Proper Motion VR

A music Virtual Reality installation, inspired by the images and sounds of the ever-changing night sky.

In this VR project, I created an interactive music ‘score’ using electro-acoustic music tools and coding in MaxMSP. The main idea comes from different forms of mapping, from the ‘mapping’ explanations we attempt to perform in order to explain Nature, to understand and appreciate music, or a movement that becomes sound.

In Proper Motion, sound and vision interconnect as a unified whole. Our actions are equally apparent visually and sonically. A human gesture becomes a musical gesture. But what are we interacting with? What are we hearing?

Following the premise that everything becomes something else at some time, and mirroring the same approach with that of the visuals, we have started with musical found objects which are reformed, remapped, recomposed into something completely new, while incorporating seeds of their origins.

We reverse-engineer original scientific processes used in mapping electromagnetic spectra to audible sound frequencies: the sun’s fluctuating radiation, the pulse of the earth passing through a meteor shower, a chorus of atmospheric disturbances released at daybreak.

The motion capture of a dancer, recorded somewhere else in space and time, is likewise a mapping, in this case, of physical movement into a set of points floating in a digital space.

A decades-old, archaic electronic music composition used electricity run through wires and circuits to map musical thought onto plastic discs we call records.

In  itself data is devoid of meaning and emotion, beyond the simple fact it exists, and it reveals patterns. But what happens when they start to be mapped to one another: the billion year-old light of a star talks to a sixty year old piece of electronic music that causes a women’s hand gesture, originally made years ago, to move in a completely different way?

Premiere at the BFI London Film Festival
October 7-19 2020

Created in collaboration with High Road Stories productions:
Mike Robbins & Harmke Heezen