‘Song of the seals’ to air tonight
Unusual collaboration between scientists and musicians
The tracking of southern elephant seals has inspired an unusual collaboration between scientists and musicians, which will culminate in a Hobart concert tonight.
Conservatorium of Music students and staff are to perform music derived from complex datasets collected from tagged marine species around sub-Antarctic islands.
Head of School, Associate Professor Andrew Legg explains: “There will be three short movements accompanied by data projections of the graphical score along with complementary environmental imagery.
“The Con’s improvisation collective iCon is thrilled to be engaged in this pioneering project.’’
The concert, entitled Vox on the Rox, is the fruit of collaboration between the University’s Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) researcher Dr Mary-Anne Lea and Sydney-based sound artist and sculptor Dr Nigel Helyer.
The seeds of the collaboration were planted during a conference in March last year when Dr Helyer created an interactive sonic sound map from satellite bio-logging data collected by IMAS, Australian Antarctic Division and French scientists.
The collaborators realised that the extensive datasets collected from southern elephant seals diving under Antarctic ice or traversing the Southern Ocean represented a considerable interpretive challenge.
“However both Dr Helyer and I could also see that these unique datasets provided the potential for an exciting hybrid art/science exploration of new methods and ways to bring the data to life,” Dr Lea said.
For the past four months the team has been working to develop graphical scores from the data.
Tonight at this free public concert, musicians from the University’s Conservatorium of Music will debut this intriguing fusion of facts and figures with improvised sound.
Performing musicians will include Assoc Prof Andrew Legg; the Acting Director of Contemporary Music, Dr Glen Hodges; the Senior Lecturer in Contemporary Music, Nick Haywood, and the Lecturer in Contemporary Music, Mr Alistair Dobson.
The collaboration has been funded under the Synapse program of the Australian Network for Art and Technology, with generous support from the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and the Australia Council.
Venue: Conservatorium Recital Hall, 5 Sandy Bay Rd, Hobart
Date: Friday 27 April, 7.30pm