with a large PDP-6 computer.

Source: Liner notes of the CD edition (New World Records, 2005).

Note: the title refers to the then recently concluded "Chicago conspiracy trial".

Communication Art

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