I met Dave Snowdon in 1993 at a computer show at Wembley. From the first conversations with him I realised that he was a good programmer – he had already adapted a music sequencer program for the Atari computer – but he understood immediately why conventional software was incapable of rendering my audio and visual work. He invited me to give a talk at Nottingham University where he was doing post-doctorate work. This was received with a strange mix of great enthusiasm and uncomprehending disbelief by the staff and students there.
Over the next few years I made trips to Nottingham and worked with Dave developing ideas and programs and teaching him what I’d discovered about what I now call Harmonic Mathematics, and in turn he came up with imaginative ideas – such as using 3D instead of 2 dimensions for the graphic software, and using multi-level harmonic mathematics where the same processes occurred with points, and also with clusters of points – themselves moving in harmonic ways.
Between 2001 and 2004 Dave created, with input from myself, a wonderful program for Mac OS9 which we call Visual Harmony. Its a very sophisticated piece of 3D graphic software that produces beautiful and magical dynamic sculptures. Abstract geometrical coloured and colour-transforming images. It doesn’t yet (as of 31/12/11) run on Mac OSX. We used it at my Planet Tree Music Festivals in 2000 and 2001 for about 5 concerts altogether, and the graphics drew very favourable reviews.
Years later I invited Dave to join in as software engineer and systems designer for Pete Townshend’s Lifehouse-Method. Dave worked on the musical generation of the portraiture with me, to my design, but with many insightful suggestions about ways to calculate and decide the simple yet very mindful process. Its a cascade of decisions that create each piece on the basis of the data input by the sitter.
It has been a long wait of over 20 years to develop the applications of “Harmonic Mathematics”. Now that Pete Townshend has given the melodic HM a huge leash of life with the Lifehouse-Method, we are hoping that the visual and healing tone applications will also be given such leashes of life.
Method Music – the double album – is released on January 31st 2012 by Navona Records, available on Amazon and iTunes
Dave Snowdon CV
Dave Snowdon was formerly a research scientist at Xerox Research Centre Europe in Grenoble, France where he created innovative systems for information sharing and worked with peer to peer and context-driven mobile systems. He is now working at Snowtiger Design. He worked on writing the software and web user interface for Pete Townshend’s Lifehouse Method.
He obtained his PhD from Manchester University, UK after work on a novel object-oriented multi-user collaborative virtual environment (CVE) called AVIARY. Between 1994 and 1998 he worked at the Communications Research Group at Nottingham University during which time he worked on new systems to support CVEs, collaborative information visualisationa and public VR artistic experiences which were demonstrated publicly at the Nottingham Now Ninety6 and NOW Ninety7 arts festivals. He has also co-chaired three international conferences on Collaborative Virtual Environments CVE’96 (Nottingham, UK), CVE’98 (Manchester, UK) and ACM CVE2000 (San Francisco, USA).