Brexit and the falling pound

Hello again. After a long recess, I decided it was time to continue. My first post is a very simple sonification. This short sonification in the BBC tracks the value of the Pound Sterling around the Brexit. The pound was rallying quite well in the run-up of the referendum but after the shock result of the Brexit victory, When the result came in, the pound went down significantly.

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The Climate Symphony

The Climate Symphony, by Marty Quinn, is a multimedia performance that uses climate data from the last 110000 years. It tracks the climatological evolution over these years, sonifying several datastreams simultaneously. The music is played together with a spoken word performance by Quinn, explaining the climate evolution. Quinn developed custom software for the Climate Symphony and has developed several other sonification projects such as Shakespeare texts, the 9/11 attacks, solar images, et cetera.

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N.A.G. (Network Auralization for Gnutella)

N.A.G. was an application that used data from the Gnutella peer-to-peer network. The user would enter search words and the application would start looking for mp3 files matching those keywords. Due to the nature of Gnutella, a mp3 file is downloaded in fragments. These fragments form the core of the musical result: Instead of mapping data, the sound files themselves are transformed based on various parameters that can be set interactively by the user. The downloaded fragments are played back at a speed depending on the available bandwidth. Continue reading “N.A.G. (Network Auralization for Gnutella)”

Solar Wind Sonification

In 2010, a team from the University of Michigan used solar wind data from 2003, obtained using NASA’s Advanced Composition Explorer Satellite. Composer Robert Alexander mapped Helium velocity data to a frequency between 20Hz and 6kHz. The resulting frequency was used to control the cutoff frequency of a bandpass filter filtering pink noise and a bandwidth that was held at a constant of 1. The result is a sweeping wind sound. The density of the Helium controls the loudness of the sound. At some points in time, a Coronal Mass Ejection⁠1 occurs. When this happens, the sound is sent through an overdrive effect. Continue reading “Solar Wind Sonification”

Rock Music: Granular and Stochastic Synthesis based on the Matanuska Glacier

Moving from social media to environmental data, today I discuss Mara Helmuth’s Rock Music, a sonification of the melting of an Alaskan glacier.

Mara Helmuth uses data from sediment granulation in a lake formed by the melting of the Matanuska glacier in Alaska during a 24-hour period. Time, grain size and grain frequency were measured and mapped onto parameters for waveform, additive, granular and physical modelling synthesis. Continue reading “Rock Music: Granular and Stochastic Synthesis based on the Matanuska Glacier”

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”