Six alternate worlds, sixty minutes of thoroughly complex musical score. The long-awaited conclusion to Sonarpilot’s The Mirage Project is here at last. “The Last Machine” brings us once more into the mathematical parallel universe of Michael Moppert’s mind, with pulsing twists always on the move to mesmeric.
MIT researchers have discovered that there are neurons in our brains designed only to hone in to music, begging questions of how music has shaped humans as a species. For Sonarpilot, music is more than human, or even earthly. Each piece in The Mirage Project brings the mechanical together with the living. “The Last Machine” becomes a creature with a heartbeat of a synthesizer drip and the inhalation of a fax machine. The percussion — perhaps the most earthen of layers — is sprinkled over a wash of synths with enough scope to coat a room.
All the while, the fractal images rotate. The sixth set of worlds carries a particular complexity in the details. Each ornate shape of the first set of images glows and pulses with the song — rounded tendrils are ringed with texture here. Later, the shapes become thornier. Images are reflected in bubbles and the pseudo resemblance to skyscrapers beguiles. “One day, not too far in the future, a human-level artificial intelligence mind machine will be able to continually be able to create smarter and smarter versions of itself,” begins the text that writes itself across the screen. This, of course, will be humanity’s last machine.
Though the images are set in an alternate 2020, there is a sense that this journey is evocative of a future. The present-day EDM groove with the nostalgic dial-up tone are of our world, which pulls both time and space into question. Artificial intelligence is, after all, at our fingertips.