The world can finally listen to the first artificial music ever made, created by the father of the modern computer, the British scientist Alan Turing, in New Zealand in 1951.
Scholars have managed to restore the primitive musical recording, the foundation stone of a revolution that has led to synthesizers and electronic music today.
Brilliant mathematician, deciphering of the Nazi Enigma code during World War II, so in practice the inventor of the first computerized electronic brain, Turing was later prosecuted for homosexuality, a criminal offense in the UK at that time, and sentenced to chemical castration. He committed suicide at age 41, in 1954. Queen Elizabeth officially conferred a posthumous pardon in 2013 and his story has been told a few years ago by the Oscar-winning film “The imitation game”.
But the connection between Turing and music was still missing.
The original recording, made 65 years ago in the BBC studios in Manchester, was found and processed by researchers from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. It contains only three songs: The British national anthem, God Save the King; a song for children, “Baa, baa, black sheep” (Baa, Baa, Black Sheep); and “In the Mood”, a famous American swing song by Glenn Miller.
When Professor John Copeland and composer Jason Long examined the tape, they found that it was severely damaged and almost inaudible. A long restoration work has allowed to give almost all the original sounds back.
In the version of 1951 he collaborated with a school teacher, Christopher Stracey, who would later become a scientist in the field of computers.
Here are the songs published on Soundcloud.