Please Scroll Down For Specific Selections
This section has audio pieces, accompanied by simple graphics, based on sonified weather. Briefly, four daily weather elements (barometric pressure, high temperature, minutes of sunshine, and daily precipitation) over the span of about five years (1,800 days) are associated with specific notes and played by separate musical instruments speeded up either 675,000 or 175,000 times. The higher the pitch, the more of the element there is, higher temperature or more precipitation for example. Other than that, nothing was changed in any weather element data series.
For a narrative explanation of how and why these pieces were made click here. The narrative gives some context to these sonifications as well as to the math sonifications that appear later.
The initial intent of theses pieces was to simply hear weather patterns, not to create music. But, the results ended up being surprisingly musical. They were even reviewed in the New Music section of a Spokane newspaper and played on a jazz radio show. And, I was flattered to be invited to present them to a university music composition class as an example of what might be called "pre-composition". By scrolling down and selecting the various links you can hear some of the "weather songs". Full versions are available on the CD entitled, Can You Hear Me Now? You can also see video clips of a museum multi-media installation of these pieces by clicking here: Sonified Weather at the MAC.
I continued to explore other places where "music can be found". Check out Birds on a Wire, Pi & Other Sonified Constants, and Drip Coffee on the Home Page, for example. Inevitably, this kind of work leads you to John Cage. A very pleasant place to visit I think, especially considering the electronic tools and software we have available today.
I encourage you to use QuickTime 7.0 or higher to hear and see the streamed audio and video pieces on this site. If you don't have QuickTime 7, you can download it for free, for either a Macintosh or a Windows PC, by clicking here. If you prefer not to get QuickTime, some of the audio and video pieces can still be viewed using Windows Media Player, albeit at a little lower video quality. Look for a link to Media Player by the description of a particular piece after clicking on it below.
Spokane Fast. All four Spokane weather elements each played by a different instrument and speeded up 657,000 times. Starts with each of the instruments fading in to give an idea of what to listen for. Then all four are play at once like really happens with the weather. (4:04)
Seattle Fast. All four Seattle weather elements each played by a different instrument. Also speeded up 657,000 times. The instruments are mapped identically to Spokane and explained on the video graphic (4:04)
Spokane Slow. Same as Spokane Fast except slowed down to "only" 175,000 times faster than normal weather. (5:08 sample)
Seattle Slow. Same as Seattle Fast except slowed down to only 175,000 times faster than normal weather. (5:08 sample)
Spokane Piano Solo. Five years of Spokane temperature played by the piano. More than seven notes (days) per second. (4:04)
Seattle Piano Solo. Five years of Seattle temperature played by the piano. More than seven notes (days) per second. (4:04)
Spokane Experiment, Audio & Video. A more interpretive version of Spokane Fast. This time different instruments, such as a toy piano, take turns on playing sunshine, which is treated like the lead part of the song. (4:04)
Spokane Experiment, Audio Only. Same as above but with no video. The track layout is shown in Apple GarageBand. (4:04)
Seattle Experiment, Audio & Video. A more interpretive version of Seattle Fast. Not all data is played at the same time. The standup bass plays pressure all the way through. The electric piano comes in on rain followed by the vibraphone playing sunshine. Then all three play at once and the bass ends the piece. The graphic is color coded to the instruments. (4:04)
Spokane Rain vs. Seattle Rain. Not nearly as dense as the others and one of my favorites. The rain from both cities is played in chronological order at the same time. A good example of how sonification provides a unique perspective on patterns versus the perspective provided by statistical correlation (R squared). (4:04)