THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Sound and vision blog

16 April 2014

Inspired by Flickr: Jay-Dea Lopez

Last month we issued a challenge to musicians, sonic artists and sound designers around the world: to create a short composition inspired by one of the fabulous 1 million images released by the British Library last year onto Flickr Commons. Submissions have begun to come in and we're delighted to kick off this series with a contribution from Australian sound artist and field recordist Jay-Dea Lopez.

As he explains below, Jay-Dea was inspired by an image from the 1890 publication Babylon Electrified: the history of an expedition undertaken to restore ancient Babylon by the power of electricity and how it resulted, from French author Albert Bleunard. Though largely occupied with non-fiction writings on science, Bleunard did dabble with fiction. Babylon Electrified was his only novel and demonstrated a vivid, Vernean style enhanced by scientific accuracy.

Looking at this illustration I imagine the long lineage of people who, throughout the history of human existence, have looked towards the night sky and wondered if there is something more. Gazing upwards our imagination runs free; the darkness becomes a blank slate into which we project our fears and desires.

Babylon Electrified_ the history of an expedition to restore ancient Babylon

Babylon Electrified

Babylon Electrified is the first in what we hope will be an ongoing series of "inspired by" posts that showcase some of the creative responses to our 1 million images. It's certainly got off to a good start.

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Jay-Dea Lopez is an Australian sound artist and field recordist whose work reflects the social and environmental anxieties of the early 21st century. Jay-Dea’s field recordings and compositions have been used in film, radio, theatre, festivals and gallery installations overseas and in Australia. A Q&A with Jay-Dea can be found here.

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