SONG: Cells, Sensors, Silicon


“Cells, Sensors, Silicon”. [Download]

ARTIST: grant.

SOURCE:This Swimming Stingray Robot Is Powered by Real, Living Rat Cells,” Popular Mechanics, 7 July 2016, as used in the post “Living robot: mechanical stingray swims with rat-cell muscles..”

I just got back from a week and a half driving around America yesterday, and here’s a song today. If it’s an hour late, I’ll forgive that.

I started on the music before I left, but for the most part, this is a 24-hour song. I tried writing the words as a gushi again (like so), but this kind of fell into place around it instead. Which is fine – I was just using the form to get something structured down quick anyway. There’s some hissing that could be eliminated in a future draft, and maybe some thinning of guitar murk should happen too. But I like the way the parts come together.

I can’t tell if the music is borrowing more from Godspeed You, Black Emperor! or John Carpenter horror soundtracks. I suppose either way, we’ve got something zombie-like going on… which fits this reanimated rat robot well enough.

This is some poetic science right here. Using rat heart cells to power a robot – I mean, really. Hearts. Rats. Flying through a nutrient-rich ocean. It’s a machine made of hearts.

There are more songs hiding inside this story, waiting to be teased out. But this is the one I made. It’s mostly keyboards, with some mangled guitar and bass. The drums were kind of an afterthought, although I was hearing them before the words came together, as a kind of slave-galley beat. At one point, I thought words might be chanted, like “Stroke! Stroke!” As if the narrator was a single heart cell, chained to the oars.

Rowing to the light.

Now, to sleep, to unpack, to try to get this house in order.