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One of the many things I love about working in possibly the geekiest building (Electronic Engineering AND Computer Science!) at QMUL (Queen Mary University of London) is getting emails from colleagues as yet unknown who do all sorts of cool things there. Some of them do cool things as part of the Centre for Digital Music that I think is in a separate building, but is somehow delightfully linked to us, so we get their emails too hooray. I’ve no idea what a diagram showing how all the departments interact might look like, but I work within a group with a pretty wide remit that includes computer science folk and people who study audience interactions in theatre settings. It’s an interesting place.

Anyway… an email from a colleague today who has been working on this, which seems intriguing. Here’s a Vimeo video.

The Cave of Sounds from Tim Murray-Browne on Vimeo.

The name – ‘Cave of Sounds’ – sounds lovely and happily the sounds themselves also sound rather pleasing. It’s an opportunity to go to the Barbican and play with some interactive electronic type musical instruments – there are instruments which respond to movement and direction (all done with accelerometers) and one that makes a particularly nice sound with lots of light-sensitive diodes in it. But it’s only on this week (closes Monday 26th) so leap to the Barbican pronto if you want to have a play around with it.

http://caveofsounds.com/ | http://hackthebarbican.org/
Barbican (Level -1 which basically means ‘walk downstairs’ I think)

  • Wed 21 Aug 3pm — 10pm
  • Thu 22 Aug 3pm — 10pm  <– there’s a private viewing from 7-10pm for the cool kids
  • Fri 23 Aug 3pm — 10pm
  • Sat 24 Aug 11am — 10pm
  • Sun 25 Aug 11am — 10pm
  • Mon 26 Aug 11am — 4pm

Other stuff going on at the Hack the Barbican this week: http://hackthebarbican.org/week-3-19-25-august/

On Saturday 21 September the intallation will be parked from 10.30am – 4.30pm in the V&A, in the Hochhauser Auditorium in the Sackler Centre.

Not that you’re meant to but I wonder how you’d ‘write a piece for’ the instruments, more in terms of how you’d actually write it down. There’s a bit in the Alchemists of Sound (a wonderful retrospective of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop from 2003) where they show on screen some notations used in musique concrete but not having a music background I couldn’t make much sense of it.