Barographic: Sage Gateshead


Barographic is a site-specific composition project, creating graphic scores from atmospheric pressure data, and using the architectural form of the venue as an animated, 3D sequencer.

The process reflects on different approaches to interpreting the built environment (and the manner in which architects invoke a sense of rhythm and flow through their designs), and captures something that represents our perception of ‘atmosphere’ – something less tangible, but central to our experience of public spaces.

For the first phase of the project, a clockwork barograph was installed at The Sage Gateshead. Over the course of four weeks (6 March – 2 April), a series of graphs were produced, charting changes in atmospheric pressure during the seasonal transition from Winter to Spring. This mechanised process created the graphic scores which formed the central elements of the composition.

Alongside these scores, the venue’s architectural structure acted as a 3D animated sequencer, creating melodies and rhythms that correspond to patterns that are inherent within the design of the building.

The finished piece was performed live at The Sage Gateshead on Wednesday 26 June, as part of Festival of the North East (in a double bill with Frozen By Sight by Paul Smith and Peter Brewis).

Simon Canaway – guitar / lapsteel
Ed Carter – piano / synth
Ed Cross – violin I
Mark Edwards – vibraphone
Ele Leckie – cello
Josephine Montgomery – violin II
Ged Robinson – drumkit
Chrissie Slater – viola

With thanks to Tom Schofield for programming support.

This project gratefully acknowledges financial support from PRS for Music Foundation, Arts Council England, and Festival of the North East.

Sage Gateshead