Living Symphonies

Living Symphonies is a sound piece created by James Bulley and Daniel Jones. In 2014 it was set across 4 different forests across England in partnership with Forestry Commission England.

The piece has a complex generative coding system behind it that drives the musical composition which is based on, and mimics the forest.


The piece works by mapping the ecosystem of the specific forests it is based in first with species of wildlife documented and mapped across the performance space.


This is then mapped into code and movement and behavioural patterns of the wildlife is plotted digitally. Time and weather-based realtime changes are also fed live into this system so if it starts to rain in real life, wet weather behaviour starts in the code too.


As Each species is represented by musical motifs across different instruments this code is used to drive the sound of these – how frequently you hear something, volume etc. and just as an ecosystem is harmonious with itself and supports itself, the music does the same.


The audience experience the piece mapped out across a section in the forest and surrounding areas across a network of speakers blended into the surroundings. Some are hidden high in the trees and some are submerged in the ground which encourages movement around a large space to explore the sounds you hear as you explore the forest.


I was involved in recording the percussion and keyboard parts representing certain species in the piece and also helped edit the recordings.