Witness 2: The Weather Engine

by Michael Begg



The second in the series of lockdown 'Witness' recordings produced by Michael Begg. Where Witness 1 focused on the live positions of earth, land and sea monitoring satellites, Witness 2 introduces the Weather Engine.

The Weather Engine is a 24/7 composition using live local weather data from Openweathermap to ‘sound the day’.

All sounds are generated by mapping live data to sound generators, filters and sample libraries. For example, the key is determined by the time of day, the tempo is determined by windspeed, the range of notes available to the engine is affected by cloud cover, and humidity levels trigger more percussive elements.

Michael Begg:
“I wanted to make a kind of fingerprint from moments in the days of lockdown. Each individual composition carries the same sense of suspension felt throughout this time. For this recording, I took the starting point of how time has become deranged. The days slip into each other, moments repeat themselves, whilst other event seem to hang perpetually in limbo. I took Weather Engine clips from the period 23 - 30 April and allowed them to come together in various clusters - determined by the house of the day, or the nature of the weather.

“Because the musical keys are constrained this never becomes atonal - but nevertheless the accumulation of the information, the moments tearing into each other, becomes overwhelming - even at moderately low volume - which I recommend for this recording”


released May 1, 2020

Programming by Michael Begg
Data feed by Openweather


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