20 Largest State-to-State Migration Flows, 1995-2000 (2006)

Custom software, stereo audio with video, variable durations.
Recommended for headphones or speakers that reproduce a wide range of frequencies.

A series of compositions that render patterns of movement from U.S. Census data in oscillating audiovisual signals. This was an exercise in making music that encapsulates a dynamic phenomenon of vast numeric and spatial scale; the project inherently reduces complex experiences to abstracted patterns. Each sound pulse represents the movement of approximately 83 people. Altogether the sounds in the complete series of 20 compositions reference the state-to-state migrations of 4.6+ million people within the U.S. during the years 1995-2000. Latitude and longitude coordinates of state capitals determine pitch intervals. The organization of pitch intervals indicates outflow or reverse migration. Elevation differences between cities are used to generate rhythmic patterns. Audio signal is input to video, and framed using an analog video mixer.

Selections in the video include: #6: Florida to Georgia, 3 min. 20 sec. #8: California to Oregon, 3 min. #10: Texas to California, 3 min. 40 sec.

Versions of the video series have been presented at Stamp Gallery, University of Maryland (2012), the MAERZ Artist Association Centrifuge Exhibition, Linz, Austria (2009), and the Mills College Signal Flow Festival, Oakland, Calif. (2006). The entire series of 20 videos was completed with support from the OBORO New Media Lab Production Assistance Program, MontreĢal, QC, March 2009.

There is also a 40-min. album (2007) available on Bandcamp, with audio mixes of overlapping flows:

Photo of Flows installed at Stamp Gallery, University of Maryland, August 2012 (top), part of Tara Rodgers’s solo exhibition: Patterns of Movement: Data and Sound Works, 2005-12. Still image and score appear below.