It’s been referenced that Guglielmo Marconi, one of the great pioneers of long distance radio transmission, had an epiphany late in his life. He had started to believe that sound never actually dies. It just decays to the point that is simply too quiet for our human ears to detect. So in theory, any sound is actually forever recoverable, using the right device. This theory would drive a dream that if he could build a device powerful enough, he would be able to pick up Christ’s sermon on the mount.
It’s an interesting theory, the thought of an underlying soundscape, forever co-existing alongside our twenty first century lives. Waiting to be re-discovered. And what if these sounds were simply markers of our great promise and unfulfilled potential?
These thoughts are not lost on Atomic Shadow. Decades of incredible sound, created during some of the most creative, pioneering and also life changing moments in human history, now provide an endless seem of inspiration for miraculous sound compositions.
So it is that we can consider a world of possibility (‘Atomic Cognosphere’ and the Brian Eno endorsed ‘DO3’), or a moment that our collective timelines are poisoned by a Presidential Assassination (‘Killing the World Of Tomorrow’).
A continued sonic quest to capture a spirit from another time and channel it into a better world of tomorrow.
Atomic Shadow tells it in his own words:
The Sound of Yesterday’s World Of Tomorrow.
There was a time between WW2 and somewhere in the 1970s when America was capable of anything. It was the Atomic Age. Cars grew fins. Homes became more open, packed with shiny chrome appliances. In spite of the constant threat of nuclear war, it was a time of optimism. The war was over and there were no problems that American science and industry could not solve. We began to dream of going to other planets. Films began to imagine what space travel might be like and it was in the movie theater where most Americans were first exposed to electronic music.
In fledgling electronic music programs around the world, the pioneers of composition using pure sound were at work. They leaned heavily on the tools available in that era. Magnetic recording tape was still very new in the 1950s. Electronic gear that was normally used in laboratories to calibrate and test equipment was used to generate raw sound which could be recorded, sped up, slowed down, delayed or reversed for effect. Production designers and sound effects artists began using these tools to create the sounds of the future for television and film.
A boy growing up in the 1960s would see a lot of the science fiction of the 1950s on television. The Mercury and Gemini space missions made daily headlines with the exploits of our Astronauts. Business names used a lot of words like supersonic, jet, rocket, astro and atomic. It was a sign of the times and an unspoken promise for the world of tomorrow. It was clear that in that future we would be living in ranch homes with terrazzo floors, open beam ceilings and glass walls. In the evening we would sip cocktails as we lounged in our Eames chairs, checking the time occasionally on our starburst clocks. We would have robots, flying cars and vacation on the Moon.
Great nations accomplish great things with their surplus prosperity. There was a time when The United States of America reached out and literally touched the face of another world. The sound of that nation’s world of tomorrow was made with sine wave oscillators, ring modulators and tape echo. Those sounds still resonate in my imagination today. The promise they represented has gone largely unfulfilled. Along the way we traded our imaginary Jetsons styled homes for dreadful wafer board and stucco monstrosities. We built the dystopia of today with it’s celebrity obsession, “reality” television, and corporate overlords.
My work tries to channel the energy of yesterday’s world of tomorrow and broadcast it to the 21st Century. To remind this century of the unfulfilled promise of another time, and what we could still become if we would only try.
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Introduction by LowMan