As the inspiration for this soundwork of obsolete sounds I chose a recording labeled “Heath Robinson”. Curious to know what the sound came from, I did an internet search and learned that W. Heath Robinson was an English cartoonist whose fanciful illustrations of elaborate contraptions preceded Rube Goldberg. However, this didn’t tell me what the recording I had chosen was actually of. A further search, cross referencing the listed date, 1943, revealed that Heath Robinson was also the name given to a British codebreaking machine used in World War II. This inspired me to encrypt a message into this composition. Can you solve it? Other obsolete sounds used include a 78 rpm record player, children’s toys, a touch-tone telephone, a CD-ROM drive and television static.

[Cipher was originally created for Cities and Memory’s Obsolete Sounds program, and the “Heath Robinson” recording used in this piece was from that program]