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Software Garden unfolds over 11 tracks, each with an accompanying music video that cultivates influences of pop, electronic, techno with choral and lush string arrangements to explore how a music album can be used as a political space to bring people together. Responding to recent complex global shifts that highlight increasing polarities between people that have led to increasing nationalism and desire for isolationism, Software Garden asks how we meet and create connection from both behind and beyond our screens. As digital and robotic technologies change the fabric of human systems, is it possible to create spaces that unite the human, ecological and technological with basic principles of empathy, care and kindness?
At the heart of the album is a series of close collaborations in which the contributors orbit around and make contact with one another across different generations. Like a central sun, Software Garden is narrated by poet and disability advocate Carol R. Kallend from Sheffield in the north of England. Her poetry reflects on her desire to have a robotic companion to fill the void left by the British Governments disability cuts that left her with drastically reduced access to care. Starting with a poem entitled The Lone Dreg Speaks Back written in the middle of the night, her lone but powerful voice voices her experience of disability. It is accompanied in the first music video with drawings of doctors and nurses meticulously stitching the wounds of patients by Barbara Hepworth.