Houston created the video as a Christmas e-card from The Glasgow School of Art, from which he graduated in 2008. "I thought it would be wise to do a song or a track," Houston told Dezeen. "Music is the best way to get festive."
He used speech synthesis on some of the machines to make them sing while the other consoles sound the four repeated notes from the tune of Carol of the Bells, a Christmas carol composed in the early twentieth century.
Houston wanted to continue his work using old technology to create sounds and images, and combine it with showcasing his old Christmas gifts: "The idea was to get a collection of old Christmas presents, stuff that I've been given over the years and try to make music out of that."
All the machines are his own apart from a couple of items he sourced via Twitter. Old Apple Mac computers, a Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum + 1 and a SEGA Mega Drive are among the choir. The ensemble sings lyrics by writers Robert Florence and Philip Larkin about gaming at Christmas, which Houston did a lot as a child.
"Christmas for me is mostly about gaming," he explained. "Each Christmas is delineated with whatever game I was playing at the time." The video was filmed in The Glasgow School of Art school's Mackintosh Library, where the machines were unpacked and arranged on a table among Christmas decorations before playing the festive song.