BEAM Festival puts Bangor musician in the spotlight

A festival that showcases creative technology in music will be featuring the work of a former Bangor University student.

Ed Wright, 30, who has just completed a PhD at the School of Music has created an installation called Hopscotch which will be on show at the BEAM (Brunel Electronic and Analogue Music) Festival between 24-26 June 2011.

Ed, who is originally from Buckinghamshire and now lives in Penmaenmawr studied a BA, MA and a PhD in mixed electroacoustic and instrumental composition at Bangor.

HopscotchHopscotch being playedHe came up with Hopscotch as he wanted to develop the idea of improvising electroacoustic music in a simple way - putting the listener in charge and ensuring that no two performances are the same.

He said, “Hopscotch is based around the idea of moving in order to create sound. Essentially it relies on motion tracking from a webcam suspended overhead. The floor space is divided into a number of zones, and when something moves in a zone it triggers some audio.

“There are 14 zones and therefore 14 different audio files. Essentially it is a big bundle of computer programming and audio that I have put together, which members of the public are free to walk, dance or crawl through depending on what they want to do!

“Where this hopefully becomes interesting is when people start to use it. It is then that you begin to realise that some sounds work well with others and some zones are more likely to be triggered simultaneously than others. Some people are delicate and reflective trying to trigger one sound at a time and listen and some people want to run around in circles making as much noise as possible. The trick is building this into the work so that both options are possible.”

Ed is one of only three artists to receive a bursary to demonstrate his work at the festival. He said, “It’s a very nice honour, especially when you take a look at the other people involved, I feel very privileged… and slightly terrified!

Ed credits his time at Bangor as having helped with his work. He added, “I think the best thing about the PhD course was having time and space to develop and experiment with ideas on a large scale. This is something you very rarely get if you are working in the commercial sector or are pursing something as a hobby.

“A lot of the work I have done simply would not have happened if I hadn’t undertaken the course, and what’s more having finished it, it is great to find that there is similar interesting stuff to do out there in the ‘real world.’”

For more information visit www.beamfestival.com or Ed Wright’s website: www.virtual440.com

Watch Hopscotch being played - http://youtu.be/aZsW3D-4O3E

Publication date: 15 June 2011