2018-20 Princeton Arts Fellow Jess Rowland conceived and programmed a sound installation which runs a computer program that plays every possible one-minute sound. To play every sound would require 1,070,000 years. Visit the installation, located in the forum behind the Lee Music Room, to experience an infinitesimal sampling of Every Sound.

NOTE: From Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27, the Forum and the Lewis Arts complex will be closed in observance of Memorial Day.


This Sound Installation, Every Sound, plays every possible one-minute audio file, one at a time.

How does it work?

Since audio files have finite data in them, there is a finite number of combinations of that data. This means that by going through each possible combination, you will (eventually) hear: Every 1-minute clip of a conversation you ever had; Every 1-minute clip of a conversation you never had; Every 1-minute clip of music ever created; Every 1 minute clip of music possible or conceivable; Every 1 minute combination of any sounds whatsoever.

How long does it take?

To play every sound requires about 1070000 years (that’s a 10 with 70000 zeros after it). The expected lifespan of the universe is roughly 101000 years. At the end of time – the heat death of the universe in which all mater will have decayed – this program would be roughly 0.00000 . . . (then seventy thousand more zeros) … 0001% done.


jess rowland

Sound artist and musician Jess Rowland. Photo by Max Lee

Jess Rowland is a sound artist, musician, and composer. Much of her work explores the relationship between technologies, popular culture and “other absurdities,” investigating “the weirdness of reality and how we all deal with it.” In addition to an active art practice, she has taught sound art at The School of Visual Arts in New York and continues to present her work internationally. She received her M.F.A. from the University of California Berkeley where she worked in Adrian Freed’s Research Lab at the Center for New Music and Audio Technology, developing techniques for embedded sound and flexible speaker arrays. She describes her work as continually aiming to reconcile the world of art and the world of science. She has been affiliated with neuroscience labs at New York University and elsewhere, researching music perception, and she has published in the fields of auditory neurosciences and music technologies. Recent installations and performances include the New York Electronic Arts Festival, Simons Center for Geometry and Physics, Berkeley Art Museum, Dartmouth Hood Museum, Harvestworks, and Spectrum NYC. Learn more at

Map + Directions

Visit the installation located in the Forum behind the Lee Music Room, under the staircase leading to the accessible restrooms. The Forum is located on the street level of the Wallace Dance Building at the Lewis Arts complex, 122 Alexander Street in Princeton, NJ. View map of Lewis Arts complex

View directions and campus maps, information on parking and public transit, and other venue information on our Venues & Directions page »

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Presented By

  • Lewis Center for the Arts