At the heart of my work lies a concern with the auditory reflection and mirroring of real world environments through sound, technology and art. My practice explores concepts around the aural interaction between human beings and the environment they live in, and how the use of ambient sound as a mode of communication can impact on community and our relationship to landscape. My work employs field recordings, synthesized sounds and live electronics, providing scope for creative diversity. I use Ableton and MAX/MSP to create bespoke software instruments and sound environments. I work with immanent conceptuality, continually returning to local natural landscapes and urban environments as sources of inspiration. Specifically, my research questions: What is the role soundscape composition in how it represents real world environments? How can new technologies allow us to gain a deeper understand of these environments, which are perhaps not revealed through sound recording? Does electronic music allow a new perspective on how we listen to our shared soundscapes? How have our acoustic ecologies changed in the digital age?
My current research project, Re-Composing our Troposphere, is a site-specific sound art installation inspired by and reactive to immediate changes in weather and the environment around us. Using a digital weather station, attached to the outside of the building, to feed data into a range of acoustic sound sculptures within a chosen space. The weather station, installed with a number of different sensors, will measure wind speed, wind direction, temperature, rainfall, humidity and UV index. These various streams of real-time sensor data will be directly connected (through a computer and Arduino micro-controller) to small motors which will strike and play the acoustic sculptures within the room. The changes in the data from the wind speed, for example, will influence the movement of a motor, which will alter the way that the acoustic instrument is played effecting the overall composition of the installation. Having different sensors affecting and influencing different instruments will create a polyphonic, erratic, ever changing, improvisational soundscape, which the audience will be submersed within.
Further information on past projects:
- Sound and Seclusion - Victoria Tunnels
- Northumbrian Exchanges - Made up entirely of field recording from Northumberland, I used the theme of solitude and confined space to create a composition that mixes the expected and the abstract. By blending the natural and the man-made I created a productive tension which can be heard at moments throughout the installation. The piece was premiered in Victoria Tunnels, an old coal transportation tunnel that runs through Newcastle-upon-Tyne, on the 19th October 2013. Commissioned by Newcastle University's AHRC-funded Northumbrian Exchanges research project.
- The Sonic Cosmos - Newcastle City Library
- BRITISH SCIENCE FESTIVAL 2013
- The Sonic Cosmos - an audio / visual installation modelled on our solar system. The central piece takes the form of a traditional orrery, a mechanical device used to illustrate the relative positions and motions of the planets in orbit. The standard model of an orrery has been adapted to act as a self playing musical instrument which generates its own composition. Using scientific information as a basis for composition the piece merges quantitative observations with creative interpretation. As The Sonic Cosmos continues to run, the artistic involvement is merely peripheral and the work takes on its own compositional journey. As with 'The Music of the Spheres', The Sonic Cosmos demonstrates the notion of music discovery rather than creation.