Flocking III
Nick Roth

Flocking III
explores the mechanisms of the emergent system, in which multiple individual components express themselves as a single entity. Specifically, the score co-opts mathematical modelling of bird flocking patterns, taking its inspiration from the murmuration patterns of the starling. I was inspired by the Biosphere call for ideas as I sensed a resonance with a central aspect of my practise – a wondering how we can come to know our world through music. This is a question that I am continually rephrasing through the development of pieces such as Woodland Heights / Little Woodland Heights on forest canopy ecology, Orchidées on evolutionary genetics, or The Water Project. I am extremely excited by the concept of performing Flocking III in close proximity to the natural habitats of our avian colleagues, as I sense that this new element of immersive listening will have an irresistible influence on the music, opening the performers to the possibility of including non-human others as direct participants in the music of our times. 

Flocking III was commissioned by European Saxophone Ensemble.

( Watch the piece performed by ESE / Flocking III: Sunset — Biosphere / Flocking III: Sunrise — Biosphere)

“As a Thought-experiment, Let Us Imagine for a Moment That We Lived in a World Where Our Primary Means of Communication Was Through Music.”

Nick Roth is a saxophonist, composer, producer and educator. His work seeks the liberation of improvisation from composition, the poetic syntax of philosophical enquiry, and the function of music as translative epistemology. A curious predisposition and a steadfast refusal to accept the existence of boundaries between the real and the imaginary has led to collaborations with an array of international performers, composers, choreographers, visual artists, poets, sculptors, directors, festivals and ensembles. Often engaging in conversation with scientists from such diverse fields as mathematical biology, astrophysics, forest canopy ecology, orchidology, quantum loop gravity or hydrology, his praxis asks how we can come to know through the art of music.