New Piece: Uncanny Valley

Uncanny Valley is a piece written about the “Uncanny Valley” phenomenon described by Masahiro Mori of how humans react to life-like robots, in particular the uncomfortable feeling that is often observed when encountering life-like robots. This is largely down to a conflict between what our senses are telling us and what our mind knows to be true. This often extends to life-like prosthetic limbs where someone has shaken a life-lije prosthetic hand, eyes have observed that it looks like flesh and bone but on touch found cold plastic and metal!

I drew on the Uncanny Valley graph for the structure of the piece, I didnt want to do anything that would try to re-create an uncanny event in sound because that would require a serious consideration of a full installation for it to be effective (need a controlled environment) so instead I drew on both the graph and my personal experience of the Uncanny- where the discomfort has arrived after finding out what I had experienced wasnt quite what I thought it was..

In my research for this piece I looked up reported paranormal experiences and nearly all the more credible ones revolved around something appearing to be very realistic but then something extraordinary happens which cannot fit into normal experience.

In the piece the music progresses as a timeline along the graph; it starts with some very open notes and chords, these relationships slowly change and evolve until a point is reached where the uncomfortable comes in (the valley) which is then expressed. It passes leaving an unsettled ending in the ear.

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About stuartrussellcomposer

Composer/ sound artist. Electronic musician. Modern classical composer
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