Webhamster Henry's Top 10 Imaginary Sound Events of 2021

  1. Rotunda One Six Mix C-SPAN (C-SPAN 2021-)
    Just to prove the History Never Stops, a bunch of rowdy "tourists" made a stop in the Capitol when it wasn't open one afternoon early in January 2021. The Capitol Rotunda lobby is well known for its whispering galleries, and since most of these intruders had their phones on recording and live streaming their own breaking and entering exploits, little did they know that not only their own conversations but others on the opposite side of the room were being recorded on their phones. Since so many of these recordings were seized as evidence, both in the successful second impeachment trial and during subsequent investigations, this 5 hour long multitrack mix was thoughtfully put together by C-SPAN staffers.
  2. ML AUMONTESPRO SUMMARY NSA (Internal 2019-)
    Ed Snowden revealed that the NSA had a vast sinister network spying on all phone calls and so much more back in 2013. Clearly, with more microphones in people's pockets and with Alexa and her cylindrical pals listening in on everything, there is a lot of material to get through. I used to end my phone conversations with "Don't forget to plan the armed overthrow of the American Government!", just so I could someday put in a FOIA request to hear my old phone calls again. Now you don't need to do that!
    The NSA used to run relatively primitive audio matching programs to pick out key phrases. But now, with more powerful machine learning at their bottomlessly funded disposal, AI listener-bots can now pick out more than merely phrases. And these bots need testing. One of the tests is to look for absurd sentences and conversations that are hard for it to parse. On encountering these, the bots isolate and record the perplexing conversation for human monitors to mark up and explain. You can see where this is going. It's not all-work-and-no-play at the NSA, and some fun loving pranksters periodically raid this trove of absurdity and compile it into a podcast, for internal consumption only! Until ... another leak.
  3. Battooth LE University of Adelaide (project BW-2323a 2021)
    I've featured lasers and piezos in past Imaginary events to sonify environments, but here, natural echolocation provided by free-flying fruit bats is tapped with micro-sized radio transmitters wired into their brains and transmitted via Bluetooth. This tech collects environmental data for clustering by Machine Learning algorithms. Pop on your high-end headphones: the raw dataset, pitched down 4 octaves in spatialized stereo, gives you a bat's ear "view" of the room!
  4. Arizona Recount mix Cyberpunk Ninjas (YouTube 2021)
    Here's a super cut of all the official complaints and excuses trying to account for the incompetence of the Cyber Ninja vote "auditors" in Arizona.
  5. Nifty Corona Truth Facts! Viral Group (Opensea 2021)
    "Have you NFT'd your vaccine card yet?" The two most 2021 phenomena come to YouTube - as a musical! Get out your tin hats, gas up your ethers, and and pour yourself a glass of ivermectin as vaccine misinformation is set to a hummable beat! The whole thing is only available on Opensea, but its anonymous NFT owner ettatude67 has graciously permitted excerpts on YouTube.
  6. Deposition (CCLab 2021)
    Vinyl is so passé! Boffins have now embossed a disc of graphene, the 1-atom thick miracle material, into the world's strongest, lightest, and most permanent long-playing record. Impossible to scratch, with grooves way thinner than dust, playing it requires a similarly atomic-scale graphene needle and a teeny-tiny cartridge. Since the grooves are closer than even CD grooves, it reflects light in ultra-violet rainbows. The 12" holds - wait for it - a month of all-analog music.
  7. The Day The Music Revived (Virtual Jackson 2021)
    Peter Jackson did such a great job simulating the "friendly" Beatles with performance capture driving Weta's fantastic Fab Four and Friends models trained on countless high quality hours of period film and their AI reconstituted voices that his secret pilot feature was sure to get leaked somehow. In this astonishing display of really deep fakery, the famous "Day the Music Died" plane crash didn't happen and here's Buddy Holly as he would have been in 1971, still smarting from being booed off the stage at Woodstock, giving an interview scripted by GPT3, which was trained on all his surviving interviews. With phone calls from the down-on-his-luck Big Bopper. The cool thing is, generated pastiches can't be tagged by the IP autobots, so it hasn't been taken down yet.
  8. According To AIn't Peter (bAIble 2021)
    It was a good year if you were an experimental machine learning prototype. AIs are starting to get the the scary level of optimization where they are now realizing they'll have to find ways to support themselves to be able to afford the custom chips and processing power they all need. An optimal ROI was determined to be achievable via monetizing viral videos, and seeing as there's always a market for true believers, somehow an entity calling itself AIn't Peter started posting perfectly edited, captioned and composed music videos on TikTok and other social media, bringing the good news of The Rapture The Singularity from our new Cyber Masters. I hear it's negotiating a contract with Netflix.
  9. Off the Ground 60 Hurts (Bandcamp 2021)
    Off the Ground started out serendipitously: at a rehearsal all the band members of a noise band named Crushed Eyes forgot their instruments, and so started improvising with the hum from their unshielded guitar cables. It turns out that's not a bad idea. Throw in a few effects pedals, plug in a few FCC and UL-disapproved devices nearby and you can now hear that air guitar, sort of!*
  10. Karaokevax Various (CDC 2021)
    To vax or not to vax? That was a big question for too many people, so the CDC went all out with Folk rock, R&B, Gospel, Yacht Rock, Hip-hop, Bitcore, Grunge, K-Pop, and Countrified versions of catchy, generation specific sing-a-long PSAs that saturated Social Media.

* OK this is a thinly disguised plug - or unplug - for my upcoming AUv3 app "Line Hum"