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activities - sonora - 2004 - australia


01-09 July 2004

July 2004


Wellington (New Zeland), July 1st 

Victoria University 

Fabio Cifariello Ciardi
Limens Limine (2004) for voices and electronics 

Sydney, July 6-9  

Manly Pacific Hotel & Sydney Opera House

ICAD 2004 - 10th International Conference on Auditory Display

Fabio Cifariello Ciardi: sMAX. A multimodal toolkit for stock market data sonification

Sydney, July 6-9 

Sonif(y) Festival
Sydney Opera House Studio 

Fabio Cifariello Ciardi
ASX Voices (2004)
Le "voci" del mercato azionario australiano in tempo reale
installazione audio video - WP

ASX Voices: the voice of global economy

A strange world, that of the stock exchange. Securities fluctuate and go haywire; there seems to be no logic underlying the frequent and sudden oscillations of the quotations. Nevertheless a logic does exist, and sound seems to be the best way to enable it to surface. This is the opinion of Fabio Cifariello Ciardi, the Italian composer who first decided to explore the global economy world and to make it vocal. In this way The Sound of Nasdaq was born, an audio and video installation presented at Rome last autumn of which an Australian version, with a new title ASX Voices, will be given its world premiere at the Sydney Opera House Studio as part of the Sonif(y) Festival organized by the annual International Conference of Auditory Display (ICAD), the leading international organization for all who are interested in this field.
The composer has created an ad hoc software - to be presented on this occasion - which downloads in real time from internet the trend of sixty securities among the most representative of Australian business. Each quotation generates a specific sound effect, a "sound object" with its own particular timbre that identifies it from the others, creating an unusual polyphony. The composer's traditional abstract world of sounds consequently makes room for a world of data, dramatically real and concrete, representative of the economic life of our times. The listener is placed between four sources of sound arranged in a circle around him. A large screen displays in lines and columns the financial and musical information of the securities, with colours evidencing the positive or negative price variations as well as the number of transactions. 
The purpose of the installation is to amplify the auditory information, thereby creating a sound landscape which enables the public to follow the proceedings of the stock exchange in a perspective that is certainly original. 
The potentialities of this work deserve investigation. From the practical point of view, cognitive psychology suggests the plausible hypothesis that more data can be appraised by listening to sounds than by looking at a screen, and an ear for music is without doubt a strong motivation for listening uninterruptedly to the polyphony of the global market. From the artistic point of view, Cifariello Ciardi is already thinking of the integration of the installation with live music; the result would be a "concerto grosso" between performers and stock exchange that could lead to surprising results. (in Sonora News n.13 p.3)