Canned Gods arose out of Jocelyn Robert’s brief experience in the summer of 1995 working as a sound effects editor on a CD-ROM production.
Canned Gods arose out of Jocelyn Robert’s brief experience in the summer of 1995 working as a sound effects editor on a CD-ROM production. Here he had the opportunity to work with sound effects libraries on CD. In one of them, there were 1,000 different recorded door sounds. Listening, he found the first 200 ordinary enough, but then he discovered that all the rest on the disk were in fact car doors. On checking its origins, he found that the CD was from the United States. As he explored the question, he came to feel that the broad outlines of a culture are discernible even in what it chooses to put into its sound effects libraries. This moment of insight led to Canned Gods.
The CD was launched at Le Grand Orchestre d’Avatar’s concert 15 minutes pour un thème. Robert is, incidentally, a member of the group. It took place on June 4, 1999, at Le D’Auteuil bar in Quebec City—part of the second Musiques au présent festival. The work had previously been featured on the CKIA’s Excavation sonore.