listen to the air around you

for Music of the Earth

for live electronics, interaction

2022c. 5 mins

This work does not exist. Actually, it does – but it is ‘only’ a computer program that needs human touch to sound.

listen to the air around you dabbles with the ideas of recycling and filtration. The source sound clips include a fire engine bell, materials being crushed and struck, water, the ocean, and a train. They include solutions to the climate crisis, but I’m not trying to tell people what to think but inviting them to think for themselves.

Part A was generated by myself and explores the sounds in ‘purer’ form.

listen to the air around you – Part A

Part B was recorded at the premiere of the work on 22 September 2022 at the Music of the Earth listening party at Imperial College London. The program was brought to life through audience interaction. Members of the audience are invited to connect to the computer program via their phones, and drag sliders on their device that control sound processing.

It was a relief that the remote control technology worked – although, on this occasion, the sound was chaotic and gritty, as thirty people randomly competed for control of the sliders and pulled them to their extremes. The audience's interaction will be explored more in future episodes.

This performance contains harsh scratching sounds

Having said that the work doesn't tell people what to think, I think one relevant theme is ‘collaboration.’ We need to work together to create the music and listen to other people’s decisions before making our own.