the win?

life of lia

the win?

‘Harder, better, faster, stronger,’ is a song by Daft Punk, whose lyrics are apt when it comes to life after a big stint offshore. From latte to cappuccino, I now want my coffee stronger. I opt for hot and spicy rather than just spicy. I take my liquor straight up and on the rocks. ‘Just one more round-the-world race.’ ‘This’ll be my last Volvo, America’s Cup, Vendee Globe…’ The intensity, the drama, the excitement, the danger, is there anything that rivals this on land? Let’s just face it now. We will always be sailors. We will always go back out there.

I paced up and down the dock in La Gomera, while talking on the phone to my life coach, Dawn Goldsmith. I laughed at the idea of ‘life’ coaching, but the Olympic sailing team benefit from it as do some of the Vendee sailors. For me it has been about allowing my artistic sensibilities to come to the forefront and to ease off the idea of wanting to win. I can’t help it if I’m competitive!

So here goes – my Barcelona World Race is not about winning. This does not mean I will not be competitive. If you put a jockey on a racetrack, she will want her horse to run fast! I want to purchase the best possible Open 60 on the market, within my budget constraints.  I also want to attract an experienced skipper. Nobody wants to flog an old dog.

If it’s not about winning, what’s the point? The point is that my entry in the Barcelona World Race campaign is about using the boat’s dynamic forces to make music! Since stepping off the rowing boat in Antigua, I have been on a mission. To work out how and what technology is needed to make that music and more importantly to discover if that music is at all worth hearing!

I flew to New York to walk the catwalk (above) for Sean Connery in the charity fashion show, ‘Dressed to Kilt.’ (Okay that wasn’t about making music, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to meet Sean Connery and introduce myself as ‘Ms Money-Penny!’) I was hoping the show would bring me closer to meeting Moby, which it did and in the meantime, I met Joan Jett (left) who was also modeling for the Edinburgh fashion designer, Joey-D whose clothes can only be described as Pirates-of-the-Caribbean meets Zena Warrior!

In Long Island, I had a sushi lunch with Mark Washeim, owner of the Doyle Huntingdon loft, who in the course of a couple of hours led me to expand my vision from sails that sing to a whole orchestra of sound! Buzzing with new ideas, I got back on a Virgin Atlantic flight and flew home, all the while creating a string of emails in pursuit of Open 60 load cell data.

Over a pot of tea, in Glasgow I met up with Cathie Boyd, the artistic director behind the award-winning Theatre group, Cryptic and recent director of Varèse 360° — the complete works of ‘musique concrète’ pioneer and formative influence on Frank Zappa, Edgar Varèse, performed by the London Sinfonietta (Queen Elizabeth Hall) and the National Youth Orchestra (Royal Festival Hall). The purpose of the meeting was to talk concerts, as my Barcelona World Race campaign will culminate in a live, collaborative concert in Barcelona in September 2011.

Finally armed with an Excel spreadsheet of Open 60 numbers, I trundled off on the train to Cardiff, Wales to meet computer graphics consultant, Bruce Steele of who worked in the production of the music video of Peter Gabriel’s hit song ‘Steam,’ (which won a Grammy Award for Best Short Form Music Video in 1994). I was about to hear whether or not I had a worthwhile project and an answer to my question – does an Open 60 generate a perpetual sequence of numbers that could be synthesized to make music?

The answer was yes and no! A set of Open 60 load cell data as a raw stream, is not in itself audible or music, but if it were the manipulator of a selection of existing tracks or sounds… and so with each meeting, the ‘Open Boat Orchestra: Lia Ditton’s Barcelona World Race campaign 2010’ continues to evolve.

Coming next – where ‘OBO’ goes after an audience with ambient music pioneer Brian Eno, present guest artistic director of the Brighton (UK) festival and co-creator of the I-Phone app ‘Bloom.’