Someone working on The Hunger Games really knew what they were doing! As Wired blogger Geeta Dayal points out, hidden in the middle of the film, there’s a rare, beautiful, raw experimental track titled “Sediment”.
The track was recorded by electronic music pioneer and computer scientist Laurie Spiegel in 1972. Appearing during the film’s cornucopia scene, “Sediment” is a 9-minute soundscape created using an ElectroComp 200 analog synthesizer, two tape decks, graphing paper and a ruler. It’s the perfect music for the tense, terrifying moment when the competition truly begins.
“The only way to mix was to play something live, where one deck was playing audio while the other deck was recording the other machine,” Spiegel told Wired in a phone interview. “You piled the tape hiss and noise for every generation you added.” Spiegel recorded the piece in a five-room apartment running on a 15-amp fuse, leading to technical difficulties when her appliances interfered with the recording. “When the refrigerator went on, half the oscillators dropped by a quarter tone…. I had to turn the refrigerator off, or it would ruin the take.”
Laurie Spiegel surrounded by her equipment in the 1970s. Photo by Stan Bratman