bret battey • bat hat media


Estuaries 1

video + sound (2016)


Estuaries 1 is the first of my “Estuaries” audio-visual series, which can be viewed as a series of standalone works or ultimately as one large, multi-movement work.

Estuaries 1 evokes an unstable stasis through use of generative image and music processes that cannot be fully controlled. An uneasy autonomy repeatedly stabilises and re-fractures, seeking resolution. Image here is often serving to mark time and to create trajectories that push time forward — functions more typically provided by music.

The “Estuaries” series involves visualizing Nelder-Mead optimization, a process used by mathematicians to find solutions to complex, multi-variable problems that cannot be addressed by solving equations. We see the results of many such routines searching for the brightest points in a source image. The music was created with my Nodewebba software, which interlinks pattern generators to create complex emergent behaviours.

Technical Details

I created the visual material with a custom plug-in for Apple’s Motion 5 video effects software, working in 4k resolution. The connection between the sound and the image was created almost entirely manually — the relationship is not algorithmic.

Presentation Details

Duration: 05:10
Original format: 4k 30 fps Quicktime Lossless, stereo (96kHz, 24 bit)


  • May, 2018 - Synchresis, 1ª Semana Cultural del Conservatorio Profesional de Música “Manuel Carra”, Málaga, Spain
  • Nov, 2017 - Sound-Image Colloquium, University of Greenwich, UK
  • Oct, 2017 - AFEKT Contemporary Music Festival, Erinevatetubadeklubi, Talin, Estonia
  • Oct, 2017 - AFEKT Contemporary Music Festival, Erinevatetubadeklubi, Tartu, Estonia
  • Oct, 2017 - Korean Electroacoustic Music Festival, Asia Culture Center, Gwangju
  • Oct, 2017 - Montana State University
  • Sep, 2017 - LIPA Festival of Contemporary Music, Iowa State University of Science and Technology
  • Aug-Sep, 2017 - Atlanterium AV Festival, Atlanta, USA
  • Feb, 2017 - Visible Bits Audible Bytes, Phoenix Cinema, Leicester, UK
  • Dec, 2016 - live@CIRMMT, Schulich Concert Hall, Montréal, Canada [Premiere]