Richard Garrett
Brief description of the work:
Algorithmic composition program driven by real-time changes in the weather as recorded by an electronic weather station
Materials, dimensions, duration:
Max/MSP programming, weather station
Location (venue & dates, public/ private):
Weather songs recordings are published on Weathersongs volume 1: Days in Wales, Sunday Dance Music (14 tracks) released 28.03.2006
Album tracks were played on Silent Running (Radio ARA, Luxembourg) and RTQE (WORT Madison, WI USA). First public performance June 28th 2006 at the People's Plas event at Plas Machynlleth, Powys, Wales.
Some of the source material for the previous album Robot Sculpture was used in Richard's contribution to "Dark Symphony", a five-day outdoor exhibit at the Ars Electronica Festival 2003 in Linz, Austria.
Audience information (size, mode of participation):
Weathersongs was previously aimed at a sonic art audience, but now addresses a more general audience.
Other information (reviews, collaborators, funders):

Richard has a studio in an isolated Welsh farmhouse, and distributes his music through Sunday Dance Music.

Floorplan, scheme:

Visual/ audio-visual reference:
Richard Garrett's weather station
Key theme(s):
Listening to systems in action
Further context:


Wales 20th November 2004 1:28

Weathersongs is music derived, in real time, from the weather conditions in Southern Snowdonia on different days over the year. "Each track was generated by a computer program connected to an electronic weather station at Richard's home in the foothills of Cadair Idris, North Wales. Data output from the weather station (wind speed and direction, temperature, pressure, humidity, rainfall) was used to compose music as conditions changed,then selected results were recorded and edited for audio CD. All the tracks on the album have common features: Temperature and Humidity provide bass drones; Air Pressure gives higher pitched accompaniment; while the Wind produces a lead voice whose pitch, intensity and phrasing all change as the wind shifts direction, ebbs and flows. Rain, when it rains, is heard as random percussive events (typically bells) whose statistical density changes with the rate of fall. When each track is edited, however, different timbres are applied to the music accentuating the character of the individual pieces/ days. Thus, the music ranges from the gentle ambient electronica of a cool spring morning to wild, almost Free Jazz, saxophone as the westerly gales of autumn hit Cardigan Bay." (Richard Garrett)