Nick Roth Music

Space I (2017)


Space I is an interactive music installation exploring astrophysical and quantum space.

The work was commissioned by The Ark: A Cultural Centre for Children and the Arts Council of Ireland in 2016 and composed as artist-in-residence at the European Space Agency (ESTEC) from January - March 2017. The research phase incorporated interviews with physicists from DIAS, University of Amsterdam, Leiden Observatory, INRIA Paris and the University of Nijmegen.

Space I employs gesture-mapping, sound synthesis and real-time processing to create an immersive sonic learning environment within which music functions as a vehicle for translative epistemology. Individual component pieces are thematic and spatiotemporal, designed to take place sequentially in discrete spaces within a building. 

The pieces employ an array of gesture-mapping techniques via infrared interface to provide a mechanism for participants to engage with embedded rules and create micro-compositions that render these audible. The gestures incorporated are based on the four fundamental movements necessary for children to develop physical coordination (walking, jumping, throwing and balancing).



In music, the idea of form exists out-of-time. It is an abstract idea, which we comprehend as a singularity.


If space-time is represented in musical form, then a gesture becomes a compositional unit demarcating physical embodiment and temporal duration. It represents, and signifies, a where/when, or a what/when.


The gesture is a transit for physical movements in space-time, delineating motivic movement in formal sound-time.


The interaction of motifs in individual notes of the scale allow for cognitive affordances of structural pattern.


Pattern is implicate epistemological rhythm, interfacing the curious and creative I with the sonic architecture of the composition.


Curiosity is a curvature in the gravitational field of the unknowable.