SONG: 64 Actuators


“64 Actuators” [Download]
(To download: double right-click & “Save As”)

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE: “Jacket Lets You Feel the Movies”, IEEE Spectrum, 18 March 2009, as used in the post “Jacket makes movies feelies,” (with perhaps a side order of “The satellite feels” and “Touch the vision.”)

This song feels more like… more like a sketch than a finished painting, like there are some details still left to fill in. But I think that fits with the general theme. It’s sort of an examination of this haptics business and the way we’re creating phantom sensations (instead of the persistence of vision, the persistence of motion?) that act as substitutes for the real thing.

So, naturally, I write a song about wearing a jacket that fools you into thinking you’re being touched by someone you want touching you. Stitch me up in these phantoms. Am I dreaming your fingers, your arms between the seams?

An actuator is the gizmo that makes your cell phone or Xbox controller vibrate.

I kinda wanted to base the guitar parts around Jefferson Airplane’s “Today” – a bassy acoustic with a slow, clean electric riff tweedling over it – but where the wah-wah came from is anybody’s guess. Sounds like waves. I also was thinking about The Long Winters’ The Worst You Can Do Is Harm, which I’ve been listening to a lot over the past few days. Odd way of getting lyrics to fit a song on that album. It works better than what I did here, but then again, this is just a sketch. You’ll have to imagine the rest. Touching you wirelessly.