"And if life were made of silicon instead of carbon?“
When Air, the duo from the forests of Versailles, appeared 20 years ago, electronics and romance merged musically in the Nouvel Impressionnisme. Jean-Benoît Dunckel was responsible for the superstructure. Once a musician did not come from art school, but from the mathematics and physics section. He brought the abstract beauty to the pieces, was responsible for remixes such as ” Everybody Hertz “and released his solo album”Darkel” in the summer of 2006. Now appears “H+”, his second independent work, on which he sings English with a French accent, just as he speaks from Paris into an old, stationary telephone.
WORLD: Their album is called “H +” like the Proton, the origin of our material world.
Mr Jean-Benoît Dunckel: That too. For me, however,” H+ ” stands first and foremost for transhumanity. That’s my dream. I read about what I can find. What does the person of the future look like?
WORLD: That’s the question. They sing: “Here comes the new man, the superhuman.“
Home: I am a fantasist and not a prophet. Is such a superhuman the absolute utopia or the dystopia par excellence? Probably, he will be both. A perfect being, but which will also lack a lot. Technologies such as the smartphone make us smarter, but also more forgetful and disoriented. The H+, as I call it, will not be able to solve any problems without its machines. And then only the richest people will be true superhumans and see all other people as prolets like in” Blade Runner ” or like us today the animals.
WORLD: Dreamer has never sung about immortality. What’s so nice about it?
Home: If it’s not supposed to, it just sounds like it. This is the trap of aesthetics. Eternal life, even one’s own, is a nightmare.
WORLD: And now for hydrogen.
Home: Of course, that’s what it’s all about. Without the first element in its electron-less form, nothing would be there, including us. It is the acid in the water.
WORLD: What is the soul made of? From atoms?
Home: It consists of nothing. The soul is immaterial, it flies around somewhere. To be honest: I never understood what it was all about with this big projection of the little person. Perhaps the soul will help us to endure life. What distinguishes us from animals seems to be the ability to think up such mischief. God is always there for us.
WORLD: Was that what René Descartes, the Enlightener, wanted to tell us by separating the mind from the body?
Home: When I think of myself, both are faithfully together in the sum of my cells, molecules and atoms. When I die, there is no spirit left. Nothing. Never again. No reincarnation. But all the atoms are still there. As Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, said: “Nothing is lost in the world.”Everything is constantly transformed. From matter to matter. Spirit becomes art.
WORLD: Is the periodic table of elements just paper or the poetry of the world?
Home: It is the eternally valid law chart of nature. Everyone should learn to read it. 92 Elements were created out of themselves, the remaining 26 were provided by man himself. He is the true Creator.
WORLD: They are physicists and mathematicians. What does this have to do with your music?
Home: Music sets life to music, and so far I have come across nothing better to understand life than the two most causal sciences ever. You think about things differently when you are a mathematician and a physicist listening to music and reading novels. In the recording studio, I always felt like I was in the lab. I stand at my devices with their circuits and interfaces and investigate their sounds. I’m a researcher. Sometimes I don’t even know what I’m looking for until I find it. Suddenly there are harmonies and melodies like cultures in the petri dish.
WORLD: Are natural sciences the new religions?
Home: Yes, you are. If I had to be spiritual, I would also believe the scientists more than the churches.
WORLD: One of her pieces has the beautiful beautiful title “Quartz”.
Home: A wonderful mineral, something very eternal. Silicon dioxide. Silicon is closely related to carbon, and quartz is solid carbon dioxide, so to speak. What if life were not carbon, but silicon?
WORLD: Isn’t it already doing so in a different guise than artificial intelligence?
Home: This is what I ask myself every day: Are computers beings? Do I play them, my samplers and sequencers, or do they play themselves and me? I’ve heard computers compose.
WORLD: Do you really believe in intelligent machines and artificial consciousness?
Home: No. Consciousness needs a living body. A song of mine is called “Love Machine”. Have you seen the movie “Her”, in which a man falls in love with a talking machine? It is always only the person who falls in love, never the machine.