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Light Water Is Black Water

by Michael Begg

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Invocation 04:16
Data July 07:36


Download includes an exclusive 13 page booklet, with commentary from the artists and scientists involved in the creation of this work. Also, a further exclusive download collates the development diary, press release and presentation script.

“The whole ensemble work is the product of the data. The melodic lines, the harmonic content, the timbre, amplitude and mode arise from daily average data points for ice concentration and thickness, air temperature, pressure, precipitation and evaporation. The greatest insight here, for me, is that the data did not speak of wild fluctuations, and atonal ruptures to harmony or structure. The data spoke only of these fractional changes, a degree here, a metre there, that brings our survival into question. These compositions, therefore, seek to articulate a richly textured and complex balancing act. If we experience anxiety in listening to these pieces, it is the fear that something might actually occur to break the spell. Should these ambient works rupture, we end.” Michael Begg, 2021

This recording arises from a commission from the OCEAN ARTic Partnership (People Ocean Planet, Blue Action, MASTs, Creative Informatics) established to bring creatives and marine climate scientists together to increase public engagement with marine data science.

This work is the result of a collaboration with ocean modellers at the Alfred Wegener Institut. The work would have been impossible to realise without the research and data models created by Lukrecia Štulić, along with her colleagues Tido Semmler and Thomas Rackow. Thomas also provided field recordings.

Sian Henley, at the University of Edinburgh, provided data and insight into the ‘Spring Bloom’ of biomass arising in May each year. She bacame a light water collaborator to the black water team!


released October 25, 2021

Michael Begg, composition, programming, electronics
Julia Lungu, violin
Lukrecia Štulić,Tido Semmler, Thomas Rackow, AWI. data and research
Sian Henley, University of Edinburgh. data and research


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