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17th October 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM BST
Michael Begg, representing work undertaken with People Ocean Planet, Marine Alliance of science and Technology, Scottish Association for Marine Sciences, Creative Informatics, Blue Action EU, European Marine Board, and research scientists based at AWI, European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Hokkaido University Institute for Low Temperature Science.
Between 2021 and 2023 sound artist Michael Begg completed composer residencies with the Ocean ARTic Partnership and the European Marine Board. Working in collaboration with climate scientists and researchers, the residencies sought to use music built around research data to increase public awareness and engagement with the complexity and fragility of our polar regions as they struggled with climate change.
Using innovative technology and composing techniques that transformed data into sound, new forms of musical expression were realised that spoke to an audience’s own growing anxiety surrounding climate change. But these data compositions provided both a cathartic release for the scientists, and suggested new perspectives around which to consider the structure and representation of their work. As one researcher remarked, “I found the music fascinating but also surprisingly stressful – being able to hear environmental change is quite an emotional experience.”
Beginning with the proposal that in the 21st century data has become the common vocabulary of science and art, Michael describes the processes through which he arrives at his compositions, considers the differences between data sonification and data composition, and invites discussion around what value or insight may be revealed through consideration of sound and music in research activity. He will also explore solastalgia, the acute anxiety arising from living through climate change, and what these new forms of musical expression may contribute to addressing that condition for listeners, and for researchers.