South West Music by Buella Blue in consultation with Ben Beeton

Following The Leeuwin Current

The Leeuwin Current with Buella

Part 2 The South West 

Subjectively responding to nature through music

Objectively translating science through art into music

My name is Ben Beeton. As an artist I have been doing projects focused on making science visible through artist residencies for over a decade. To view my former projects go to projects on My present project is aimed at following the Leeuwin current from the Kimberley to Tasmania. The Leeuwin Current is a warm ocean current which flows southwards near the western coast of Australia. It rounds Cape Leeuwin to enter the waters south of Australia where its influence extends as far as Tasmania. Through a sequence of artist residency projects I am following the current on its journey . I am interested in the ecology, geology and deep time history of the marine and terrestrial environments which the Leeuwin current influences and the stories which the people involved with preserving these natural environments have to tell. I have completed part one of the project which saw me travel from the Kimberley to Perth. Part two of the project looks at the South West. When working through part one of the project I began to look for a composer to collaborate with during part two (the south west) who was interested in exploring and developing the nexus of science through art into music. On this leg of the project I am very excited to be collaborating with the singular composer Buella Blue to develop music which aims to communicate a balance between a subjective and objective experience of environment. Buella Blue clearly is a highly gifted composer with a unique vision. This unique project offers Buella an opportunity to develop a specialised musical language which merges personal experience, art, field work science and conservation awareness of the south west. To my knowledge bringing music, science and art together in this way is a truly new initiative. This project has a strong educational component which involves schools. Subjectively the music will reflect Buella’s personal responses to the landscapes experienced during the sequence of artist residencies which have been secured for the project. Objectively Buella and myself will be exploring a means of communicating science through art into music. Themes are the Leeuwin current flowing around the south west, observed mathematics of endemic plant growth in the south west, plate tectonics referencing the geological origins of south western Australia. We will be consulting with many scientists on our journey, as part of my process I make short films which document their research.  The purpose of the objective approach which involves scientific consultation is the development of Buella’s musical languages which can tell the stories of the evolution of plant life in the south west running parallel the geological evolution of the south west and the Leeuwin current. Buella and I are both inspired by the Biophilia Education Project by Bjork which integrates science, music and art. We are interested in developing similar educational platforms for Australia through our collaboration. I have been involved in bringing science and art together in the class room at Uluru and other locations. Buella and I have discussed new innovative means of communicating science in the classroom simultaneously through art and music which we will develop during the project.

Translating deep time geology and the evolution of life into music

Translating the mathematics of endemic plant growth into music

Translating extinction and native ecosystem decline into music

Translating the Leeuwin Current into music

Concept for translating 4d plate tectonics into musical score

4d plate tectonics score 4

concept for music describing plate tectonic history over 2 billion years

Part 1 The West Coast 

This leg of the project has been completed. It spanned from September 2016 to March 2017.

2016 Artist Residency at Windjana Gorge National Park

2016 Artist Residency at Broome Bird Observatory

2016 Artist Residencies at Cape Range National Park, Yardie Homestead and Warroora Station all three are located off Ningaloo Marine Park

2016 Artist Residencies Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay to Mount Augustus

2017 Artist Residency at Lesueur National Park, Nambung National Park

Part 2 The South West – residency locations to be undertaken with Buella Blue

2017 Artist Residency Karri Valley Resort


2017 Artist Residency Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk


2017 Artist Residency Nutkin Lodge


2017 Artist Residency Vancouver Arts Centre Albany

Vancover arts center

2017 Artist Residency Balijup

2017 Artist Residency Wave Rock

2017 Artist Residency Ravensthorpe


Gondwana Link

This project has the support of Gondwana Link.

During my residency at Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay I gave an evening talk at the local museum which I titled “From the Big Bang to the Big Freeze” Buella Blue has discussed her ideas with me about how some of the concepts in this talk could be conveyed through music which she would create during project 2 in the south west. I strongly believe that the music complex music produced through this project will be an Australian first.

Former projects by Ben Beeton

2016/17 Following the Leeuwin Current

2016 Artist Residency at Uluru

2016 Artist Residency at Rovers Rest Girraween

2015 Artist Residency at Alice Springs Desert Park 

2015 Artist with El Nido Resorts Philippines 

2015 Artist Residency at Brisbane EcoSciences Precinct 

2015 Artist Residency at Naracoorte Caves Fossil Site 

2013 Artist accompanying Expedition Kimberley sponsored by Australian Geographic 

2013 Artist with Kimberley Air Tours 

2013 Artist with Coromandel Adventures New Zealand 

2012 Artist Residency at Driving Creek Railway, New Zealand 

2012 Gene Streams – Humanity over the Fleurieu Peninsula 

2011 Artist Residency Menindee Lakes – Multimedia artist/film maker with Beckler’s Botanical Bounty 

2010 Artist for the Royal Society of Victoria’s Burke and Wills Environmental Expedition 

2009 Artist Residency with Wrights Air at Lake Eyre 

2009 Artist Residency at Sugarloaf Mountain Retreat 

2008 Artist Residency at Boyce Gardens through the University of Queensland 

2007 Artist Residency at Dunmoochin 

2007 Project Daintree 

2007 Light Waves 

2006 Artist Residency at Bundanon 

2006 Gene Streams – Dendroid Drawings on the Eurorail 

2006 Artist Residency at Hill End 

2006 Artist Residency at Fowlers Gap 

2006 Artist Residency at Broken Hill 

2005 Landscapes Through Deep Time – Crows Nest Falls Through Deep Time 

2004 Landscapes Through Deep Time – Memories of the Eromanga Sea at Lake Mungo 

2004 Gene Streams Poetics – O’Reilly’s Lamington National Park 

2003 Landscapes Through Deep Time – Atmosphere 

2003 Landscapes Through Deep Time – O’Reilly’s Lamington National Park 

2002 Gene Streams Poetics – Life as Liquid 

2001 – 2002 Landscapes Through Deep Time – Binna Burra Lamington National Park 

2001 Ten Billion Years on a Flat Surface – Part 1 – 600 million years to the present 

2000 – 2004 Gene Streams Poetics

2000 – 2001 Marine Impressions – Ammonites, Trilobites and Echinoderms, A Chronology of Appearances 

2000 Gene Streams Scientific Model Making – The Bio Geographical Time Line Model 

1999 Gene Streams Poetics – Life as Liquid