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she blinded me with science

life of lia

she blinded me with science


Lia Ditton is doing things in ways that makes us realize how much we suck.

A deal has been brokered on a boat. I’ve met with potential co-skippers… the Open Boat Orchestra/Barcelona World Race 2010 campaign is starting to knit together nicely!!!

On that front, Thomas Dolby as OBO’s Music Consultant, lends three decades of music and technology expertise to the process of transforming a cutting-edge Open 60 racing yacht into a live digital orchestra to play out on the international ‘stage’ of the Barcelona World Race 2010 – the OBO Project. He is joined by fellow musician, programmer and re-mixer, Andrew Down, chosen by Thomas and Open Boat Orchestra to be OBO’s composer.

Best known for the huge 1980s hits She Blinded Me with Science and Hyperactive, Thomas has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry including David Bowie, Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell.  Since the advent of the Web, he has been a pioneer in the fusion of music and technology, breaking new ground with his digital music applications. He founded Beatnik in the 90s, which was responsible for creating the audio layer of Java, which led to the first interactive music websites. Beatnik also co-developed the polyphonic ringtone software used today in nearly a billion mobile phones. Thomas is the musical director of the annual TED Conference and is now working on his brand new album, A Map of the Floating City, for release in late 2010. His studio is a 1930s lifeboat, ‘The Nutmeg of Consolation’ powered entirely by wind and solar power, berthed in the garden of his home on the East Anglia coast. Thomas is also a keen sailor who races twice a week, having scored 4th place in the Loch Long World Championships in 2009.

Andrew Down is one half of ‘The Pirate Twins,’ a collaboration that recreates and re-imagines the works of Thomas Dolby. Andrew has remixed tracks for artists as diverse as Alka, Imogen Heap, Peter Gabriel and Radiohead. Inspired from a young age by the pioneers of electronic music, Andrew’s own compositions explore pattern, texture and melody, a style, which lends itself beautifully to the rich musical tapestry expected to be generated by OBO. Andrew was immediately captivated by the concept of transforming a yacht into a digital orchestra: “It struck me that by using the data sent back from Lia’s yacht, we could create a truly unique insight into Lia’s voyage. The musical possibilities are extraordinary which is entirely appropriate for the epic endeavour that is the Barcelona World Race. OBO will be the soundtrack of an incredible journey”.

The Open Boat Orchestra demo track, created using existing Open 60 data, will be released next week on OpenBoatOrchestra.com, and I’ll be back with a further update about our racing efforts!