The Listening Machine: Coda
The Listening Machine was devised as a piece of music combining orchestral prowess with digital technology, taking the Twitter communications of 500 people and turning them into a composition with the same natural rhythms as found in human society.
The piece was intended to run for the same duration as the BBC/Arts Council England's The Space, which was launched to run from May to October 2012. The overwhelming success of The Space led it to be extended by further months, and it now looks to continue indefinitely.
However, The Listening Machine was always intended as a durational piece — albeit one that is longer than almost any other (barring notable exceptions). Giving a piece of music such as this a well-defined beginning and endpoint clearly defines it in its historical context, gives it a decisive duration, and has become a point of discussion amongst audiences around the world.
At midnight on January 31st 2013, The Listening Machine concluded, having made music continuously for 9 months.
The participants in the piece — those whose Twitter activity has given structure to The Listening Machine, and whose daily chatter determine its rhythms — are currently unaware of their participation, having been selected as a representative cross-section of society (with equal contributions from arts, sport, politics, business, technology, science, education and health). They will be credited and thanked on thelisteningmachine.org after the piece has ended.
The Listening Machine was listened to regularly by people from over 120 countries, from Krgystan to Nepal, Andorra to Zambia. We would like to offer deep thanks to all those who have engaged with the piece over the past 9 months, and for all of the comments and insights that have been contributed.