Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.
The Strachey Love Letter Generator was a computer program developed by Christopher Strachey in 1952. Arguably the first known work of digital literature, the program was created on a Ferranti Mark I Computer (MUC) at Manchester University.
Using a series of templates, Strachey’s program could randomly produce love letters at a pace of one per minute, for hours at a time, without a single duplicate. A simple sentence beginning with the word “My,” for example, could generate over 424 million combinations from only 20 nouns.
Here’s an example of the swoon-worthy prose the Generator was capable of producing:
MY FANCY TREASURES YOUR HUNGER. YOU ARE MY FERVENT ENTHUSIASM, MY LOVING FERVOUR, MY EAGER LUST, MY PRECIOUS AFFECTION.
Makes the heart flutter, don’t it? Feel free to try it yourself.
For this strange (and thankfully short) piece, Suss Müsik consulted an online random word generator 2 with one simple rule: use the first three instruments that appear, in that order, while also using an adjective that appears in the same set. It took a long time, but here’s where we landed:
organ < > corroded
cymbal < > insistent
guitar < > utopian
What does a “utopian guitar” even sound like? Who knows. Maybe it sounds like this. Maybe it doesn’t. It’s random!
The piece is titled Strachey. The image is a mashup of two public domain images from the British Library collection.