"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
"He's done some amazing other projects including doing a duet with subatomic particles, and making a building make music as the sun rose over it..." Olivia Solon, Wired.co.uk Podcast#59. Click here for Wired Podcast previewing Insight by Alexis Kirke.
Click here for recording of feature on Fast Travel by Alexis Kirke.
"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
Click here for recording of feature on Cloud Chamber by Alexis Kirke.
"The violin is a flexible instrument, excellent in solo and ensemble contexts, but I had never heard it accompanied by subatomic particles until experiencing Cloud Chamber, the latest piece by the Plymouth-based composer Alexis Kirke. I can confirm the instrument held its own in this specialised context, too. The Peninsular Arts festival is held in connection with the university's research centres for neuroscience, music and computers, so it's no surprise that the commissions are specialised. Cloud Chamber combined a simple, almost rustic violin part with a synthesiser. John Matthias played the violin while the electronics were 'played' by streams of muons and electrons in a tank of ethanol, acted upon by a radioactive source, liquid nitrogen and – most interestingly of all – electric signals drawn from the sound of the violin. Musically, the duet was neither especially challenging or charming. But it boggled the mind in a pleasing way, and it was a wonderful sight when the particles danced to Matthias's strains."
"Matthias's spectacular violin skills were also made use of in a live performance of Cloud Chamber by Alexis Kirke (see video above). With this composition, a cloud chamber - more commonly used to track the path of subatomic particles - controls the show. The movement of the particles dictates the way in which sound waves from Matthais's violin music are "cut" by Kirke's synthesiser. The little sound grains generated are then manipulated and fed back into Matthias's live performance. The science doesn't stop there though. Kirke has long been fascinated by baryons - composite particles made for three quarks - and decided to map the different compositions of possible observable baryons into different pitches and rhythms. To this he added neutron scattering data from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxford. Then began the hard work of mining this vast swathe of data for phrases to use in his composition. Sometimes jarring and atonal, the piece may not be to everybody's taste, but the story behind its genesis does add an extra dimension that keeps the audience's attention through the more inaccessible passages.
(Sunlight Symphony by Alexis Kirke and Tim Hodgson won a Media and Innovation Award in 2011)
“Sunlight Symphony was a beautifully simple idea that required an inventive backbone of technology to fully bring the symphony to life."
“Alexis Kirke brings a unique and innovative voice to new music and has the ability to respond to a variety of related art forms – dance, cinema, computer and acoustic music. Peninsula Arts has been delighted to its commissioning in particular of the new soundtrack to ‘South’ and the ‘Happy Birthday to Darwin’. His work has led to some inspired collaborations with composers including Nigel Morgan and Lola Perrin.”, Simon of Ible, Director of Music, University of Plymouth
“I…was inspired by the quality of his composition and approach to collaboration. His sensitive use of electronics brought out the musicality of the text and supported and enhanced the poetry and poet's voice. This work pushes the boundaries of cross-disciplinary collaboration and extends the possibilities of live performance in exciting ways, potentially bringing both electronic music and poetry to new audiences.” Hannah Silva, Writer/Performer/Director (one of Times Top 10 Literary Stars 2008)
“Alexis Kirke’s music for the classic 1920s documentary South has the extraordinary merit of using sound to create silence – the silence of the ice cap, the silence the explorers must have experienced. Yet as a 21st century audience watching and listening to this experience the sound world we hear is simultaneously evocative and yet peculiarly abstract. A tremendous listening experience as well as a brilliant film score”, Sam Richards, Writer and Composer, (work with BBC Radio 2 and 3, The Guardian, and New Statesmen)