Aesthetic Sonification for Environmental Conservation

She makes music with plants! Yup, it’s true, that’s not a typo. ‘Mileece’ (Mileece Abson) is a woman of many talents (completed an AA in documentary filmmaking, environmental science and economics among others). I guess it’s safe to say that she’s a polymath but of all her talents and accomplishments, her innate gift to be perfectly in-tuned with nature is perhaps her most impressive to date.

An internationally acclaimed, multi-disciplinary sonic artist, ardent environmentalist and renewable energy ambassador, ‘Mileece’ is a rarity in the music industry. Rare in a sense that with all of music industry’s excesses, she’s one of the few artists out there who promotes environmental conservation through technology and the arts.

Born in 1978 in London, she was exposed to audiovisual production at a very young age as she was the daughter of music video director Nick Abson and her family owned a pioneering music studio ‘Freerange’ as well as a revolutionary video promotion company ‘RockFlicks’. This is where her generative programming skills and artistry were kindled and subsequently honed. She took up ‘sonic art’ in college wherein her talents were further refined and the spirit of her vocation was further cemented.

Using a SuperCollider (an environment and programming language originally released in 1996 by James McCartney for real-time audio synthesis and algorithmic composition—Wikipedia–) and custom made instruments, ‘Mileece’ convey sound data into representative modes (plants) that can be appreciated and understood by all audiences. She refers to her art as ‘aesthetic sonification’.

Her debut album ‘Formations’ was released in 2003 and was inspired by the ‘cycles and formations’ in nature. BBC called it, “Beautiful, real, musical science.”

In September 2015, she exhibited a sound environment installation at Sonos Studios LA. Aptly called ‘Sonic Garden’, it utilized the Sonos Smart System where which the plants were used as interactive musical conduits that enabled audiences to touch and interact with them.

“Computers can be changed from static objects into something capable of participating in the creation of music in a way which is interactive with the composer as well as the audience,” ‘Mileece’ is quoted as saying about her critically acclaimed musical installation.

Which just proves that environmental conservation and technological advancements can go hand in hand with the help of music and the arts. What’s good for music and for the environment is strikingly similar than you might think if you’re just willing to listen.

So sing for nature. Dance for ecology. Celebrate for a better tomorrow. Listen to ‘Mileece’ now!

 

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