Radio Lear Podcast 015 – Francis O’Donnell Smith
Francis O’Donnell Smith is a Leicester-based musician and artist who pursues beauty and transcendental experience in his compositions and collaborations as a performer and composer. Francis works with acoustic instruments, tuned percussion and processed audio, underpinned with ideas from jazz theory. Francis’s approach to music composition charts the “psychology of reason and the philosophy of meaning, examining broad questions of presence, human expression, perception and self-actualisation”.
Francis has recently collaborated with Miriam Bean as part of the Sound 2023 exhibition, at LCB Depot in Leicester, where they created a generative score that was influenced by experimental composers and artists of the 20th century. Francis and Miriam wanted to develop and present their musical score in a way that made use of an unconventional form of visual notation.
“By visualising music using abstract forms, it allows the performers to decipher the images in their own way, rather than in the prescriptive manner of traditional music notation. As the visuals were generated by artificial intelligence rather than created from scratch, the viewer is left to question the ownership of the work, and whether AI has an appropriate place in creative processes.”