Cybernetic Symptom by Trenton Walls

“Cybernetic Symptoms” demonstrates how writing is not limited to academic settings, and that “composition” has a broad definition. Such a composition asks the question, what is the best mode for an argument? What types of audience do different modes reach? This composer, as evidenced in his author’s statement, has carefully considered his argument and how to best represent it, even if that is not through a traditional essay. However, by using a different mode, an argument might be able to reach an audience it otherwise would not. Examine the argument in the artist statement, and listen (or read along) to the lyrics. How do these two modes of argument interact? Do they complement each other? Or does the artist’s statement distract from the lyrical power of the song itself? Is the song something that should stand alone?


 

“Cybernetic Symptom” Artist’s Statement

“Cybernetic Symptom” was an assignment about Concept Exploration. My goal was to take the class theme of “Technology in the Human Body” and apply it to my medium of choice. I decided that music was going to be my medium of choice not only because I have a songwriting background, but it is also a medium that attracts audiences every day. Music to me is a very expressive medium and it often helps all of us feel connected. What genre of music did I choose to bring the theme to life? I chose to do Hard Rock because I wanted to symbolize the physical weight of a cyborg with sound and bring emotional appeal. With this song, I wanted to go in a heavier direction while keeping it universal for everyone to enjoy. I love Hard Rock, but I have never been a huge fan of the aggressive vocals that often is associated with that genre. I wrote this song to be heavy, but also to have clean vocals. The song is about a normal human transitioning to the cyborg/transhuman era. The song shows the negative side of the transhuman era, such as not being able to drink water to survive, not being to sleep, not being able to feel pain, etc. To bring the “voice of technology” in this song, I auto-tuned some of the vocals to basically create the voice of the cyborg taking over the human body. This assignment was a lot of fun to work on because I got to do what I love which was making music. The Concept Exploration assignment is very useful when it comes to writing. It urges you to learn more about a theme and come up with a unique way of presenting your point of view.

Cybernetic Symptom Lyrics

Verse 1

Wake up and enter tomorrow.

Our lives in the past are now overthrown.

Say goodbye to your sorrows.

Now we are equal.

The biological sequel.

Life as a human is over.

My heart is a time bomb.

Death has never been closer.

Part of my body is embalmed.

Through the wires and the circuitry,

I will live for an eternity.

Pre-Chorus

You cannot see what bothers me.

Can’t live off water.

I’m electrified.

I may be stronger.

I’m still horrified.

I can’t believe.

I can’t retreat.

Chorus

I’m trapped in the future with nowhere to hide.

A super computer, a new set of eyes.

I can’t hibernate. I’m always in motion.

I can’t feel the pain of my own corrosion.

What have I become? What has science done?

I can’t break free. Nature’s bane is taking over me.

Verse 2

What makes you different from us,

other than flesh and blood?

I have no dreams.

I only live through nightmares.

We all are ruled by machines.

A day we should have foreseen.

There is no return.

The past has got to burn.

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