For some months now, perusing the graphs and visualizations of COVID-19 data has been a staple of my weekly, if not daily routine. As more and more news outlets created their own data analyses, new forms and aesthetics proliferated, from bar and line graphs and scatter plots to bubble maps and area charts. For Pandemic I chose to focus on colour mappings sourced from the BBC News website (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51235105). I arranged these graphics as a musical score, adding dynamics, performance indications, and assigning pitches to each of the colour bands, so that there is a unified harmonic “colour” across the whole piece. My hope is that the process of “auralizing” this data allows us to engage with the numbers and reflect on these trends in a new way. Many thanks to Decibel Ensemble for creating this wonderful initiative
An interview between Lindsay Vickery and Erik Griswold about the piece, and life for Australian musicians across states during COVID 19.
Erik Griswold is a composer and pianist working in contemporary classical, improvised, and experimental forms. Particular interests include prepared piano, percussion, environmental music, and music of Sichuan province. Originally from San Diego, and now residing in Brisbane, he composes for adventurous musicians, performs as a soloist and in Clocked Out, and collaborates with musicians, artists, dancers, and poets.
His music has been performed in Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Festival, OzAsia Festival, and Brisbane Festival, among others. He is a recipient of an Australia Council Fellowship in Music, a Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, and numerous individual grants. He collaborates with musicians Steven Schick, Margaret Leng Tan, Soundstream Collective, Decibel Ensemble, Zephyr String Quartet, Ensemble Offspring, and many others. His music can be heard on Mode Records, Innova, Room40, Move, Clocked Out and Immediata. His piece Water Pushes Sand, for the Australian Art Orchestra, was nominated for an Aria Award.
Together with Vanessa Tomlinson, Griswold directs Clocked Out, creating original music for prepared piano, percussion, found objects, and toys. Their albums include Time Crystals, Foreign Objects, Water Pushes Sand, and Every night the same dream. Clocked Out also produces innovative concert series, events and tours, for which they received two APRA-AMCOS Awards and two Green Room Awards (2000).
Erik created a work for Decibel’s “Sounding a Room’ program in 2012, entitled Bury the Sound.