Conductor: the sound of the New York subway

Conductor, by Alexander Chen, is a webpage that sonifies the new York subway schedule. The webpage draws the New York subway map onscreen in order of the schedule and when a lines crosses another one,  it triggers a note, akin to pulling a string. Conductor uses a combination of HTML, Javascript and Flash. Continue reading “Conductor: the sound of the New York subway”

1945-1998, Overkilled, and The Names of Experiments by Isao Hashimoto

1945-1998 (released in 2003) is a work by Isao Hashimoto that sonifies and visualises the 2053 nuclear explosions between the first nuclear test in New Mexico until the test by Pakistan in May 1998 (the three tests announced by the DPRK since 2006 are not included in the work). Continue reading “1945-1998, Overkilled, and The Names of Experiments by Isao Hashimoto”

Quotidian record: sonifying everyday life

Quotidian record is another sonification work by Brian House, whose work You’ll have to take my word for it, I wrote about earlier in this blog. In this highly individualistic work, Brian tracked all his travels for a year and used those data to create a composition. He suggests that “our habitual patterns have inherent musical qualities and that daily rhythms might form an emergent portrait of an individual”. In other words: life is music. Continue reading “Quotidian record: sonifying everyday life”

The Listening Machine

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”

You’ll have to take my word for it: car crash composition

Brian House created You’ll have to take my word for it, in which he sonified a car crash. In 2011, Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray had a car accident but survived unharmed. The dubious circumstances in which the accident happened led to an investigation and the car’s black box data were made public. Continue reading “You’ll have to take my word for it: car crash composition”

The Rhythm of City. Sonifying social media activity in cities around the world

Rhythms of the City by the artists duo Mar Canet Sola and Varvara Guljajeva sonifies online activity in specific cities. The overall activity on Youtube, Twitter and Flickr are measured and compared to historical activity. The resulting value is mapped to a tempo value on a metronome. The more activity there is in a city, the higher the tempo of the corresponding metronome. Continue reading “The Rhythm of City. Sonifying social media activity in cities around the world”