A song has been concocted of these sounds, and it's haunting
Bonnie Mayall

13:34 19th February 2015

The music that we all listen to on a day to day basis on our computers, phones and iPods, is sourced from files that used to be far more complex, until they were compressed for you to listen to through these devices. 

Transferring these complex files, we actually cut out a lot of sound from tracks - sounds that are extremely interesting to hear. But what do these omissions actually sound like?

Ryan Macguire, a P.H.D. student in Composition and Computer Technologies at The University of Virginia Center for Computer Music, has created a track made entirely out of these mysterious noises, to show everyone exactly what they're missing.

The track is entirely made of the sounds that were left out when compressing Suzanne Vega's 'Tom's Diner' to MP3. Accompanying the track is a video consisting only of material that gets left out when video files are compressed to MP4 files. 

Watch the video and listen to the track below

The result is an incredibly haunting and interesting experience, with ghostly echoing sounds and hallucinatory images to match, combining to create the feeling of being lost in the spirit world.

It's a shame that this kind of experimental, ambient, artistic music is lost due to compression. Especially when considered that MP3's emerged in the early 90s, when storing and transferring large amounts of data was expensive. But 20 years down the line, MP3's are still the standard music file - though nowadays we have better alternatives - and our computers are equipped to handle larger and more complex files. 

Grab your copy of the Gigwise print magazine here.