July 10, 2013
Artist Brian House turns the geo-data from a year of his life into a piece of music.
If Steve Reich were to collaborate with the NSA, the outcome would probably be something like this. Aptly-named multi-media artist Brian House has developed an innovative and highly personal strain of electronic music, based on his movements over the course of a year. Using an application on his phone called OpenPaths to document his whereabouts, House assigned different tonal steps to different locations and had the resulting electronic composition transposed onto what he has called a “Quotidian Record”.
Turning the tracking of his own movements into the soundtracking of his life, House explains the concept further in an interview with Co.Design: “The more common places were generally given more consonant harmonies, so throughout most of the piece you get a major third repeating, which is basically me sleeping at home. As I’m moving around more, it gets more complex.”
Brian House music, as the hypnotic sub-genre surely must be called, bears a remarkable resemblance to Laurie Spiegel’s seminal 1980 release The Expanding Universe, unfolding over the course of 11 minutes, with each rotation of the turntable representing one of the 365 days of the year. House explains that the physical element of the record was crucial to the performance of the piece: “It’s not just a sound piece, it’s the performance, the physical gestures involved in placing the record on the turntable and placing the stylus.” [via Co.Design]
Watch a clip from the 11-minute soundtrack below: