These are exciting times for the National Eisteddfod of Wales who are embracing the diverse culture of Wales, "The Eisteddfod is the natural showcase for music, dance, visual arts, literature, original perfomances and much more. Encompassing all aspects of the arts and culture in Wales, it is an inclusive and welcoming festival." The festival is usually attended by around 150,000 people, and this year I'll be performing/playing three experimental electronic compositions. One of which, "Pen Dinas in Voice" emerged from the Ty Cerdd CODI Composer (Electronic) programme, of which I was part. This year Marc Rees, the internationally renowned art installation, performance creator and curator is curating AGORA . His vision is to develop a space where people openly perform, discuss and explore contemporary issues. A people's pavilion, which will give voice to the vibrant, diverse culture of Wales. Creating this sort of space is conceptually innovative, Marc has enabled 'leaders' in their field to come together to create, discuss and perform, and for people such as myself who are involved in the Arts, Research and Technology it's a chance to show the way in which new or developing technology can play a part in the creation and performance of music.
On Saturday Ed Wright and I will be performing work that we've composed and recorded (with live electronics, and field recordings captured in Wales) especially for this amazing performance (see below):
For one night only, Mist will be inhabited and animated by dancers who will create a movement score responding to the dynamics of the sculpture and music from a live harpist where the taught strings of the instrument and the installation become intertwined via a mesmerising duet.
The artwork Mist by Sébastien Preschoux is a large scale thread sculpture commissioned by Migrations, stretching majestically from tree to tree within the grounds of Ffin-y-Parc Gallery near Llanrwst
Choreographer: Matteo Marfoglia
Harp: Helen Wyn Pari
Sound Artists: Alan Chamberlain, Ed Wright
Concept: Marc Rees
Creative Producer: Iwan Williams - Ffiwsar
Artist: Sébastien Preschoux
Curator: Karine Décorne, Migrations
21:00, Saturday 3 August, Ffin-y-Parc, Llanrwst (doors open at 20:45) On Thursday I'll be presenting two more pieces 'Pen Dinas in Voice' and a piece which is a work developed especially for Agora, called 'Étretat & Nanteos', which relates to specific events in the life of George Powell of Nanteos (his collection is held at the Aberystwyth School of Art - and they were kind enough to spend some time with me looking through his archive, which contains curios, sculpture and writings). The piece is a work in progress and incorporates 'The Minstrel's Adieu to his Native Land' (John Thomas, Pencerdd Gwalia - 1880), and uses some novel compositional techniques using Artificial Intelligence.
All of the works have used software in their creation developed by Dave De Roure (Oxford University). We acknowledge Fusing Semantic and Audio Technologies for Intelligent Music Production and Consumption EPSRC EP/L019981/1. Étretat & Nanteos also uses the Magenta AI software. Alan Chamberlain is a Senior Researcher at the Mixed Reality Lab, a Visiting Composer at the Computational Foundry (Swansea University) and a Researcher in Residence at the Digital Catapult.