Slime moulds, Biomusic and strangeness in Plymouth

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A giant frame from The Creeping Garden greeted the visitors to Biomusic in Plymouth

From Friday 17th of February to Sunday the 1st of March, Plymouth was host to the tightly curated Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival. With the theme this year of Biomusic it was a perfect chance for The Creeping Garden team to revisit and screen alongside the experimental realm of Eduardo Miranda who, along with Edward Braund, provided the slime mould/human piano duet in the film.

Eduardo Miranda and Ed Braund’s Biocomputer

Miranda and Braund were presenting a significant evolution of the same system which now has become a reactive biocomputer where the slime mould responds directly to Mirandas piano playing. This presentation of an interactive musical biocompter was inevitably grabbing the lions share of media interest, but there were other compositions and projects which were equally as compelling in other parts of the festival.

The world premiere of Biomusic

Unfolding | Clusters, by Federico Visi, Dunacan Williams and Giovanni Dothel used immersive media to illustrate the biomolecular processes behind the progress of Motor Neuron Disease. Presented in the University’s Immersive Vision Theatre, their onsite Planetarium, it was a truly hypnotic, almost trance inducing music and visual media installation and was a true highlight.

A moment from the hypnotic Unfolding | Clusters

Alexis Kirke also presented extraordinary and innovative work, one of which was ‘Fast Travel’ where virtual humpback whales react with their whalesong to the live saxophone playing of Katherine Williams in a surround sound environment set up in the acoustically sympathetic spacious hall of the Roland Levinsky building. Like the Unfolding | Clusters work, it left a deep impression of something utterly unlike any other live musical experience I have encountered.

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Fast Travel
fast travel interface
Virtual whales locating the saxophone calls of Katherine Williams

Festival directors Simon Ible and Eduardo Miranda curated an extraordinary tight and cohesive 3 days of music, performance and installation to feed the mind, eyes and ears. So to have The Creeping Garden playing as part of it all in the Jill Cragie cinema on Saturday afternoon was a true pleasure.