October 2002 - June 2005
Oxford | Cork

Chora is the sound of Darwin - the algorithm that creates design out of chaos. A choir of independent electronic voices sing and listen to each other. Starting from a common ‘seed’, phrases evolve through the Darwinian algorithm of inheritance, mutation and selection as they are passed from voice to voice. In a (very) limited parallel with humans, each voice’s selection pressure develops from its memory of past events. However, just like many of us, their memory isn’t perfect and they can’t manage two things at once!

The first version of Chora was presented outdoors at night on the Brookes campus, and had a duration of 10 min. A line of flaming torches separated the audience from the sound sources. The torches were deliberately chosen to echo the use of fire as protection against the night. I was imagining how in earlier times people might listen enthralled but wary to the sounds of wild creatures at night, except that these creatures have a distinctly human sound, and maybe it’s our own animal nature we’re wary of.

Chora was revisited and reworked for the Soundworks 2005 festival during Cork’s Capital of Culture year. Performances occurred over four nights in Emmet Place in the centre of Cork, engaging well with the passing public. These performances were promoted by ArtTrail with the support of Cork Opera House and the Crawford Gallery.

Performance History

  • Soundworks 2005 (ArtTrail) : Emmet Place, Cork, Ireland : Jun 27 2005 - Jun 30 2005
  • realtime : Oxford Brookes University, Oxford : Oct 12 2002