Factory Farm Studies

by Asqus

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Sheep 06:26
Cow 04:45
Pig 04:27
Chicken 04:48


It is hard to comprehend the full scale of the horror of factory farms, where every second innumerable creatures of land and sea are cruelly slaughtered after living lives of unspeakable misery. When I view footage of factory farms, what affects me more than the images are the sounds: the cries of loneliness, fear, pain and madness. In these algorithmic piano pieces I want to respond to these sounds, to call back even if my voice cannot be heard.

Using publicly available research data I have mapped the sonic environments of cows, sheep, pigs and chickens and transformed them from soundscapes of suffering and death into something else. Analysing the acoustic dynamics of the distress calls of each animal, I have located the musical keys within which they speak. I have also captured the aural density of their environments - the decibel levels and amounts of variation - and used this to control various dynamics within each piece. Finally, I have calculated how many cows, sheep, pigs and chickens are killed every second worldwide and used this to control the tempo of the compositions. Every note you hear for the pieces Sheep and Cow indicates five deaths; for Pig it is ten deaths; for Chicken it is a hundred.

These pieces are for my friends of fur, feather and scale. Until all of us are free, none of us are.


released August 15, 2016




Asqus South Africa

Aragorn23 / Asqus is an experimental musician based in South Africa. His current work focuses on algorithmic and gestural composition as well as modular synthesis.

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