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Swarm & Murmuration (Live at Liquid Architecture Festival)

by Atticus J. Bastow

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Swarm & Murmuration evolved out of an interest in exploring and activating the listening space, taking the movement of the sounds into the physical realm with the use of smartphones as the sound emitters. Situated in and around the patrons, a large group of performers slowly built a singing, buzzing cloud of tones with the use of digital tone generators (provided by the smartphones), as well as some subtle padding (through the use of a small PA) provided by Max/Msp.

At the cloud’s peak of intensity, the performers moved about the space, waving the tone generators through the air as they went – the movement of the phones created subtle shifts in the pitch relationship between each individual part of the cloud of notes, creating a swarming, undulating sonic entity. The audience was also encouraged to move through the space at their will, so as to personally rebalance the piece for themselves. Though interestingly enough, at the peak of the piece when the performers began to move, most of the audience simply stood still, letting the swarm of notes move in and around their local space.

“As people caught on, the audience realised they were doing more than simply listening to music or looking at art. Collectively, they were creating the work themselves as the swarm grew in sound and momentum into an orchestra of beautiful electronic noise.” - The Guardian

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released October 26, 2015

Recorded live at the 2013 Liquid Architecture Festival of Sound Arts

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Atticus Bastow

Atticus Bastow is a sound artist hailing from the city of Melbourne.
His work has been presented at events such as MONA FOMA, Melbourne Now, White Night, and the Liquid Architecture festival of Sound Arts.
Atticus also performs alongside Tim Catlin, Dave Brown and Phil Brophy as a full-time member of The Overtone Ensemble, as well as drumming for Melbourne trio Roussemoff.
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