'many worlds' is a film written and directed by Alexis.
"It sounds a little Big Brother-esque, but could this be the future of filmmaking?"Movies.com "it is certainly an auspicious way for Kirke to make his filmmaking debut."Filmmaker Magazine "a 15 minute short that innovates the realm of interactive cinema like never before"Indiewire "If the entertainment industry can follow on Alexis Kirke's lead they may very well find themselves entering a new Hollywood renaissance."The Dish Daily, Stanford University "a fascinating algorithmic film"Gramophone "interactive film but one whose interactions take place at a subconscious level"New Statesmen
28 Mar 2013 - Friday Late at David Bowie Exhibition at Victoria & Albert Musem with Martyn Ware
Alexis and Martyn Ware will be presenting their music on 'The Career-Sonification of David Bowie' on the evening of Friday 26th April
at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London as part of their
record-breaking David Bowie Exhibition. Martyn is a pioneer of electronic music in the UK - a founding member of Heaven 17 and the Human League. He has also worked as a record producer, notably helping to revitalise Tina Turner's career in 1983 with "Let's Stay Together" and producing Erasure's I Say I Say I Say album in 1994.
More recently, he has collaborated with Vince Clarke (as The Clarke & Ware Experiment). Using text emotion analysis tools, Alexis has discovered cycles of patterns in
Bowie's lyrics which he has used to algoritmically generate a hyper-speed piano composition. Martyn has analyzed the musical
features of Bowie's work's progression over the years and will be turning these data into new sounds. This and other career sonifications will be presented at the V&A on the Friday evening from 1830-2130 in the Design Studio at the V&A Sackler Centre. It will be part of the
Bowie Weekender which also features Paul Morely,Bob Solly, Jonathan Barnbrook, Holly Johnson, and Charles Shaar Murray.
29 Jan 2013 - Many Worlds: "a movie that watches you while you watch it"
Many Worlds - a film written and directed by Alexis - has now completed principal photoraphy.
Many Worlds is a short film that utilizes film-making and soundtrack technology which will transform how we experience movies. It is a movie about a physics experiment that should never be performed.
The Many Worlds video promo is now available. The Many Worlds Micro-site is also live.
4 Dec 2012 - Video Highlights of World's First "Reality Opera" released by Barclays
Open Outcry is an opera originated by Alexis Kirke, and co-created by Alexis Kirke and Dr. Greg B. Davies.
It was directed by Alessandro Talevi
and is supported by Barclays, and has been
created in partnership with Plymouth University.
From the Daily Telegraph's preview: “I call it a ‘reality opera’,” says Alexis Kirke, “because the singers decide when to open their mouths.” Singers can make real money trading a set of artificial stocks. It has been featured by the
Daily Telegraph twice, BBC Radio 4 Today programme,
American national Public Radio, and the Canadian Broadcasting Company
From the Daily Telegraph preview: “However, they can only trade using short melodies I composed”, says Kirke, who has designed the melodies in such a way that when the singers are trading, their harmonies should express the emotions driving their market.
‘Open Outcry’ will feature 12 singers and a cellist, Joseph Spooner. The audience will sit at tables among the “traders”, and the conductor will ring a bell to signify the market opening. As the cellist plays, large screens will display stock information and the conductor will guide the reactions of the singers. The performers will sing one musical phrase to buy each assetand another to sell. The prices will be largely driven by random market movements generated by a computer model, though the conductor will have some power to manipulate stock prices, as will the effect of the “trading” between the singers themselves. At the end of the performance, the performers will be able to cash in their stocks to receive a bonus.
Greg Davies says: “It’s a musical expression of economic behaviour and a functioning stock market. The music is generated spontaneously by the real-time behaviour of the singer/traders, directly reflecting the aggregation of their emotional responses to the market. Essentially, this is the market – what you will hear is how this market feels when it gains or loses money.”
