The music on AudioScans is the result of an intriguing process of homage. Marc Battier took nine paintings by the Chilean surrealist painter Roberto Matta and scanned them into his computer. He processed the resulting data into music files, scoring the music by observing how his eyes moved around the paintings, moving from visual cluster to visual cluster. This determined the temporal structure of the pieces, while the pixel value of the image determined the pitch and duration of each note. The result is a music created both by the act of painting an image and the act of looking at it.

The resulting music bears a strange sonic relation to the original paintings. While the paintings are noticeable for their amorphous, organic shapes, the sounds have an obvious grid-like structure that implies their digital processing. But Matta reportedly found the music to be a lovely evocation of his paintings. Even without the connection to the paintings, the music is beautiful to listen to. Battier is able to meld together some of the more digital granulations, and the music shimmers and resonates with a wealth of active detail. The pixelated sound creates an enveloping ambience with streaks of cascading textures and sounds. Strong music should be able to stand apart from its inspiration, and these compositions—despite the energy put into explicating the connections—are no exception.