Marbh Chrios - Development
Softday started to work on the Lovely Weather idea in October 2009. We, as many others, have been concerned about the world we live in and climate change ever since we started the Bliain Le Baisteach project over 10 years ago. In fact, most of our work has in some way been reflections and explorations of our relation to and understanding of nature, expressed as multimedia artwork and performances.
We started our investigation by reading numerous scientific publications about climate change, especially with focus on County Donegal and the Atlantic ocean.
With data from Met Eiereann, the Marine Institute and AquaFact Ltd, we proceeded to work on a number of algorithms, visualisations and sonificaitons to help us understand the natural, and not so natural, processes involved.
One of our main data sources was the M4 buoy, located approximately 45 nautical miles (83 km) west north-west of Rossan Point, Co. Donegal.
We analysed 8 years of data from the M4, including hourly readings of air temperature, sea temperature, wind speed, gusts, wind direction, wave height, wave frequency and barometric air pressure - a total of 648,800 data points.
All data was normalised and re-mapped into musical notes and we could then experiment with different musical scales and rhythmical structures to explore if we could get perceptually salient features emerging from the climate and oceanographic information.
In addition to the algorithmic artwork, we made several visits (expeditions) to Killybegs and its vicinity. During each Softday expedition we met and interacted with local people and explored and recorded our experiences through photography, video and soundscape recordings.
At the end of summer 2010, we had finished the algorithms and architecture for a live performance of Marbh Chrios in Killybegs, the 16th of October 2010. The Donegal Youth Orchestra started to rehearse the algorithmically produced score we had created, under the direction of their conductor Vincent Kennedy. Our Softday Ceili Band had been selected and St Catherine’s Marching Band had agreed to participate in the performance.