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”

FMS Symphony

FMS Symphony is a quirky sonification of the  US treasury balance since the 2008 financial crisis. It was released in 2012 and I asked the creators, Thomas Levine and Brian Abelson, part of CSV Soundsystem, a few questions to know more about it.  Continue reading “FMS Symphony”

Earth’s Magnetic Field: Realizations in Computed Electronic Sound

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.

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London Fix: making sound out of gold

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.

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Trappist sonification

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”

Stadsmuziek/ Citymusic: a sonification of buildings by Akko Goldenbeld

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.

Continue reading “Stadsmuziek/ Citymusic: a sonification of buildings by Akko Goldenbeld”