The Art of Decomposing

Rashad Wimbrush decided to reverse-engineer a bit of Mozart. This decision, the product of serendipity and ridiculous, proved fatal for poor Wimbrush. Despite that lone sour note, the endeavor gifted the world with the first rendition of quantum computer-generated art.

Wimbrush’s blank canvas was a 55-inch curved video monitor, to which he connected a high-fidelity turntable, an IBM quantum computer and a pair of concert-hall speakers. Upon the turntable, he placed a newly remastered vinyl LP of two guys playing Mozart’s Sonata for Bassoon and Cello, Köch. verz no. 292. This record was chosen because the two artists used replica period instruments. Wimbrush wanted to counter the advanced technology with as much authenticity as possible. At the same time, he’d hoped to play back the results with as much musical fidelity as the speakers could muster. To that end, he connected the computer’s audio input and output to the turntable and pair of speakers, respectively.

Wimbrush was a fantastic coder. In his hands, the quantum computer purred, hummed and optimized seven million “instructions” in about as many milliseconds. Two hours after he first sat down, his prototype was completed. The role of the quantum computer was to “listen” to the recording and artistically recreate the sheet music on-screen while simultaneously playing both instruments through the speakers.

Unfortunately for Wimbrush, the computer detected the speakers and unilaterally decided to listen to the record through them, rather than through the audio cable Wimbrush had connected from the turntable. The result was much the same as someone talking on a phone to a radio show host, while in the vicinity of a radio tuned to that host’s frequency!

The feedback loop seared Wimbrush’s brain in less than a minute. As he quivered helplessly on the floor, fate was kind enough to let him see the computer’s masterpiece on the giant screen. He died with a smile on his face.

“Colossal Bone” – Qubit Paint Pro v. 3.14159 circa 2022


Inspired by Holly Jahangiri’s spooky image prompt