Viewable in HD on Vimeo here.
In 2006, Face Removal Services created the Beatmap, a GPS-based music instrument that transforms the face of the planet into an enormous DJ booth.
Looping musical phrases are represented on a map as overlapping circular territories. As the vehicle approaches the center of a circle, the volume increases. In areas of the map where territories overlap the vehicle generates dynamic mixes of the overlapping musical phrases. By exploring a very large map of many overlapping territories the Beatmap creates complex, dynamic mash-ups.
The map can be explored on foot, by plane, boat, train, or automobile. In this footage the map is explored by car on the Bonneville Salt Flats, allowing the user to freely accelerate, swerve, and slam to a stop for optimum musical control of the instrument.
The Beatmap can be positioned anywhere on Earth and expanded or contracted to any size by manipulating a continuous stream of GPS data. The Beatmap can thus be used to create drive-through mash-ups on any surface of any size, from a tennis court to the Atlantic Ocean.
Exploring the Beatmap is like investigating a new city while navigating a DJ's crate of records. Obscure landmarks begin to gain new significance by their association with unique musical juxtapositions. For instance, a treacherous pothole may invite multiple drive-bys simply because of its proximity to a particularly satisfying polyrhythm. The Beatmap is currently be readied for deployment in locations near and far.