Sound Views of the Barbican Estate was borne out of a desire to connect sound and space through the formation of a reciprocal relationship between music and architecture. Using Chamberlain, Powell and Bon's Barbican Estate as a compositional and musical tool, I created an interactive listening experience, which in turn fulfils an architectural role by altering the listeners' perception, experience, and usage of the Barbican’s public ‘high-rise’ space.
By embracing the oft-criticised complexity of the high-rise layout as something playful and novel, and encouraging active exploration of it, I hoped not only to increase usage of the Barbican’s abundant communal space, but also to alter the nature of the listeners’ interaction with their physical environment, promoting a more active and emotionally resonant interaction with the existing architecture.
Whilst an intimacy between music and architecture can be observed in work now centuries old, modern developments in the fields of portable media and technology continue to broaden the potential for the exploration and expansion of this relationship. Combining the usage of a spatio-temporal musical structure, and locative programming techniques in Objective-C, I developed a techno-musical framework whereby musical phrases are organised spatially, each being assigned a specific location in which they can be heard. As the listener explores the space, they also explore the composition, governing their own musical experience by moving within the architecture. Sound Views of the Barbican Estate is made from electronically manipulated location recordings of the architecture, and a trio of Flute, Violin, and Piano (instrumentalists from the Guildhall School of Music). It was distributed as a mobile app for iOS.
The following is a collection of sonic excerpts from the piece:
A documentation of one possible permutation of the composition, as experienced in situ:
Lossless audio available upon request.