Connected Health Cities: Stroke Mimics

Stroke Mimics

Composer: Tywi John Hywel Roberts
Project partner: Peter Mellor
Paramedics Stroke App

My research involves looking closely at the relationship between digital technology and the complexities of real-life performance situations. I sought to tease out the theme of how data can (or even should) influence and inform action. One way I attempted to do this was by reflecting on my recent work with live coding – which involves programming musical algorithms in the computer and populating them with information, which in turn generates sound when the code is executed. I was interested in recreating aspects of this approach with live instrumentation, so I began by constructing chord clusters for the winds which evolved in the same way my musical programming would.

Later, I began transcribing my score into the computer, and acquiring synthesised recordings of it. I then began sculpting and layering these sounds to create new ones, and even put them through an app of my own which could cut them into small fragments and play those back at different speeds. For example, to have a flute playing at a quarter of its normal speed, and so be pitched down dramatically, to the point where it became hard to distinguish its sound from that of the horn or the bassoon. This ability to play with the identity of the instruments tied in well with the notion of false positives entailed in identifying stroke mimics.

I then attempted to recreate these sounds with the live instruments. Both the results and the original electronic sounds can be heard in this piece, and perhaps this will evoke questions about whether the sound source is genuinely what it is perceived to be.

About the Composer

Tywi’s background is primarily in electro-acoustic music and rock guitar. He studied an MA in Sonic Art & Digital Media Production at the University of Sheffield under the tutorship of Professor Adrian Moore, and has also spent a number of years working in the context of Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft seminars.

His current research project is focussed around mapping the methodologies of digital composition over to the acoustic space, and by extension investigating the same in reverse. This further involves questions involving the performativity of electronic music, and finding novel ways of integrating digital media with acoustic instruments in a live setting.

A composer talking on stage

Composer Tywi John Hywel Roberts at the event #MusicSaysDataSavesLives

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