Networked_Music_Review

Net_Music_Weekly: Variable 4 [uk Kent]

variable4.jpgVariable 4 by James Bulley and Daniel Jones :: May 22-23, 2010; noon-noon :: Dungeness, Kent, TN29 9ND.

Since the earliest civilizations, a complex relationship has existed between human society and the weather systems that define the world around us. We make sense of seasonal cycles through rituals and folklore, passing down ways of harnessing the natural elements whilst constructing defenses against those which threaten our existence.

Variable 4 transforms these weather patterns into a living musical composition with the same unpredictability as the elements themselves. Using meteorological sensors connected to a custom software environment developed by the artists, the wild weather conditions of the Kent coastland act as composer, navigating through a map of 24 specifically written movements. Every aspect of the piece, from broad harmonic progressions down to individual notes and timbres, is influenced by changes in the environment: wind speed, rainfall, solar radiation, humidity, tropospheric variance, temperature, and more.

Linking together the sensor data and scored motifs is an array of algorithmic processes drawn from the natural world, modelling phenomena such as tree growth, swarm theory and evolutionary development. The resultant composition is performed over a 24 hour duration through a field of 8 speakers integrated into the landscape.

The piece will take place from midday May 22nd to midday May 23rd 2010 on the headland of Dungeness, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) due to its unique and diverse wildlife.

james-200.jpgJames Bulley is a composer, producer and sonic artist, whose work spans a range of mediums and genres. Most recent artwork includes a series of collaborations with the artists Charlesworth, Lewandowski and Mann, a 9-channel 29 piano field recording installation in the Queen Elizabeth Hall entitled Equal Temperance, and work for the theatre companies Athletes Of The Heart, and Connection Failed [winner of Attic Arts 2009]. As a producer, James is currently working with Fred Deakin, with previously production credits including Pete Greenwood [Heavenly Records], Among the Bones [Clan Destine Records] and Trojan Sound System. He is also founder and co- director of OOXXOO, a South London based artist platform curating and producing exhibitions, documentary films, events and publications.

daniel-200.jpgDaniel Jones is an artist, composer and software engineer who creates generative audio-visual works based on biological phenomena. Part of a body of research towards a PhD in complex systems dynamic, his interdisciplinary work with simulation and visualisation bridges the gap between the domains of art and science, serving to illuminate each in a new light. Previous works include AtomSwarm (2006), a musical performance system using swarm dynamics; Map of a Micro-Community (2007), which depicts the growth and fluctuations of an online community; and Subtext (2008), a site-specific installation which translates the underlying signals of network traffic into a set of human-readable hieroglyphics, commissioned by SoundNetwork for Futuresonic08. He co-ordinated and developed the technical infrastructure for The Fragmented Orchestra, winner of the prestigious PRS Foundation New Music.

Variable 4 is made possible thanks to generous funding from the PRS for Music Foundation, and support from a number of independent sponsors including Campbell Scientific, Max For Live, KEF and the Dungeness RNLI.


May 5, 2010
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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