Today there’s sound guided by the hand of the sea, guided by numbers, guided by time. Your word for the day is aleaotoric: headphones on, sit back, it’s time for Craig Gell and The Kokra Family…
Craig Gell – Wave Machine (Radio Edits)
Live sea wave data streamed from a marine observation buoy is transformed into a continually evolving electronic soundscape. A network of buoys around the English coast feed data to a freely accessible online resource.
Using the Pure Data (Pd) programming platform, the various measurements recorded by the buoy are used to shape and control the different parameters of sound. Wave periodicity sets a tempo, while wave height determines the amount of pitch-bend. Wind direction determines the sound’s movement across the stereo field. Sea temperature is indicated by a single modulating tone, with a tremolo effect increasing as the sea warms. The initial tonality of all sound within the patch is determined by the coordinates of the buoy, giving each buoy around the coast a unique sound signature. The buoy records data every 30 minutes and the patch is updated via a live internet connection making it possible for Wave Machine to run perpetually.
Craig Gell is a composer, artist and musician based in Folkestone, Kent. He has created site-specific sound art works, radio art and multimedia installations, largely influenced and informed by his local natural environment and the forces of nature. His work has been exhibited at events and festivals including the Folkestone Triennial, Ramsgate Festival of Sound, and Vernon & Burns’ Radiophrenia – broadcast live from Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts.
He has also composed music for a number of animated short films, including Quarantine (2019), directed by long-time collaborator Astrid Goldsmith, which aired on BBC4 and won Best Animated Short Film at London Short Film Festival 2020. Music for the film Red Rover (2020) was composed while on residency at the Red House, Aldeburgh.
Craig has collaborated with other local artists and practitioners including Anna Braithwaite (Montrose Composers Club), eco-poet Chris Poundwhite, filmmaker Jemima Hughes, and the Folkestone Fringe.
The Kokra Family (Line Kramer and Marjolijn Kok) – Waiting at Random
Without realizing it, we spent a lot of time waiting for time. When we got time thrown at us, so to speak, during the lockdown it was almost hallucinating how our time got smashed into confinement. The free time we had longed for was changed into a new kind of duration. We undertook new ways of portioning this new time, the biggest portion was dedicated to ways of collaborative research. Within our artist collaboration we are used to do this during a residency or for a certain project. Now the endlessness of our project confronted us with our use of our time and our living space. One of us has an interest in divination, but sees this as a game of chance as well. The way forecasting is undertaken often resembles a gamble. Fortune telling is comparable with algorithms based on randomness. Why something becomes significant in a series or in our lives is tied to absolute chaos. The 1000 numbers that were generated at the core of this project are related to the ‘mille plateaus’ of Deleuze. The number 1000 is connected with us in different ways. For this song a 1000 numbers, generated randomly from 1 to 10, were transcribed into 10 piano keys. The piece has to be played in 20 minutes, a timeframe that coincided with us coming from another project. This restriction helped us to shape the piece. The 20 minutes can be seen/heard as one take, one stroke. It becomes playful to see this as a refrain that could be remembered and sung by heart.