Page last updated at 20:12 GMT, Monday, 21 April 2008 21:12 UK

Prize for 'brain music' project

Nick Ryan
Bafta-winning composer Nick Ryan is part of The Fragmented Orchestra

A music project designed to mirror the way our brains work has been named winner of the New Music Award and its £50,000 prize money.

The Fragmented Orchestra's idea uses recording units set up at 24 sites across the UK to capture their sounds.

The sounds will be transmitted back to the Foundation for Art & Creative Technology (FACT) in Liverpool for visitors to hear.

The different locations will include a football stadium, cathedral and farm.

Bat choir

This extraordinary work mirrors the fundamental human activity of the brain
The New Music Award judging panel

The collective sound will also be streamed back to each remote unit.

The New Music Award judging panel said: "This extraordinary work mirrors the fundamental human activity of the brain.

"It is music writ large across the country and, through cutting edge technology, we can all create, listen and play a part in it. "The brain is never silent; it filters, selects and makes connections.

"The Fragmented Orchestra uses these neural patterns in the same way to allow us to hear the UK as music."

Sound artist Jane Grant, musician and physicist John Matthias and Bafta-winning composer Nick Ryan have until September next year to create their new work.

The prize, set up by the Performing Right Society, was launched in 2004.

Other entries included a "choir" of bats and a year-long piece of music generated by a bicycle.


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