Map Is Not Territory

This piece was original composed for the 2010 SuperCollider Symposium at Wesleyan University. Its had a couple of airings elsewhere in the US and in Mexico. The code for the piece involves the processing and articulating of a collage of recordings from the World War I era using a list of information relating to U.S. casualties from Connecticut. The recordings were obtained from:

1) The Yanks started Yankin’. 1918 satirical U.S. wartime song (The Russians Were Rushin’) The Yanks Started Yankin’. Written by Carey Morgan with music by Chas McCarron. Performed by Arthur Fields in 1918

2) Recording of Gas-shells firing, during a bombardment by British troops Advancing on Lille 1918

3) A choir of Italian Alpine Soldiers. Monte Canino (written circa 1915)

4) If you were the only Girl in the World. Music written in 1916 by Clifford Grey, with lyrics from Nat D. Ayer. Performed in 1916 by Violet Lorraine and George Robey

5) The Liberty Bell. Music by Halsey K. Mohr and lyrics by Joe Goodwin. Performed by The Peerless Quartet in 1917

The casualty information list was taken from information posted on:

The American Battle Monuments Commission accessible at

The information on the list supplies the names, rank, date of death, and home state of each casualty. This data was then recompiled to reflect the chronological order of deaths, from the date of the first death until the date of the last death. Supercollider then iterated the days that the U.S. had taken part in the war; in addition, it iterated the number of days following Armistice Day that deaths of soldiers had been recorded: a total 895 days were computed. Each time the program encounters a day in which a fatality or multiple fatalities occurred, the collage is processed through various filters, and the personal details of the solider trigger the activation of a sine wave and a low frequency oscillator. The month of a soldier’s death determines the type of filter to be used. The parameters of the filters, frequency, and durations of the sine waves and LFO are controlled by the letter of a soldier’s name being converted into ASCII, and added together to get a numerical value. Supercollider reads through these data lists at two temporal rates – 0.05 and 0.5 seconds for each day.

Sound File

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