The Listening Machine was a sonification that used tweets from a group of 500 participants in the UK. The creators wanted to highlight the interesting dynamics that arise from social interactions and translate those dynamics into music, so to create “a soundtrack of our everyday social lives”. It was also inspired by the Mass Observation Movement (1937), an early British experiment in social research in which 500 volunteers were asked to keep diaries of their everyday lives. Continue reading “The Listening Machine”
Earth’s Magnetic Field: Realizations in Computed Electronic Sound, is a seminal piece of sonification art and electronic music in general. In 1970, composer Charles Dodge, together with three physicists Bruce R. Boller, Carl Frederick and Stephen G. Ungar, sonified the variations in the earth’s magnetic field which in influenced by solar winds.
About the piece
London Fix, Music Changing With the Price of Gold, An Environment of Continuous Electronic Music (2003), by the American composer Tom Hamilton, is a series of six sonifications of the gold price evolution at the London Stock Exchange. It was one of the first pieces that drew me to research sonification and hence I wanted to include this on my blog. I have asked Tom Hamilton a few question on how he got to create this work which he was very kind to answer.
In 1999, astronomers discovered a star they called, quite unimaginatively, 2MASS J23062928-0502285 (These numbers refer to the right ascension and declination of the star’s position in the sky and the “J” refers to the Julian Epoch.). The star was later studied again and in 2015, a team found 3 planets orbiting around the star, followed by the discovery of another 4. The astronomers, led by the Belgian Michaël Gillon, used the TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope for the initial discovery and subsequently named the solar system Trappist-1 (the Trappist also refers to the famous Belgian beers). Through careful observation of the star, they were able to detect the transits of the planets. Every time a planet passes in front of the star, it blocks a bit of the light, which is enough to detect the planet. With 500 hours of observation, the team was able to calculate the trajectories of the planets and create a simulation of the system. Continue reading “Trappist sonification”
Artefact#0, Digital Necrophony is an installation by Mathilde Lavenne that wants to be a meditation on the afterlife. Using a light sensor, the colour intensities on a black and white marble column are read and fed into the sound engine. Using marble, Laverne wants to convey a sense of solemnness. Continue reading “Artefact#0, Digital Necrophony”
As I discover new works, I try to get as much information as possible to write a blog post about it. Unfortunately, sometimes, I cannot get all information. I could leave those works alone and fade away in the endless ocean of data, or I can create a database of works. At least, you will be able to listen to the works yourself and maybe you can get some inspiration.
Citymusic is an installation by Dutch artist and designer Akko Goldenbeld. It sonifies the heights of buildings in Eindhoven and Amsterdam using a piano and a city map on a roll that plays the piano keys, a bit like a pianola. Akko was kind enough to answer a few questions to explain how the installation works.
Two trains by American composer Brian Foo is a sonification of a subway ride to 3 of New York’s boroughs (Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Bronx), where the median household income functions as the control data for the composition.