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Symphony #2 for Dot Matrix Printers cover art
[The User] - Symphony #2 for Dot Matrix Printers

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Abandon cover art
[The User] - Abandon

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[The User]

[The User]

"It is exactly what it sounds like, a musical composition in which the only 'instruments' are printers, mic'd to amplify the whirring of carriages and the banging of type. They've been working on the piece for five years, and it shows: it is meticulously composed, eking every possible tone out of the mechanical devices.." - Phillip Sherburne, Neumeu

Canadian sound artists [The User] first made a name for themselves with their 2001 project, Silophone. The brainchild of composer Emmanuel Madan and architect Thomas McIntosh, inspired by the transformation of decaying European industrial sites into art installations, [The User] created an interactive, web-broadcasting musical instrument out of an old grain silo in Montréal's Quai des écluses, using a grain elevator, microphones and telecommunications equipment.

Although it was an elaborate theoretical construction, [The User]'s goal was quite simple: All they wanted to do was take a modern-day North American ruin and turn it into an instrument of sound. Quite literally, a Silophone. The results were not only artistically successful, but a wonderful media event to boot. Covered by newspapers and radio throughout North America and Europe, [The User] received justifiably critical acclaim and support for their work.

[The User] began developing the Symphony for Dot Matrix Printers in 1998, and has been touring the work extensively in Europe and Noth America since 1999. The work was awarded the Telefilm Canada New Media Prize at Montréal's Festival Nouveau Cinéma Nouveaux Médias (FCMM, 1998), an honourable mention at Prix Ars Electronica in Austria (1999) and the Télé-Québec prize for Performance at FCMM (2001).

In keeping with the general philosophical thrust of their Silophone project, Symphony #2 finds the duo playing back the sounds of vintage dot-matrix printers using a custom-designed control system adapted from contemporary office networking technology. The results take the form of this 41-minute symphony for office workers, employing vintage dot matrix printer to compose an otherwise traditionally structured symphony. The LP version features 12 alternate booty-shaking edits destined to delight vinyl fetishists and DJs alike.

Produced and arranged at Asphodel's Bloody Angle Compound studio, Symphony #2 is both a conceptually rich, humorous and delightfully spare plug-in free full-length about the joys of transforming the work environment into a palace of culture.