from the archive


In December of 2017, as part of the 50'th anniversary celebration for MIT's CAVS (Center for Advanced Visual Studies), I was invited to install my synth into the experimental hall where Alcator C-Mod was residing, MIT's most recent tokamak reactor used in plasma fusion research. I was provided with several waveforms coming from various sensors on the tokamak acquired during its record-breaking run from a few years ago, when Alcator C-Mod had attained the largest recorded plasma pressure, and used these ubiquitously in this patch. While most of these signals were used as direct audio (they have a wonderful otherworldly flavor), some were adopted for modulation envelopes and slow control - the tokamak cycle exhibited a variably noisy build-and-release structure as the magnetic fields were ramped up to concentrate the plasma before it went terminally unstable, which worked well here.

downloads: wav (3 min) | wav (10 min)

More recordings here.