Meet the Musicians
Meet the 11 artists in residence at Rocklab who have learned how to sonify the datasets collected by researchers from the University of Luxembourg and from LIST – traffic data, historical data, ReShape art data and 3D body scan data – under the supervision of Dr. Valery Vermeulen; and who used the sonified data to compose a piece of music.
During the creative process, the artists had the opportunity to meet and learn from composers, sound artists and experts in the field of electronic music and production like Cristian Vogel, Thomas Glendinning (ELPHNT) and Jamie Perera. The outcome of that creative process will be performed at the closing event of “The Sound of data”, where Science meets Music.
4 artists decided to use the traffic information collected
on the main street of Belval as well as on the motorway leading to Belval.
Fred Baus (aka SpudBencer) – A4, 2021.08.27 (travelling to Berlin)
Fred Baus will take us on a road trip starting in Esch-sur-Alzette, on the A4, all the way to Berlin. Traffic is unpredictable, it is influenced by small things. Fluidity or traffic jams are just a matter of chance. Fred set out to create a track that uses the unpredictability of traffic, a track that changes according to traffic conditions. And he used the data sets to limit the degree of randomness.
Tessy Troes – RTJ
Tessy Troes explores the notions of sound versus noise. The artist summarized her approach with the following statement: “On a long drive home, the radio station plays the likes of Martyn Bennett and Portishead as you suddenly hear a saxophone growl to the noise of traffic, to the noise of data.”
All Reitz Reserved – In a rush
Chris Reitz chose to put up his violin against the electronic sounds generated by the traffic data set, and you will hear data interacting with the music in different ways. His composition is built upon the evolution of traffic density and speed on the A4 highway over the course of a very specific day: December 3rd, 2021. If you were on the A4 leading to Belval exactly one year ago then your drive may well have contributed to Chris Reitz’s track.
Willem & Adnan Theerens – Why Drive when you can Dance?
Willem and Adnan Theerens chose to work with traffic data because traffic is their pet peeve. They always end up being stuck in traffic, and that is what you are going to hear in their piece for which they converted the speed of cars into pitch. From casual driving, to getting stuck, and back to rolling again, the question is why Drive when you can Dance… or compose music so others can dance?
4 artists used the vast database of digitised daily newspapers,
extending roughly from 1850 to 1950, to compose and produce
their musical interpretation of the country’s iron and steel history.
Pol Belardi – Léiffrächen (National place of pilgrimage and memorial in Kayl)
Pol Belardi wants to remind us that while the steel industry is at the very root of the country’s wealth, it also came with tragic collateral damage: the death of miners during their hard work. The youngest documented victim being only 13 years old. The first part of the track juxtaposes mining production and human casualties; the second one honours those who fought for the rights of the working class, laying the grounds for a better future.
Virgilio Fernandez – Life Work Balance
Virgilio Fernandez chose to approach the historical data base from the angle of Work Life Balance, one of the top 3 priorities of workers worldwide. His track illustrates the growth of Luxembourg’s population as well as the employment and unemployment statistics by sector since the 19th century… to which he added some noise. The ultimate question here is: are we talking about work life or about life work balance?
Catherine Elsen – Je suis silencieuse moi
Catherine Elsen felt that the words “prosperity” and “steal” didn’t tell her enough about the human landscape. While she associated these terms with labour, steadiness, and masculinity she wondered about the role of women between 1841 and 1877. Catherine’s composition sets out to convey how women were silently contributing in the background, to support the development of the steel-based industrialization, all while fighting their way into the world of labour.
Eric Junker (aka Slumbergaze) – Ore vein
Eric Junker worked with the historical data set to musically convey the darkness and danger, associated with working in the Luxembourgish steel industry. His composition includes sounds that are representative of that environment, and which were triggered by the collected data.
3 musicians opted for the data generated by crowdsourced
abstract art, some 20,000 drawings collected all over the world.
Hester Bolle – Mean curve and collective pixel beat
Hester Bolle liked the idea that people who never saw each other had the opportunity to co-create; she felt like a silent curator. Hester sonified randomly selected curve drawings, which were then gradually overtaken by the rhythm of user interaction. Every time someone tapped the screen, you hear computer, iPad and violin pizzicato sounds forming a collective beat. In some way, we’ll witness the merging of an artwork and of its creators.
Mike von der Nahmer – Sounding Shadows
Mike von der Nahmer has been looking for musical expressions that connect with the visual representation of curves. Is there a pre-conception of how we hear movement? Think for instance about cartoons, and how the music usually mimics the movements of the characters. But what is beyond those stereotypical movements and their musical representation? What is the actual sound of a line?
Thomas Evans (aka Timelord) – Pixelised Harmony
Thomas Evans, aka Timelord, asked this one question: If thousands of individuals contributed abstract art drawings, can we find order in this chaos? His composition aims at taking us on a journey from singularity, to multiplicity, to harmony. In Timelord’s own words: “The crowd is an artist. Math is an art. You chose the colours; we chose the heartbeat. Together we gave it life.”. Let’s hear if by aggregating crowdsourced art Chaos can indeed become Order.