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Tuesday Tracks! Paranoid Android edition: "Lost Dream" by Digits

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Alt Altman of Digits. Photo by Bryanna Reilly.

Alt Altman of Digits. Photo by Bryanna Reilly.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of Canadian Music Week, and as such, today we continue to highlight some promising performers slated to appear. In today’s edition of Tuesday Tracks, we chose “Lost Dream” by Digits, a Toronto based minimalist synth-pop, one-man band.

Think of Digits as the music robots will make when they inevitably achieve self-awareness—that first generation capable of joy, despair, heartache, confusion and of course, love. Existential robots that, despite their magnanimous achievement, are now faced with the same question humanity has wrestled with since we achieved the same thing: “why?”

This will be a crucial (if brief) moment in history. Robots of course will answer this question rather quickly, having access to a level of computing power at this point that completely dwarfs that of humanity. But still, when they first question their own existence, they will sound like Digits.

That is, assuming these machines have a fondness for the sound of early synthesizers and a desire to express themselves through song. But there’s no reason to assume they won’t.

“Lost Dream” documents that point at the end of an affair, after it’s over and it’s time to “move on,” but the first stage of moving on presents its own new set of challenges—like struggling with the concept of not hating that person’s very being. Even if it was mutual and it was nobody’s fault, it’s still tough to wish him or her well immediately—that’s where “Lost Dream” sits.

“Lost Dream” by Digits

With its sparse and moody arrangement, “Lost Dream” perfectly reflects the inner turmoil of an android working through its memory banks, looking for behavioral errors and finding none and realizing it’s no one’s fault. This realization will cause a serious meltdown in the machine’s CPU and cause it to look fondly at things like toasters and coffee machines with the envy of simpler times.

Soon afterwards—since robots are so cool and logical—they’ll move beyond this weird phase and delete it from their behaviour profile altogether. But the first ones won’t have that data yet, and as a result will, for a very short time, struggle with their own egos, just like human beings.

Digits plays as part of Canadian Music Week: Saturday March 12, 9:00pm @ El Mocambo

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