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Meet Milton Mermikides and Phelan Kane. Two artists on a journey to make music with data. Milton and Phelan’s approach reveals the musicality of the world’s elements. With the support of programming, computer vision and sampling, they identify patterns in images, videos, or abstract data to create rich compositions and sound design. Watch Milton’s TEDx talk below for a moving – yet funny – overview of his work. In our live-stream, Milton and Phelan will explain some of the techniques used to create the compositions you can hear in the talk.

Ever since Pythagoras and the theory of the Music of the Spheres, composers have been inspired to use patterns found in the universe to create music. In the 19th Century, that approach developed across the arts, and not only in music. French poet Stéphane Mallarmé explored the position of words and their relationship with meaning, and his work famously inspired composer Debussy, whose work in turn inspired painter Kandinsky. Each time, the structure found in each work was used and translated to another art medium.

Oskar Fischinger’s 1938 Optical Poem, in turn, offers a visualisation of music, an approach which was then popularised in Walt Disney’s Fantasia.

On Thursday 16th April, we will hear more about this fascinating approach that inspired so many artists, in a way that can inspire today’s artists and engineers to create new materials from the world of data that surrounds us.

Milton is a Reader in Music, Head of Composition and Director of the MMUS Programme at the University of Surrey. He is also a professor of Jazz Guitar at the Royal College of Music in London.

Phelan is a music producer, recording and mix engineer musician, mastering engineer and music programmer. He is based in London and Berlin, and is joining the live-stream from Berlin.

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