31 Oct 2012 - Sound-Wave Performance Photos and Videos
12 Oct 2012 - HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to open Marine Building before Sound-Wave Performance
Alexis is set to transform the country’s most technologically advanced wave tank into a giant swimming pool-sized instrument at a unique performance in October. He will conduct an ‘orchestra of waves’ within the main tank of the £19m Marine Building at Plymouth University shortly after its royal opening by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh on Tuesday 30th October. Alexis will exchange the conductor’s baton for motion sensing pads strapped to his arms and hands, which will control the powerful wave-generating paddles. Gauges placed around the pool will measure the size and direction of the waves that Alexis creates, and will feed into a musical synthesizer, which will generate electronic sounds to accompany the aquatic acoustics.
Of the 12-minute performance – entitled Sound-Wave – Alexis said: “It’s been a dream of mine for a while to turn water patterns into sound live on a large scale. When I heard about the wave tank, I immediately realised the opportunity to actually control the water more dynamically, as well as turn it into sound. “Initially I had visions of raising my arms like Moses and parting the water! Of course it will be less dramatic than that but nevertheless very exciting for me. I’ve seen the tank in action and it blew me away.” The Marine Building contains a number of wave tanks and flumes that can replicate ocean and coastal conditions, thanks to wave, current and wind-generating capabilities. It is set to be at the heart of the new South West Marine Energy Park, and a hub for testing marine renewable energy equipment and technology.
In his role as composer-in-residence, Alexis aims to inspire and engage people with the marine environment through art. For Sound-Wave, he has worked with collaborator and composer Sam Freeman, as well as technicians in the building, to devise the piece. In the second movement of the three, four Plymouth University students positioned in the shallower coastal wave tank will emulate the water drumming of the African Baaka tribe. In the final movement the drummers, the electronic sounds, and the main wave tank controlled sounds will combine to create a large wave crescendo.
25 August 2012 - Sound-Wave Preview Microsite with Videos and Photos now up
5 August 2012 - Congratulations and Good Luck to Team GB!
So proud of Team GB and everything they're achieving. Congratulations on all our medals, and good luck for the next week. Look forward to seeing you all in the flesh at the Closing Ceremony!
11 July 2012 - ‘MANY WORLDS’ Short Movie with Live Automated Film Editing through In-Cinema Computer Tracking of Audience Emotions
Three students Carl, Tim and Uma arrive at the apartment of their friend to try and cheer her up on her 21st birthday. They find Sammi, a physics student, has sealed herself in a coffin-shaped box with a cyanide gas-capsule connected to a Geiger counter. At any time a large enough burst of cosmic rays in the atmosphere could trigger the cyanide and kill Sammi; in fact it could already have happened. Tim – also a physics student - realises Sammi is performing a twisted version of a famous quantum physics experiment about the nature of reality, but one that was never meant to be performed in real-life. Over the next 10 minutes – through clips from Uma’s mobile phone - we learn the true reason for the experiment. However precisely what happens and what we find out, may change each time this computer-controlled film is seen, depending on the audience’s feelings. For example if the audience seem inattentive during a section of story which is fairly relaxed, the next section selected by computer could be more upbeat. Or if they seem too happy during a section which is meant to be sad, the next section to be selected could be the saddest possible. To enable this a sample of the cinema audience, up to 7 people, will be invited to wear discrete biological sensors (heart rate, brain wave, etc) that will feed to a video computer. The computer will intelligently edit together the film live, based on audience emotions and attentiveness, from pre-recorded footage. To allow this Alexis Kirke – a member of Plymouth University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research – has written a “parallel” script. It contains multiple different movies, all of which will be filmed. However, the final film can change each time as it is edited live by an intelligent computer in the cinema. A second computer controlled subconsciously by the audience will generate an algorithmic soundtrack. 'Many Worlds' is a film directed and written by Alexis Kirke and has been commissioned by Peninsula Arts for Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2013 at Plymouth University.
22 May 2012 - Mansion House in City confirmed as venue for Opera 'Open Outcry'
Open Outcry sponsored by Barclays, directed by Alessandro Talevi, and with behavioural finance consultant Dr. Greg B.Davies, has been confirmed as being performed at Mansion House in the City of London, on November 15th 2012. This pillared building stands opposite the Bank of England, and is the formal residence of the Mayor of the City of London. Open Outcry will be performance as part of the 'Music and Money' event co-curated by Alexis and Dr. Davies.
