Davu, Lili, Neysa… disaster zones and ‘big rains’

 In 2021, Environmental Bike, Middlesbrough, No scent or colour

We’re back in Middlesbrough and we’re hitting the ground running with 5 days to finish the piece before the opening night on Friday. Our new studio is on Albert road, close by to the festival HQ in Centre Square where the work will begin from.

We decide that our Air Reporter voice is indeed going to be a whole team of Air Reporters who speak to riders. Davu, Lili, Neysa, Maggie, Lilith (their working studio names) are each trialed with different parts of voice script to see what they suit best. We’re developing different mapped zones across the town where each voice hangs out and talks about different things including 1) the Air Reporter’s evolved bodies, 2) future solution for air pollution, 3) clean air strongholds 4) evolved senses that feel the particulate matter. The script moves on too, with more written in, old bits cut out, a poem to the air added.

The Mama pd patch, our air pollution sonification is developing…  getting more and more fine tuned to the air. Clean air sounds get tested – a purring cat, the choir – but we settle on an organ note. We deliberate over data ranges of +/- 1. Peacock beeper undergoes lots of tweaking – this is the main sonification that riders will hear and it need to be sensitive to convey the changing air. The ‘big rain’ file gets mapped closely to sound out the data spikes found when riding past polluting cars, restaurants, smokers and vapers. Then we add in a ‘disaster zone’ that’s only likely to be heard by the odd rider when levels are unusually high – we settle on a flooded underwater world with backwards vocals.

Sonic development is fueled by regular stops at our favourite vegan friendly cafe, Etch, who kindly make us specially crafted sandwiches where homous replaces chicken and they go heavy on the harissa.


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