The Murmuration Cloud

Corn Exchange
Clusters of light swirl and float across a cloud hovering in the Corn Exchange's atrium in The Murmuration Cloud, a collaborative installation by The Glass Cyphers. Reacting to their sound, the piece will unite those beneath as the cloud’s light particles respond to volume and pitch, unwittingly bringing people together.
Partners & credits:
The Murmuration Cloud
The Murmuration Cloud

Paul Miller and Griet Beyaert are East Street Arts artists who work collaboratively as The Glass Cyphers. In the beautiful setting of Cuthbert Brodrick’s Grade I-listed Corn Exchange, they have installed an interactive cloud that responds to the sounds created by the audience (and sometimes performers) to be found all around, below and above it, using pitch and volume to move light both within, and on the outer surfaces of, the cloud.

Inspired by the collective beauty and synchronicity of a starling murmuration, as so many individual birds rise and fall on the wing in perfect harmony with one another, the cloud echoes those repeated harmonious patterns and rhythms. Just like the starlings, the Christmas season brings many individuals together to move as a collective.

Playful and engaging, the piece is located in a ready-made performance space (suspended as it is in the Corn Exchange’s lower atrium). As well as impromptu music and an open invitation to buskers, Paul and Griet have also programmed various performances from musicians in partnership with Leeds College of Music.


The piece uses around 100 metres of glass fibre filament tissue, 80 metres of polyester fibreglass rods and 42 metres of micro-cable.
Using new materials and new processes, the piece is challenging – specific to the space it is in, Paul and Griet didn’t know the exact sound dynamics until they installed The Murmuration Cloud in situ..
The structure is large, at 5 metres long and 1.7 metres deep.
Made from 14 polyester hoops, the large installation hangs across the 16 metre-wide opening into the Corn Exchange’s lower atrium.
Two projectors send light into and onto the cloud.
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