Posts Tagged ‘BASCA’

5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun on BBC World Service

5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun – my sound installation made with data from the BiSON team at University of Birmingham will feature on BBC World Service at 3pm today. Honor Harger, curator of the ArtScience Museum in Singapore will talk about the work and the methods I used to sonify the data on Sounds of Space: The Solar System – an episode of the weekly Discovery Science slot.

Shortlisted for BASCA British Composer Awards 2014

I am thrilled that my sound installation, On Air has been shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Award. The 2014 Awards take place on 2nd Dec in Goldsmiths Hall in London. I am one of three composers shortlisted in the Sonic Art category.

On Air was a large scale outdoor sound installation for The Open University campus – 100 concealed speakers were located in trees and bushes and throughout the walkway and gardens. On Air comprised archive material, interviews, field recordings and musical elements that formed an acoustic layer of thought, idea and enquiry that floated on the air currents throughout the site. It was commissioned by The Open University in 2013 to celebrate 50 years since Harold Wilson’s University of the Air speech.


Posted: October 20th, 2014
Categories: composition, public events, sound art
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On Air

A lovely sunny day for On Air, my large scale sound installation throughout The Open University campus in Milton Keynes. On Air is a 60 channel work that floats in the air around the campus. More than 100 speakers diffuse an acoustic layer made from the voices of OU researchers, archive material, echolocations of local bats, musical elements, electromagnetic signals and field recordings gathered from around the site. The recordings are re-introduced back into the environment from which they came, as though the ideas, lines of enquiry and histories of The Open University exist permanently on the air currents throughout the campus and are made temporarily audible by the work.

On Air is one of four artworks commissioned across the regions for the University of the Air project, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Harold Wilson speech and OU research. On Air is the commission for England and focuses on design and technology research.


Posted: November 10th, 2013
Categories: composition, sound art, sound design, spatial
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Shortlisted for BASCA British Composer Awards 2013

I am delighted to have been shortlisted for the British Composer Awards with my sound installation, 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun. I am one of three composers shortlisted in the Sonic Art category. The British Composer Awards ceremony will take place on 3rd December. More information is available here.

5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun is an outdoor multi-channel sound installation exploring naturally occurring radio signals and the acoustic and electromagnetic energy of the sun. The work combines data on the sun’s natural resonances from the BiSON research team at the University of Birmingham with VLF natural radio signals.

The work was sited within a parabolic dome in Milton Keynes Theatre District for six weeks from 21st June 2012. The acoustic attributes of the space allowed the dome to be used as a form of “meta-instrument” – the dome acted as a giant sounding box and further focused and amplified a multi-channel composition that was diffused through a network of speakers towards its roof.


5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun begins…


At midday today, 21st June – the longest day of the year, my new sound installation, 5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun, begins playing in a dome in the theatre district, Milton Keynes.

The piece is an exploration of naturally occurring radio signal and solar activity and alternates every five minutes between acoustic and electromagnetic “listening modes” that provide new ways to “listen” to the sun.

For the acoustic listening modes, I used data courtesy of the BiSON research team at Birmingham University and translated it into a composition. I calculated the frequencies “sped up” one million times so that they corresponded with human hearing frequency range and made tones at those frequencies with a tone generator. All the “overtones” that can be heard within these passages relate to natural resonances present within the sun’s interior.

During the electromagnetic listening modes, naturally occurring radio signals are sent toward the roof of the dome and though these signals are tiny, they can be clearly heard. The dome is used like a giant instrument to amplify and focus the delicate sounds.

The installation runs daily from 12 noon to 9pm and can be heard by walking through the dome anytime between those hours. More information about the process involved in making the work will be available to read in the new MK Gallery Reading Space from 28 June along with an audio file of the entire composition.

5 Minute Oscillations of the Sun has been made possible with public funding from Arts Council England and has received additional support from MK Gallery. Many thanks to radio enthusiasts Paul Nicholson and Wolf Buescher from whose live stream, I recorded the VLF radio sounds.

Everyone is welcome to come to a listening event to hear the piece in the dome on the evening of 27 June at 7.45pm.

More information available on MK Gallery website.