• Vox Chamber Choir

Terella: I. Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?

A Vox Chamber Choir International Collaboration: South Africa and Australia meets


Terella: I. Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? - A choral chant composed by Franco Prinsloo on geomagnetic music composed by Amanda Cole and conceived by Michaela Gleave.



Terrella is a self-generating music app that ‘plays’ the Earth’s magnetic field. Using live data from geomagnetic monitoring stations across the planet, the project tunes in to the frequencies of the Earth, ‘listening’ to fluctuations in the magnetic field and turning it into music.


This project is a collaboration between artist Michaela Gleave, composer Amanda Cole, and programmer Warren Armstrong. Graphic design by Olivia King. It was initially released as part of the Freestate Arts Festival, in three languages, English, Afrikaans and Sethoso.



Evocative of the scale and majesty of the natural world, Terrella looks to the core of the Earth and out to the very edge of space. Audible as a shifting mesh of sound, Terrella responds to fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field, generating an electrically charged soundscape reminiscent of this immense natural phenomenon. Increasing and decreasing in strength according to real-time changes in the Earth’s magnetic field, Terrella operates by applying variations in three-dimensional vector data to scalable musical parameters. Referencing the flow of electrons and force of the solar wind, the sounds generated are sculpted by magnetic activity and intensity, ebbing and flowing across time and space.


South African composer Franco Prinsloo collaborated with artist Michaela Gleave and composer Amanda Cole by juxtaposing a newly composed choral chant with the live generated sound-world of Terrella. The composer uses the title of a famous painting by French artist Paul Gauguin Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? (French: D'où venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Où allons-nous?) to create a meditative, slow chant of clusters, inviting the audience to contemplate the philosophical nature of the text within the soundscape of Terrella. The sound presented in this performance is generated in real time by the Terrella Application based on data observed at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory located near Pretoria, South Africa.


The world premiere of this collaborative work will be on 31 October 2021 at 14:00

in the Level -3 Basement Parking of the King Price Building, Menlyn, Pretoria, South Africa.


To explore the Terella application go to:http://geomagneticmusic.net


To get your tickets for the concert, click here: https://tickets.tixsa.co.za/event/vuurbees-firebeast


10% of tickets sales will be donated to the Mabula Ground Hornbill Project and another 10% to the Little Rhino Orphanage. #save_our_planet



Australian artist Michaela Gleave, Australian composer Amanda Cole, programmer Warren Armstrong and South African composer, Franco Prinsloo.



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