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Softday, to participate in the prestigious sound art project EUROPE – A SOUND PANORAMA
Press release

Softday – the art-science collaboration of artist Sean Taylor and computer scientist Mikael Fernström – have been selected as one of the top entries to the prestigious project EUROPE – A SOUND PANORAMA.

Ten European sound artists were selected to present compositions made up of acoustic impressions of a European venue or landscape and rendered in artistic form. The overall project aims to produce a sound composition, which conveys an impression of the particularities of different parts of Europe. The acoustic artwork EUROPE – A SOUND PANORAMA will be the result of an intercultural exchange on how Europe is perceived.

Softday were one ten artists selected from 186 submissions from 25 European countries. Their participation in the project will see them travel to Karlsruhe, Germany in October 2011. They will perform their work in a live concert recorded by Deutschlandradio Kultur and distributed to all European radio stations.

Softday ’s winning submission was based on a composition titled Marbh Chrios / Dead Zone, a project which addresses issues of climate change in County Donegal. Marbh Chrios / Dead Zone was commissioned by Donegal County Council in 2010 as part of the Lovely Weather Donegal Artists Residencies, a ground breaking art & science project.

In developing Marbh Chrios / Dead Zone Softday converted scientific and environmental data into music and sonifications that were then performed and recorded in Mooney’s Boatyard, Killybegs in November 2010. The environmental data was sourced though dialogues with scientists from Met Eireann and the Marine Institute of Ireland as well as with marine scientists in the US and Sweden. Softday also collaborated with Aquafact, a specialist company based in Galway who carry out detailed Marine surveys.

The performance of Marbh Chrios / Dead Zone involved a number of local Donegal performers including the Donegal Youth Orchestra; St.Catherines Marching Band and the Softday Ceili band. The performance also combined live performance by Softday featuring electroacoustic sounds based on field recordings.

Since the original performance of Marbh Chrios / Dead Zone in Killybegs, Softday have performed re-mediated electroacoustic versions of the work at several venues in Donegal, Cork and Dublin.

Softday were also recently selected to perform at RAFLOST 2011 – The Icelandic Electronic Arts Festival, which will take place in Reykjavik, Iceland in early May 2011.

Speaking this week Sean Taylor said that “We are delighted and honoured to be selected to take part in EUROPE – A SOUND PANORAMA. Having worked collaboratively for over ten years the opportunity to represent Ireland at this event is quite exciting. Softday was nominated for this project by Bernard Clarke, Broadcaster with RTÉ’s Lyric FM’s Nova programme and we’d like to thank Bernard and RTÉ Lyric FM for their ongoing support.”

According to Mikael Fernström “Of all the projects that Softday have developed, exploring the gaps and cracks between art and science, Marbh Chrios / Dead Zone is one that we still find both engaging and relevant. We feel that it’s important to highlight what is happening with our planet – it’s the only one we have – and perhaps our work can help people understand what’s going on.”

For over ten years Softday, the art-science collaboration of artist Sean Taylor and computer scientist Mikael Fernström, have engaged with issues relating to natural cycles in time,climate change and its global effects.

As a collaborative team they use their arts practice to explore relations to and understandings of nature, expressed through sonifications and multimedia artworks and performances.

Both artists are interested in exploring ‘the cracks’ between various media and creative genres such as expanded theatre, sound art, socially engaged practice, sculpture, music, dance and the application of new technologies. www.softday.ie

For more information and press images please contact Sean Taylor T: + 353 86 3731067 or via email on info'@'softday.ie

Softday are represented by the Contemporary Music Centre, Dublin, Ireland.

EUROPE – A SOUND PANORAMA is supported by the Goethe-Institut of Belgrade; the ZKM | Institute for Music and Acoustics Karlsruhe; Götz Naleppa (producer and media artist); Programme 3 of Radio Belgrade; the European Broadcasting Union’s Ars Acustica Group and Deutschlandradio Kultur.

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