For me, SATSYMPH is an attempt to combine the worlds of
Live and Recorded sound which affect audience engagement in
different ways. SATSYMPH offers three levels of audience engagement:
Level 1: Participants use an iPhone app using time-varying GPS
co-ordinates to trigger recorded sound. Movement (and lack of) directly
controls the audio experience. You literally walk through your own
unique path through a performance of a symphony.
Level 2: Participants can opt-in to record and share a GPS trace
their movements via a website. Visitors to the website can passively
replay the unique personal experiences shared by others.
Level 3: Live performances at three venues will serve as a
for a collaboratively generated experience, the score for which will
have been generated by GPS traces recorded and
uploaded by participants earlier.
The following text is extracted from an interview with into magazine.
[Q] Was there a particular
event, idea, connection, moment of
that sparked the idea for your project?
"a participant moving between
overlapping regions in GPS
a gradual buildup of audio, or a cumulative effect from region to
By the time they reach a certain co-ordinate they have a full-blown
symphony blazing away. If they reverse their steps, the opposite
gradually reducing the complexity down to just a single instrument."
[Q] All nominees' work is very
different, but all seem to share a
concern with extended possibilities - either in the way that sound is
created or the way in which it is listened to. How important is this
extended possibilities to you?
[A] SATSYMPH is extremely flexible and
extensible on many levels.
SATSYMPH can be a personally experienced symphony - something a
traditional performance physically cannot do.
Whilst the three performances provide an opportunity for a collaboratively
composed symphony - something an individual experience cannot do.
This is all possible thanks to the modular content, but this
challenges the idea of authorship, and simultaneously feeds back into
When we compose the modular content - we are authors.
When we composing region behaviours - we are authors.
...but that's where we stop being authors
By using the SATSYMPH iPhone app, participants simultaneously become the
authors of an interactive personal experience, and a collaborative communal one.
Now that to me is very exciting in terms of audience engagement and
Cloud composition? Hivemind combinatorics
For me, part of creativity is to rationalise and overcome overwhelming
combinations and permutations of separate ideas.
It's these extended possibilites and permutations that are so exciting - but
daunting - for any individual involved in a creative activity ( whether composing music, programming, or otherwise ).
AHAB introduced me to the idea of collective thinking when reading Kevin Kelly's book
"out of control" and these concepts have been at the back of my mind ever since.
A group or "cloud" or "swarm" can explore in parallel so many more possibilities than
a single person can.
In terms of SATSYMPH, parallel creative exploration comes from the minor variations in the
time-varying GPS co-ordinates: Two people exploring the same GPS territory are extremely
unlikely to trigger every single region behaviour they come across in the same way at the same time every time.
When a single SATSYMPH participant is authoring their own experience, and their iPhone is
taking a log-file of the triggers used to create that experience, they
are exploring the territory alone. By sharing log-files - the "swarm"
of participants can collectively explore in parallel an enormous number of permutations.
The SATSYMPH website will serve as a hub for this collaborative exploration effort,
and a blend of the various shared log-files will be used to generate the score for the
three live performances.
All this is possible due to the modular approach to composition in general thruought the SATSYMPH project,
and a great deal is down to AHAB - Thanks cap'n - I couldn't be doing this if it weren't for you!