At the dawn of the eighties, Spiegel released the album The Expanding Universe (1980), produced using the synthesizers at Bell Laboratories, but the composer lost access to them after its release. She then decided to develop her own algorithmic composition software for personal computers, known as Music Mouse. This technology allowed her to pay closer attention to the details of her sounds—which gained timbric richness and dynamic complexity—while maintaining their characteristic lightness and emotion.

By the nineties, the intuitive turn in her work allowed the organization of sound to stretch out until it achieved moments of apparent equilibrium or metastability (to borrow a term from physics): the resulting sonorous structures resemble organic structures undergoing deterministic yet unpredictable transformation. It’s not a coincidence that the notions of live processing and improvisation are central to Spiegel’s work.

Nevertheless, Unseen Worlds distances itself from any notion of specialized music produced in a laboratory; instead, it deploys a new sonorous sensibility that combines the intuitive and interactive qualities of analog instruments with the use of personal computers, seeking to reinforce a notion of machinistic expressiveness. Spiegel has explained that she imagined a tiny computer sitting all alone, playing its “little silicon heart out,” as if it were an instrument, making the most beautiful and expressive music it was capable of.


With this exhibition, we reinaugurate the Espacio de Experimentación Sonora, whose new approach is centered on including pieces of contemporary, electroacoustic and popular music from different geographies and traditions, as well as in recovering key archives for understanding contemporary sound arts.

Laurie Spiegel
Three Sonic Spaces II, 1991
3’ 22”
Sound Zones, 1991
8’ 07”
Riding The Storm, 1991
4’ 29”
From a Harmonic Algorithm, 1991
2’ 55”

Multichannel sound installation in loop
Courtesy of the artist

Curatorship:  Guillermo García Pérez
Artist: Laurie Spiegel (Chicago, 1945)