Documentary film of 'Variable 4', a generative sound installation based on weather patterns, by James Bulley and Daniel Jones.

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Video footage: Drew Cox (

Audio material generated and recorded live from the weather conditions of Snape Maltings, Suffolk during the 24 hour installation of Variable 4 (Faster Than Sound, midday Saturday May 28th - midday Sunday May 29th 2011)

Variable 4 is an 8-speaker outdoor sound installation which translates weather conditions into musical patterns in real time. Using meteorological sensors connected to a custom software environment, the weather itself acts as conductor, navigating through a map of 24 specifically-written movements.

Every aspect of the piece, from broad harmonic progressions down to individual notes and timbres, is influenced by changes in the environment: wind speed, rainfall, solar radiation, humidity, tropospheric variance, temperature, and more.

Linking together the sensor data and scored motifs is an array of algorithmic processes drawn from the natural world, modelling phenomena such as tree growth, swarm theory and evolutionary development. The resultant composition is performed over a 24 hour duration through a field of 8 speakers integrated into the landscape.

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