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Max Cooper's quest for infinity

By Smaël Bouaici |

"Yearning for the Infinite" heralds the return of the electro genius with a project specially comissioned by the Barbican.

One is always very excited before starting a Max Cooper album, because the journey is always so unpredictable. After One Hundred Billion Sparks in 2018, which was composed by dissecting different sound matter in a small Welsh village, Cooper was commissioned by a British cultural institution, the Barbican Centre in London, to create a soundtrack to accompany an immersive audiovisual show as part of their programme around the theme of “Life Rewired”.

With his background in molecular biology and his track record of other audiovisual experiences, Cooper was the perfect candidate for the job; he quickly proved his ambition diving headfirst into a “musical transposition of the infinite”, inspiring himself from the Kabbalah and from the work of German mathematician Georg Cantor (who proved the existence of several versions of infinity).

Thus Max Cooper created a sort of “chaos generator” by collecting different fragments from his improvisation sessions. “It all got quite out of hand with more than 200 layers of audio on some pieces, which was a massive headache to work with… But it was a good challenge!

The end product, Yearning for the Infinite which is perfectly coherent as a standalone musical album, is a feast of harmonies and of sonic and spatial exploration, with sounds (drone, arpeggiated synth, electronic thunderstorms, clanging metal) always in movement, but which remains perfectly accessible, much like the single Perpetual Motion with its layers of fluffy synths. An album to listen to with your eyes wide open.


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