Michael Begg is an award-winning experimental composer and sound artist based in East Lothian. Across a career spanning two decades he has released 14 albums, and performed in the UK, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Poland, Germany and France. He is currently Associate Artist in Residence at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, and is the Musical Director of the Black Glass Ensemble. His work, Titan, installed in the wheelhouse of Clydebank’s Titan crane for Sonica ’17 won the New Music Scotland award for sound art in 2018.
A residency at Mexico’s Centre for Music and Sonic Arts was supported by Cryptic, AngloArts, CMMAS and the British Council as part of Seeing Hearing UK Mexico. Michael works increasingly with bespoke software sonifications of climate and environmental data with a view to creating impactful music that draws attention and engagement with our environmental crises.
Michael is one of our Round 1 Connected Innovators, here’s what he had to say about his experience so far:
“My Connected Innovator award enabled me to make significant steps in the ongoing development of Witness Engines; bespoke software designed to transform climate data into musically meaningful sound. The work enabled me to open connections to significant international bodies like the European Space Agency, and the international activism group raising awareness for clean air equality, openAQ.”
“Software has been developed to consume real time and archival data covering air quality, weather, ice coverage and surface temperature in the poles, earthquakes and the positional relationships between earth monitoring satellites. In raising awareness of the work, the award has also enabled me to open windows for leading workshops and software development tuition.”
Michael is currently producing a new piece of work commissioned by Ocean ARTic, a partnership between Creative Informatics, Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland and People Ocean Planet, which aims to raise public awareness about the impact climate change is having in the Arctic and closer to home, in the run up to COP26.