NUMBERSTREAM THE SLIDER - Julian Simmons 2017THE SLIDER is one of ten pieces of music chosen by Sarah Lucas for BBC Radio 3’s programme Private Passions, broadcast 5 February 2017.

01    BRITTEN – Fanfare for St. Edmondsbury
02    YES – Long Distance Runaround
03    BRITTEN – Sally in our Alley
04    GURNEY – Sleep
05    PURCELL – Tis I that have warm’d ye
06    PURCELL – To Woden thanks we render
07    CAN – Oh Yeah
09    BRITTEN – Big Chariot, Songs from the Chinese
10    BRITTEN – Dance Song, Songs from the Chinese



Availability : THE SLIDER in it’s extended form is to be released as part of a new NUMBERSTREAM album through Bandcamp [TBA, page updated upon release].

Listen BBC Radio 3, edited broadcast Private Passions – Sarah Lucas. Not available as the original 1 hour broadcast, THE SLIDER 44:40 – 51:50 [duration 7:10 minutes]; for copyright reasons unfortunately all the music in this stream has been shortened to 1 minute.



[above] The NUMBERSTREAM mixer-panner and the three ‘7-string’ slider instruments plucked and bowed in this broadcast.

“It’s like a bunch of grapes!”,  Sarah Lucas.


Pure-Data NUMBERSTREAM programming, presenting enhanced karplus-strong algorithms and LFO driven noise synthesis,
then envelope-driven filtered square-waves / birds [from 3:20].

/ cover-art: 27 consecutive sliced still-frames from the video

‘The rumbles and tweetie noises made me think of David Lynch’s Eraserhead!’, Rob Gold, Music for Films.


Electronic Britten Score Interpretations via Pure-Data Fast Fourier Transform, played with Pure-Data NUMBERSTREAM instruments within a 4-channel environment.

8 + 22 June 2013 live electronic surround-sound performance [3pm both dates, no ticket required] | outdoor derelict-space opposite Hoffmann Building, part of SNAP 2013, Aldeburgh Music, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, IP17 1SR | map | + quad speaker playback running from 9 – 30 June 2013 throughout the Benjamin Britten centenary Aldeburgh Festival.

Utilising Fast Fourier Transform analysis [FFT], fundamental frequencies extracted from existing recorded Britten performances provide new reverse-engineered scores; notating a musical score by digitally recognising audible changes in pitch & amplitude with no reference to the original score.

8 June 2013 live recording  5:14 [live recording, 4 > 2 channel, excerpt] **

Derelict-space live recording 8 June – captured by Russell Haswell on a Zoom H2 / List of BB works performed

Benjamin Britten FFT scores : Peter Grimes Interlude I, Dawn [ancient-Greek version]; Serenade for Horns Tenor & Strings, Epilogue [heavy version].

‘Accompanying Lucas’ sculptures is Julian Simmons’ dark and abstract work NUMBERSTREAM100 which reverberates around the space, omnipresent and powerful.  The sound purples and shimmers like a darkening bruise, deliciously discordant and completely immersive.’  The Journal of Wild Culture.

SoundCloud (Set 1) 7:41 [line-out recording, 12 June 2013]
2-channel mix of this 4-channel performance may produce greater than stereo dimensions through unusual (joystick-controlled) phase additions, be sensitive to the extra 3D push and pull on your ear-drums!

0:00 Pure Numberstream | Noise-based string-model instr.
1:58 FFT: Benjamin Britten – Serenade for Tenor, Horns & Strings, Epilogue | Two noise-based string instr.**
3:06 Pure Numberstream | Dual-rotor helicopter modelling + extreme quad spatialisation | White-noise + Splicing dual-wavetable instr.
4:05 FFT: Benjamin Britten – Peter Grimes, Interlude I, Dawn | Two dual-wavetable instr.**

** on-the-fly FFT frequency detection from the Britten performances applied directly to NUMBERSTREAM instruments does result in ‘untuned’ discordance – this has been retained uncorrected. Those who are familiar with these Britten works will hear his motifs within the FFT translation, though heard somewhat warped.



Recorded in a c.1800 Napoleonic military Martello tower, 10 metres from the North Sea. Recorded mostly over two days in winter, real-time abstract responses to observing changing sea states, storms, aerial atmospherics, shipping lanes and fog horns.

Tracks 1 – 6 / acoustic instruments into Pure-Data; live headphone monitoring of microphone signal-processing with two serially-connected looping stereo memory-banks providing complex offset & overlay.
Track 7 / Pure-Data only.

