Free Market Karaoke
Free Market Karaoke is both a series of real-time interactive soundscapes and a computer program. The program allows me to create real-time interactive soundscapes based upon the financial data of companies trading on World Stock Exchanges. Companies generate wealth for their shareholders and an abundant flow of data. This information is continually streaming out in real-time from the World Stock exchanges and is displayed on various web sites on the Internet. Investors and brokers are in this game to make a buck, to make their investments grow as much as they can; the bigger the better as the saying goes. They do not usually orchestrate their movements with one another to create sense on a language level. The money is the meaning of their entreprise, the only pattern worth wearing, the reason to exist. My role in FMK is mainly that of a remixer. My decisions are directed in the reorganization of incoming data into musical events. I am on the lookout - 'the ear-out' - for rhythms, textures, ups and downs, anything that seems to be talking. I want the digits to sing and dance, to laugh and to cry. I want to see life-savings sounds roll in and out like a fog bank that envelops a small coastal town. I want to hear the investors' roar like the turbines of a space shuttle racing through the earth's atmosphere upon re-entry. I want to transform big time brokers into bees flying in a field of brightly coloured flowers, into dust trapped inside the vacuum of a Dirt Devil, into oil seeping out of the ground, into the wind blowing inside a cave, into the electricity singing through wires. These soundscapes were created with the software Max/MSP in conjunction with Charles Hines' QuoteFiler 1.31. I used the output data from: YAHOO CURRENT QUOTE VARIABLES, the Last Trade Price, the Day High, the % Change of a share and so on, to manipulate audio signal and MIDI information.