27 Apr 2012 - Ten Artists and Musicians in the UK South West who interest me
I was recently asked on Twitter to pick the Top 5 artists and musician in the South West region of the UK. I said it was a heck of question but it inspired me to come up with a sample of 10 people I've particularly enjoyed the work of. Some of them are famous and obvious, some obscure, and some pushing the boundaries of the South West area! (And there's an obvious bias towards music and geographic location...) But just in case it would interest anyone else, here they are, in no particular order:
25 Apr 2012 - 'Open Outcry' and 'Distinction' updates
Acclaimed opera director Alessandro Talevi will be directing Alexis' Open Outcry (part of the Barclays funded 'Music and Money' event). Technologist Asad Malik, a graduate of the ICCMR's MRes program, will be working remotely on 'Distinction' from Pakistan. 'Distinction' is a composition for alto soprano, tubular bells, timpani and aftificial evolving marine organisms, which will open Plymouth University's 150th Anniversity Concert.
30 Mar 2012 - soundWave building tour
Above is a video of a tour Alexis and Sam Freeman took of the wave tank being built at Plymouth University. This is the venue of their performance where Alexis will use a gestural controller to make waves in the tank water. The height of the waves will be detected by Sam's software and create sounds.
5 Mar 2012 - US Medical Charity contribution
We are proud that a US medical charity (http://www.palinopsiafoundation.org/) are making use of a video of an Insight music software prototype – written by Joel Eaton of the ICCMR and designed by Alexis Kirke- as a key information source on their website front page. This is a satisfying medical / scientific outcome for what was initially a purely artistic project commissioned by Peninsula Arts for their contemporary music festival.
1 Feb 2012 - Fancy joining in with an iPhone/iPad Orchestra?
Then come to the Roland Levinsky Foyer at Plymouth University at 2:15pm on Saturday 11th Feb. All welcome! Bring your iPad or iPhone and technical help will be available so you can put music software on your iPhone / iPad and join in with Alexis Kirke, Oliver Quinland and Jules Burt (the Plymouth iPad Trio - www.pitrio.com). We'll be done by 3:30pm. No musical skills required and all ages can join in. For more info contact email@example.com Part of the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2012.
24 Jan 2012 - 'Insight' Coverage
'Insight' by Alexis Kirke and Joel Eaton (to be performed at 8pm Feb 10th at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival) has been featured in the press above, with lots of re-tweeting! Click on the pictures to see the articles (for International Arts Magazine, you'll need to click the 'Preview' button afterwards). We were also very happy to be interviewed by the Interdisciplinary Computing Blog in San Diego.
10 Jan 2012 - Dj Pierre and 'Insight'
DJ Pierre of Phuture, who released the first acid house record - described by Alexis as "a tight and creative piece of ground-breaking electronic minimalism" - has kindly agreed to help out with the 'Insight' performance on 10th Feb 2012 as part of Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival at Plymouth University. The second movement of Alexis Kirke and Joel Eaton's 'Insight' for flute and electronics incorporates elements of this groundbreaking record into the flute score; and Pierre has provided a master of his original bass line to incorporate into the experimental electronics in part three of the piece.
23 Dec 2011 - Announcement of Opera and Event Sponsorship by Barclays Wealth
Barclays Wealth has announced it will be the key sponsor of the “Music and Money” festival, in which two areas of endeavour – finance and music – which are normally poles apart, will be brought together creatively. Co-organised by composer Alexis Kirke and behavioural finance specialist Dr. Greg B Davies, the festival will be played out in the City of London over the course of an evening in Autumn 2012. Combining cutting-edge classical and pop music performance with talks in the style of the “TED” (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conferences, the event promises to be a unique and fascinating mix: • Dr. Davies, an internationally renowned expert on behavioural finance, will talk on finance and emotion • Acclaimed opera director Alessandro Talevi will speak on music patronage • Professor Eduardo Miranda will speak on using sound to monitor and analyse stock markets. There will also be two musical performances: • The opera Open Outcry, by Alexis Kirke, in which 16 operatic performers trade real money and compete for profits in an artificial market by singing to each other and thus creating music which acoustically expresses the behaviour of the market in real time • A DJ, musician and video mixing performance, during which live data from the Tokyo Stock Exchange will be incorporated into an audio-visual extravaganza.
