studio for digital crafts

A live musical performance directly influenced by the movements of the city outside.

Sensing City

The city, with its comings and goings, its bus schedules, its traffic lights and the blinking signals of turning cars has a rhythm of its own; a rhythm which both influences and is influenced by, the lives of its citizens. This interplay of inspiration and creation seen in the urban landscape, is similar to that which lies at the heart of all music and it is this which forms the inspiration for Sensing City.

The project emerged in close collaboration with the composers Martyn Heyne and Martin Hiltawski. Together the concept of a musical live performance that is sporadically responding to the nearby ongoings of the city was formed.

In Sensing City the urban rhythms have a direct influence on the musical performance of an eleven-piece-ensemble, by connecting music and images both in the composed parts and in the live-generated patterns. The movements and events happening outside the venue, in the city of Amsterdam, have a direct effect on the score seen and interpreted by the musicians. As the movements on the streets affect the rhythms being played, the urban dwellers unknowingly become part of the composition, influencing the urban rhythm of the city, as well as that of the music.

The original performance took place in April 2008 in club_11, on the eleventh floor of a multi-storey building in the heart of Amsterdam.