bret battey • bat hat media


Estuaries 4

video + sound (2021)


Estuaries 4 is the last of my “Estuaries” audio-visual series, which can be viewed as a set of standalone works or ultimately as one large, multi-movement work. Estuaries 4 explores contrasts between intense and frenetic textures and a gentler poetics (with the latter expressed in part through visualisation the mathematical Rosenbrock function).

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: 8:41
Original format: 4k 30 fps Quicktime Lossless, stereo (48kHz, 24 bit). Also available in 1080p30 formats.


  • Award of Distinction: Video Music, Prix CIME 2023
  • Best Regional Music (Europe) 2022, International Computer Music Association
  • Best Video, MuVi6 Visual Music 2022, Granada, Spain


  • Jan, 2024 - Electronic Nights, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, USA
  • Dec, 2023 - Imagina AniFest, New York City, USA
  • Oct, 2023 - Australasian Computer Music Conference, University of New England, Parramatta, Australia
  • Sep, 2023 - Punto y Raya Festival, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Sep, 2023 - WNIT PBS [TV broadcast], South Bend, Indiana, USA
  • Sep, 2023 - Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA
  • Apr, 2023 - Artificial v Art: AI in Animation 2, Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, Germany
  • Apr, 2023 - Rhizome Online Selections, Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States
  • Mar, 2023 - Performing Media Festival 2023, South Bend, Indiana, USA
  • Nov, 2022 - Animation Marathon, Athens, Greece
  • Oct, 2022 - Paintings in Motion: An Evening of Visual Music, Montana State University, USA
  • Sep, 2022 - Convergence Festival, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK
  • Sep, 2022 - Over the Real International Video Art Festival, Lucca, Italy
  • Sep, 2022 - Bowed Electrons Festival, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Jul, 2022 - International Computer Music Conference, University of Limerick, Ireland
  • Jun, 2022 - Sound and Music Computing Conference, Saint-Etienne, France
  • May, 2022 - NoiseFloor Festival, University of Staffordshire, UK
  • Apr, 2022 - The Listening Eye, COMMUTE Festival, Kino Sõprus, Talin, Estonia
  • Mar, 2022 - Tempo Reale, Firenze, Italy [streaming]
  • Dec, 2021 - Synchresis Festival, Musikene, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
  • Nov, 2021 - Visible Bits, Audible Bytes, Phoenix Cinema, Leicester, UK [Premiere]