University arts installation features on BBC

A 3D audio and visual installation of starlings created by Bondholder University of Derby College of Arts staff has been showcased on BBC's Autumnwatch Extra.

The 13-minute installation, called The Shape of My Thoughts, is a multimedia project which shows flocks of animated starlings moving in synchronisation to music.

The piece was first presented at the University's Nature Connections festival where presenter of Autumnwatch and host of the festival, Chris Packham, spotted the installation and decided it needed to be seen nationally.

We are very pleased that the work has generated so much interest and the broadcast by the BBC will hopefully serve to bring it to a wider audience
— Michael Brown, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Popular Music with Music Technology at the University of Derby

The work was a research collaboration between animators and musicians featuring improvisational vocal performances by second-year student Hayley Thorpe.

This work impressed Chris Packham so much when he came for our two-day Nature Connections Festival and it is a credit to the research and practice in the College of Arts that it has made such a strong impression
— Professor Chris White, Head of Department for Media and Performing Arts at the University of Derby

The team were inspired by the idea of asserting control over an animated flock of birds and imaging with music that could represent the flock as it moved around an artificial installation.