Air Pressure Fluctuations

According to iTunes I am Felix Hess. I just burned an audio-CD with one 8 seconds track that I ‘composed’. I feed it into my computer and into iTunes and there it is: Air Pressure Fluctuations by Felix Hess, genre ‘unclassifiable’. In fact it’s 8 seconds of crackling at the end of a 7-inch vinyl of Gerard Souzay singing Schubert, doubled up twice (and recorded at both 33 and 45rpm).

But iTunes thinks its air pressure fluctuations.


en,music | July 29, 2007 | 22:36 | Comments (4) |


  1. It’s just awesome to get lost on the internets, but being tagged the wrong way is a bit frustrating … It’s like you are sure you entered the right user name and password and yelling: “It’s me you stupid machine!!” what right does a machine have to deny your identity …
    It should say: “I do not recognize you”, in stead of “you are not you”, or even worse “you are somebody else”.

    comment by Peet | 3 August 2007 | 10:07 |
  2. Hi Arie, Pascal here. Long time! Anyway.

    I was just wondering what the significance of this is. It is lost on me. Is it that there is some connection between you and Felix which this serendipitously affirms? Or is it the irony of misinformation authoritatively framed as being definitive? Or merely the sardonic glee at something that is not working as it should, the nasty impulse of “I can’t make it but I can break it!”? Or something different still?

    This has puzzled me for some time. I would appreciate your comments. Thanks!

    (Also, I object to the phrase “iTunes thinks” but that is just me being disagreeable and requires no further comment.)

    comment by pascal | 8 August 2007 | 10:44 |
  3. Hee Pascal! Good to see you here (strange to write in english “talking” to you :-)

    I do not know what the significance of this is at all. I’m just surprised. There is no real connection between me and Felix Hess — except for the fact that I really like and admire his work. That’s why I write “beautiful”.

    I just ‘composed’ a bit of music, fiddling around with an old 45rpm single and Audacity. I made one track on 8 seconds, I do not enter any tagging at all, I just burn an audio CD. Take it out of the machine, put it in later, the much hated iTunes starts up automatically and “says” in the finder that my self-burnt audio CD with one track of 8 seconds as a piece of Felix Hess.

    Sorry, I’m repeating myself.

    What is this? Some automatic scanning of music, comparing it to a large database? Huh?

    I guess my reaction is mostly “the irony of misinformation authoratively frames as being definite”.

    But it might also in the real world lead to a strange/nasty misunderstanding as my 8 seconds will be used as soundtrack for an installation of Serge Onnen, to be exhibited in San Diego. One can just image what a well-informed curator might think on inserting my self-burnt cd in a computer and seeing the name of Felix Hess pop up with the title Air Pressure Fluctuations. “Hey, are you sure you made this music yourself?”

    And well, iTunes “thinks” should be read as completely ironic….

    comment by Arie Altena | 9 August 2007 | 23:43 |
  4. Thanks Arie.

    Your comment explains the context. I can understand your surprise. A sudden pointless intrusion.

    I have often mused that the hippies were right – there is something ultimately, almost inherently bureaucratic about computers and the thinking that surrounds them – not even so much in the sense that everything is (needs to be) coded and identified by codes, as peet alludes, but in the sense that it fosters an increasing disconnect between cause and effect – the single signature that sets army divisions in motion, the single button press that releases a weapon — the simple act of inserting a CD exposing one as a fraud, which, incidentally, actually happened in the case of Joyce Hatto.

    comment by Pascal | 13 August 2007 | 2:38 |

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