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The Good Ship Hibernia and the Hole in the Bottom of the World

from The Human Cost: A Sonification of Ireland's Economic Crash by Stephen Roddy



"The Good Ship Hibernia" is an Embodied Soundscape Sonification. It uses both soundscape and harmonic materials and employs sonification techniques to reflect the World Bank's figures for Irish GDP growth rate from 1979 to 2013. The piece is structured around a number of embodied metaphors (as defined by Lakoff and Johnson 1980) and an embodied balance schema (as defined by Johnson 1987). It uses the metaphor of a maritime journey where “smooth sailing” and “good weather” represent “good times” and “rough seas” and “bad weather” represent “bad times”. While the growth rate is strong the sailing is smooth and the weather is good. When the growth rate shrinks the weather becomes stormy and seas become rough. The sense of balance in the soundscape shifts in accordance with the data. Harmonic material also sounds throughout the journey. This material was performed in response to the soundscape of the sea journey with the perceived fidelity and timbral character of the performance determined by the GDP data.



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Stephen Roddy Cork, Ireland

“An experimental composer from Ireland, Stephen Roddy proves equally adept at crushing soundscapes as he does mysterious melodies.”

- Bandcamp New & Notable Mar 13, 2022.

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