Speaking for Barclays Wealth, Lisa Worley, Global Head of Marketing, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to support a novel idea that brings together music and finance in an unusual and creative way. Barclays Wealth operates at the cutting edge of behavioural finance, which enables us to tailor clients’ portfolios very specifically, and this festival represents a fascinating extension of this science.”
20 Dec 2011 - Brief Preview of the πTrio Commission for PACMF2012
For Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2012 (10-12 Feb 2012 - www.pacmf.co.uk), the piTrio (Alexis Kirke, Oliver Quinlan and Jules Burt) have been commissioned to provide a performance 'Discover, Dream, Explore' (for iPad Trio and iOrchestra). An info videos is being prepared for the commissions, however you can get a preview by watching the raw footage:The Making of the piTrio (Plymouth iPad Trio) Part 1 (raw footage)
28 Nov 2011 - Performance confirmed at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source
“Cloud Chamber” - a composition by Alexis Kirkeand Electroshop which allows a violinist to duet live with subatomic particles – is receiving its second performance on 28th January 2012 at the £145 million Second Target Station at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source at the UK’s Rutherford-Appleton Laboratories. The violin part will be played by Ben Heaney. Pictured above is the proton accelerator for this new Target Station. The composition – premiered at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival in 2011 – takes place in the weeks preceding the 2012 festival; thus helping to raise the profile of both the ground-breaking science at ISIS and the ground-breaking music at the festival. Cloud Chamber premiered on a music stage in Plymouth University. This second performance is in a more unusual, and perhaps more appropriate, venue – a large scale particle physics lab in Oxfordshire. ISIS is the world’s leading pulsed Neutron and Muon source, at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, and has contributed significantly to many of the major breakthroughs in materials science, physics and chemistry since it was commissioned in 1985. It is owned and operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (who also co-fund CERN) and produces subatomic particle beams that allow scientists to study materials at the atomic level. ISIS is one of the UK’s major scientific achievements of the last 30 years. The composer had been keen to collaborate with ISIS since an invited visit in 2010, and the laboratory provided crystal lattice numerical data which he incorporated into the violin music. The Second Target station – where the performance will take place - was a huge project, completed in 2008. The US and Japan have constructed neutron sources like ISIS in order to catch up with the UK. The threat to the UK position posed by new spallation sources in the US and Japan has been mitigated to a large extent by the ISIS second target station which will help safeguard ISIS competitiveness for at least the next decade.
25 October 2011 - large scale Wave Tank commission
Plymouth Marine Institute have commissioned their composer-in-residence Alexis Kirke and Huddersfield Composer Music PhD Student Sam Freeman to produce a new performance for the opening of the new Marine Institute Building in 2012. This £19 million marine building will house state-of the art research facilities including the most advanced wave tank and testing facilities in the country. "soundWave" will be a 10 minute composition which utilizes technology specially developed for the performance which generates sounds from the wave patterns in the new large wave tank. The tank waves will be controlled using a musical body suit (shown above) provided by the ICCMR and worn by the composer on the overhead gantry; and will be turned into sound by a computer sonification system. In the smaller coastal tank to one side will be a group of water drummers (inspired by the African Baaka – shown above) who will accompany the water sounds at certain times (and whose turbulence can be turned into further electronic sounds). Two of the drummers will be music undergraduates at Plymouth University:Philip Kendall and Josie Boucharde. The development involves a collaboration with Deborah Greaves and David Simmonds of CCOSE and the programmer is Sam Freeman, a PhD Student at the University of Huddersfield who collaborated with Alexis on Fast Travel. The performance is done in partnership with Peninsula Arts.
19 Sept 2011 - British Art Show opening commission
Alexis was commissioned by Peninsula Arts to provide a piece for the opening of British Art Show 7 in Plymouth, UK on September 16th. The piece "neuroApocalyptic" was a 7 minute composition for alto soprano, trumpet, trombone, and electronics (subbass, binarual beats, pure noise, and dubstep 'whomp'). The piece was conducted and edited by Simon Ible.