Classical guitar, alternative tuning, Kimbara model no. 76, 1970’s, made in Japan for FCN-London.
D tin whistle, Generation.
Gale-force wind & rain recording.

Diffused in ANAHUACALLI, Museo Diego Rivera, Coyoacán, Mexico City, for the exhibition TITTIPUSSIDAD – NUDS, Sarah Lucas, 20 April – 8 July 2012; and soundtrack to the documentary film ‘About Sarah‘, by Elisa Miller; and the film REALIDAD, by Julian Simmons.


I thought the fucking door was open … I’ve probably listened to it too much”, Russell Haswell.

LaMonte Young in Japan”, Angus Cook.


Recorded December 2011 – February 2012.
Released 2012, NUMBERSTREAM0.
Remastered, digitally released 2018, TOWER.
63 minutes.

Album download > TOWER on Bandcamp


This CD presents direct-take recordings of multiple Pure-Data NUMBERSTREAMS played in real-time by modifying embedded variables; the two-track files were saved live within PD as the final output; no samples of actual instruments, field recordings, MIDI, or post-mixing employed.

Each piece played experimentally according to a score containing brief instructions with open time periods, varying to the performance situation.


1 SNAPE | The Slider  1 17:40 [excerpt 6:45-13:55]

4 NUZ | Spirit of Ewe  4 8:32 [excerpt 3:42-7:24]

‘It belongs to the sui generis genre; and it’s emergent : wikipedia’, Angus Cook.

“It’s like finding yourself outside at night… in front of the heavens… and the whole of reality drops away”, Sarah Lucas [commenting on SNAPE | THE SLIDER].

Signed CDR, self-released.  Total time 70:00.  Recorded Sept 2011.  Track 4 was extended in 2014 and uploaded with visuals NUZ Jet Lag.

SNAPE | THE SLIDER and NUZ | SPIRIT OF EWE first live performance :

Aldeburgh Music, Snape Maltings, Hoffmann Building, Suffolk, UK / 10 June 2011 [details here after SEE MORE > ]

All tracks alongside ‘Coloured Rose’ – light-sculpture by Cerith Wyn Evans exhibited :

Stolper + Friends, Tjuvholmen Alle 6, 0252 Oslo, Norway / October 2011.  Track 3 was composed especially for this exhibition.

Expansions of SNAPE | THE SLIDER and NUZ | SPIRIT OF EWE performed live quadraphonically :

Ekeberg Sculpture Park, Oslo, Norway / 30 April 2016

Albergo Diurno Venezia, piazza Oberdan, Milan, Italy / 9 – 10 April 2016

Cafe OTO, 18–22 Ashwin street, Dalston, London, UK / 6 November 2015

Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High St, London, UK / 28 November 2013


NUMBERSTREAM | Random ∞ Intent


Live Random Intent 2.1  10:27 [result of the first Pure-Data/PD, NUMBERSTREAM masterclasses: ambient organ playing ad-infitum without repetition].

Random Intent: this project started as a back-room diversion from a party. I’d got talking to Don and Ted about creating sounds mathematically, building that math into instruments, then playing it. I deemed a practical exposition should be had.

From a laptop balanced on a sofa, onto an empty PD screen I began to add objects – vigilant they’d not be overly advanced. Mainly this first lesson was about the logic of object connection (initially I constructed a simple calculator to exemplify this). Also the instrument demonstrated the ability of PD to automatically trigger itself: random western-scale frequencies, octaves, chord polyphonies, durations and write-read feedback delays.

Aspects of this randomness stimulated following randomness – the organ is ‘depth connected’ via selectors (aka an ‘Expert System’) – a generative instrument of non-repeating variation …although while having improvising layers it also has the predilection of my preferences – my intent. Anything that sounds like interaction, post-mixing, or overdubbing, isn’t: it’s live random intent.

The initial source of mathematical movement, or disturbance in primary data, had to be nothing more than a basic sine-wave, though 9 of them, 3 groups of 3 working in parallel. Each group forming a chord (the six-pointed stars in screenshot alongside) and each with different durations of refresh: the first chord-group creating long 4sec held drones, the third group with more rapid 0.7sec musical sequences. Each of the chord’s notes rolled-on – an arpeggio played once, with the interval between triggering each note in the chord linked to the frequency of the notes: the higher the frequency the greater the duration of rolling-on.