Data centre sounds turned into electronic music by UK musician

Do you like electronic music? It seems fair to say that a lot of people in the country do, judging by the UK public’s persistent liking of electronic musicians.. including Daft Punk, Pet Shop Boys and New Order. However, whether you most like to listen to or make electronic music, you are likely to raise eyebrows at the recent news of electronic music based on sounds from data centres. Yes, you read that correctly!
A UK-based freelance composer has recently online-released his first composition of such electronic music, this particular composition based on the hum of data centres at Birmingham City University. To use a well known Pet Shop Boys song title, just “Go West” – well, go south, actually – to learn more…

Data centres make possible highly unique music

How exactly has Parker used data centres to – to use the title of a recent hit Daft Punk song – “Get Lucky” with some undoubtedly unique music? Well, we will need to explain a few other things first. Most data centres, due to many small fans whirring to cool the servers, make a type of white noise. An almost full spectrum of sound is created by these fans moving at a wide range of frequencies. However, each data centre has a different number of fans that spin at different speeds and so each facility has what Parker has called a “unique pitch”.

Parker takes advantage of this when making electronic music. He records each data centre and then, for each recording of a centre, removes any undesired background noise. He then builds a harmonic scale by isolating different frequencies and experimenting with the different sounds that he has recorded. Voila – a potential chart hit!

There’s more where that came from…

Parker has revealed that he intends to next visit data centres in southern England and Sweden and that: “I want to create a whole body of work reflecting these different places and the sounds that they create”. We could end up inadvertently helping him with this, as he could end up visiting data centres that benefit from products bought from Data Centre Shop!

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