10 August 2011 - The Geology of Music - events inspired by life 650 million yrs ago (with Lola Perrin)
On October 2nd composers Lola Perrin and Alexis Kirke present an evening of film, music and words inspired by the story of an incredible fossil find, and its implications for a new understanding of our origins. Following the concert Paul Williams of the BBC will be in conversation with Princeton's Dr Adam Maloof, who made the discovery, to find out more about what this means for science and to moderate questions from the audience. The Forge, 3-7 Delancey Street, London, NW1 7NL Sunday October 2nd, 7pm You can book tickets here.
26 July 2011 - Wired cover Huddersfield "Fast Travel" performance in August
A Drive-in with a Difference! Musical Director Alexis Kirke, and script by Radio 4 regular Anita Sullivan developed from texts by Cathy McCabe in collaboration with the company. From an original idea by Cathy McCabe and Alexis Kirke.
Part Exchange Co, the team behind Hidden City Festival 2008, invites you to a unique drive-in performance, combining film, theatre, live music, radio broadcast and popcorn. The Building is the Star! Representative of the International Guild of City Tenders, Mr Smith, will use his latest technology to reawaken a forgotten art deco car showroom, and guide you through the fascinating life story of this wonderful old star of the West End whose forecourt will be transformed into a 1930s drive-in cinema. Enjoy all the excitement of a drive-in at this world premiere, where you will be greeted in your car by bellhops and usherettes, enjoy refreshments, and watch dancers perform to big-band hits of the 30s & 40s. As night falls, you will be invited to tune in and sit back for the main feature. Location: Colin Campbell Court, Plymouth City Centre. For more information, please visit www.hiddencity.org.uk Please note, if you are attending the drive-in with your car, you will need an FM radio in order to receive the audio transmission that accompanies the performance. Performance Dates: March: 31 (7:30pm), April: 1 (7:30pm) 2 (7:30pm) 3 (7:30pm) 6 (7:30pm) 7 (7:30pm) 8 (7:30pm) 9 (7:30pm)
15 Mar 2011 - Southbank Premiere: Intertitles 1 by Lola Perrin, Alexis Kirke, Johnathon Bonnici
[Time Out London preview of whole show here] “Intertitles 1” is a piece for Piano, Spoken Word, Bass Clarinet, Cello and Electronics by Lola Perrin, Alexis Kirke and Johnathan Bonnici. It is inspired by the recent discovery of a new ancient lifeform which pre-dates the previously estimated origins of life. Lola Perrin is an acclaimed pianist and composer, labelled a “female Steve Reich”. Johnathan Bonnici comes from his recent lead at the National Theatre in Hanif Kureshi’s Black Album. Alexis Kirke is composer and member of the University of Plymouth’s internationally-known Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research. “Intertitles 1” will be premiered as part of a show of Lola Perrin’s music which includes a performance by renowned Arabic hip-hop vocalist Natacha Atlas, a collaborator of David Arnold, Jean Michelle Jarre (and featured on the soundtracks of Kingdom of Heaven and Sex and the City 2). Roland Perrin will also be performing. Details: LOLA PERRIN With guest vocalist Natacha Atlas SATURDAY MARCH 19TH, 2011 AT 7.45PM THE PURCELL ROOM AT QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL SOUTHBANK CENTRE £12 £10 £8 Booking Fee £1.45 (Members £0.00) Concessions: 50% off (limited availability) Tickets 0844 847 9910 SOUTHBANKCENTRE.CO.UK
15 Feb 2011 - Videos of Cloud Chamber Performance and Documentary
The first video is the premiere recording, the second is a mini-documentary including set-up, a talk, and interviews.
10 Feb 2011 - Cloud Chamber in New Scientist, Times, Wired, Discovery Channel website, plus new Vid, and new team member
Performance details: 8pm Fri 11th Feb 2011, Theatre 1, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth.
