I started working on EdiTidE after the dramatic tides of November the 12th 2019, which affected the community both from an emotional and economical standpoint.
Venice is sinking under sea tides, and mostly for anthropic reasons: eustatism due to water extraction in the past century, sea rise and increase of extreme weather events caused by global warming are threatening the core of the city. The M.O.S.E., a barrier that's being built since 20 years through corruption scandals and citizens protests, is not active yet. It's uncertain whether it's going to function properly in the future or not, but what's certain now is the damage that it is causing to the fragile environment of the lagoon.
M.O.S.E is to me clear the example of our false belief of being in control, while in truth many times our interventions cause chain reactions we can't foresee, and in the end often turn against us.
My goal was to describe the beauty of this delicate area, and all the environmental crisis in a dynamic and interrelated way.
EdiTidE is a Max based interactive audio installation whose components are built starting from the 8 harmonic oscillations that compose the sine wave describing the tide movements in Venice.
The sounds and rhythms come all from that sine, while the concrete audio samples are the sounds of workers and people in Venice the week after the Tide.
EdiTidE automatically downloads weather, pressure, wind, temperature, precipitations, humidity, visibility and tide datas fom the web, it calculates moon phases, sunset and sundown. All the datas ineract with each other and through a camera with the movement of the observers in logic ways. Due to the complexity of the system and the cross-connections between all the elements (each element has a direct impact on sound but many indirect influences on  the representation of all the set of datas), its behaviour has a wide range of variability.
Like in a miniature of a complex ecosystem, the observer is an actor who's able to guess the outcome of his actions only up to a certain extent.
EdiTidE plays with the tidal wave through harmonic beats, pads, but also develops a self generated musical discourse in progressive sequences of pitches based on major modes at day and minor modes at night, which makes it half an installation and half an interactive instrument. Musicians can play over it, and it can be directly played (once disconnected to external data systems) throug a midi pad. In an extended way, it is being played by everybody in the planet through our footprints on earth's environment.

Auto generated improvisations

How the system works


Processing video...

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Nicola Privato