With all their crate-digging for that rare album, dedicated vinyl enthusiasts are generally a fastidious bunch. So too is Brian House, a media artist, who tracked his entire whereabouts for a year and turned that data into an 11-minute musical composition. Better yet, he pressed it onto a 12-inch vinyl LP.
As part of his residency at New York’s Eyebeam Art and Technology Center, House used OpenPaths, a location-tracking platform that kept a list of spots he visited, day in, day out. That data was then arranged according to clusters of his usual haunts, along with how frequently he visited each spot and the amount of time he stayed there. Each location was assigned a specific note on the musical scale and each city, a certain key.
“The more common places were generally given more consonant harmonies, so throughout most of the piece you get a major third repeating, which is basically me sleeping at home,” House told Fast Co.Design. “As I’m moving around more, it gets more complex.”
Like most people, House had his familiar routes from his apartment to work and to his studio, but even the randomness of everyday life and travel found a way make itself heard.
“It’s a framework for a set of memories,” he said. “I hear my commute and my travels through a lens of expectation. I love the sound of my trip into the Colorado wildness, in particular. I reenact that when I listen, and it’s especially meaningful to me now because my patterns have changed drastically since I’ve moved away from NYC.”