There are articles about Cloud Chamber (the live performance for violin and live subatomic particle sounds) on Wired.co.uk,The Strad, Discovery Channel, PSFK, New Scientist, The Guardian and The Times. New Cloud Chamber demo vid below. Also Cathy McCabe joined the team last month working on the Atomolin and cloud chamber visuals. Cloud Chamber was commissioned and premiered by Peninsula Arts.
22 Jan 2011 - Fast Travel Performance Recording Available
Alexis and Sam Freeman's composition, called "Fast Travel" - for live artificial whale schools and saxophone premieres this Friday 21st Jan 6pm in the Roland Levinsky Crosspoint at the University of Plymouth, UK (free entry). It was highlighted in last week's Sunday Telegraph diaryand on the BBC website.
Alexis and Electroshop's piece Cloud Keyboard was featured in a BBC Radio 3 broadcast and on the BBC Concert Orchestra website in Mozart Week in Jan 2011, as part of a feature on Eduardo Miranda' s Mozart-based piece for piano and tape. Alexis was given up to 6 hours to compose a 1 minute piece using the same materials as Eduardo Miranda (small "choppings" of Mozart piano sonatas). Alexis utilized the Cloud Catcher, visual recognition software developed and designed for him at the ICCMR by Electroshop which lets him play empty air like a piano. He used this to manipulate the sound files live. The piece is here, the full video feature is here.
11 Oct 2010 - Appointment as Composer-in-Residence
Alexis has been appointed as Composer-in-Residence by the Marine Institute at the University of Plymouth. The Marine Institute is the UK leader in Marine research and work on sustainability, marine pollution and conservation, and the Institute Director, Professor Martin Attrill, is described by the Independent as one of "the stars" of Marine Biology. Alexis Kirke's first marine-related piece has been commissioned by Peninsula Arts: "Fast Travel", for artificially intelligent whale school and saxophone, to be premiered in January 2011 in Plymouth. A research centre of international standing, the Marine Institute has over 160 specialists working on all aspects of marine and maritime teaching, research and enterprise and has the UK's largest marine student population of over 2,600 students. Plymouth has long been at the centre of marine research in the UK, with the National Marine Aquarium, the Marine Biological Association, the Diving Diseases Research Centre, and Flag Officer Sea Training Group located there.
06 Oct 2010 - STARTPIECE premiere tonight
PIanist and Composer Lola Perrin will premiere her collaboration with Alexis called STARTPIECE tonight at the Forge in London as part of VOYAGE: A RETROSPECTIVE. New silent films with live music accompaniment Filmmakers Phil Maxwell & Hazuan Hashim and Lola Perrin present a retrospective of works created over the past five years and performed in America, Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Malta, Qatar, Spain, Turkey and the UK. Also in the programme: solo piano without film "Karim" and "Piano Suite VIII: On the gradient road" The Forge 3-7 Delancey Street, London, NW1 7NL 020 7383 7808 Tickets: £8/6 online £10/8 on the door Show starts: 7.30 pm
9 Sept 2010 - Performance of Chromium II for Guitar
Brian Foster, FRS, OBE - Professor of Particle Physics at Oxford University, and European Director of the CERN's new International Linear Accelerator project - has come on board as a Physics Constultant on Alexis and Electroshop's project "Cloud Chamber Synthesis and the Solo Violin".. Genhua Pan, Professor of Spintronics and Neomagnetism the UoP has been helping Alexis will the electromagnets set-up. Dr. Miranda-Keith Roach - Associate Professor (Reader) in Environmental Chemistry, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at UoP - is going to give guidance on radioactive safety and help Alexis source radioactive and cooling material. Cloud Chamber was commissioned and premiered by Peninsula Arts.
14 June 2010
"I was reminded in Kirke's Sunrise Symphony of Haydn's analogous attempt 250 years previously. Haydn managed to turn the potentially debilitating prospect of working on the cultural margins in Eisenstadt to positive ends. The Peninsula Festival, also lying on the geographical margins of the UK, holds no fears about being bold and original too, and if it continues to challenge, surprise and impress as it has done this year, it may well help nurture a new Haydn for the 21st century." Pwyll ap Sion, Gramophone Magazine, June 2010 [Full article here] Sunlight Symphony was commissioned and premiered by Peninsula Arts.