Rory Viner Makes Music Out of Suicide, Rape and Murder Statistics

Pic: Rory Viner (C)

Tokyo-based experimental artist and composer Rory Viner got in touch with us about his fascinating experiment in musical psychotopology:

“Using Japanese suicide statistics, I assigned each statistic point to a piano note. Each section of twelve notes encompasses a year of self-killings within a prefecture. I then did that for every prefecture, decontextualizing dry statistics and weaving them into a sonic map. I also created a sonic map for U.S. murder and rape rates, which may especially be of interest to your readers.”

Here’s Viner’s “One Year in Suicide Statistics in Japan for Piano”

And two other compositions:

“American Murder Statistics for Piano”

“American Rape Statistics by State for Piano”

Learn more about Rory Viner’s Work at Tumblr.

  • Thurlow Weed

    Adam Lanza might have been a big fan of this “genre”.

    • Andrew

      Genre is a bigger enemy of creativity than censorship.

      • Thurlow Weed

        Stupidity is the only enemy of creativity.

        • echar

          Not true, fear is the main enemy of creativity.

          • Mr Grim

            I thought fear was the mind-killer. Which… I guess if you follow that through to its logical conclusion, would also quite effectively nix creativity…

      • kowalityjesus

        “If you have nothing new to say, then you can do no better, whilst awaiting the ultimate silence, than to repeat again what has already been well said. If you do have something to say, that something can never be more clearly stated than by your unwitting infidelity to the model.” Maurice Ravel

        • echar

          Disagree, what if you say the same thing but in a different manner?

          • kowalityjesus

            This quote was made in the context of music in the early 20th century. I think it is implied that if you are repeating what has already been well said, you are simply borrowing from other composers, or using a genre as template. Ravel was accused of strongly emulating a few different composers, Ibert and Debussy, and he probably said this in retaliation to that accusation. A lot of his material is transcendentally original though, and utterly ingenious.

          • echar

            Pardon me. I misunderstood. After reading the quote, remixing came to mind. So does cut ups, and some of the work of Brian Gyson. A shift in phrasing can make a difference, imo.

          • Mr Grim

            Or say the same thing whilst wearing a different hat and/or more eye-catching trousers?

          • echar

            A jester may suggest a shift in tone and delivery.

  • tibby trillz

    cute gimmick, boring results. if its not interesting without knowing the method behind it, then it is a failure, experimental or not.

  • ÿ

    This just screams, “Hey, look at me, I’m a composer!”

    I’d say the source material ruined the compositions, but then again…