Cascades

Video and Live Electronics | Spring 2015 | 7:30


Program Note

This work presents sound and visuals representing 400,000 years of climate data, specifically CO2 levels, global average temperature, and the correlation between the two. The overall effect depends less on clarity of the data representation and more on the impact of the data. Temperature and CO2 are each represented by tones with different timbres which rise and fall in pitch as the data increases or decreases. In the visualization these are presented in the lower half of the screen, scrolling toward each other. As the correlation between these two values is mapped to a third tone that is only activated when CO2 and temperature are strongly aligned, and becomes deeper in pitch as the correlation becomes stronger. This correlation is mapped in the upper left corner of the screen.

To emphasize the effects of the changing data, I have added some elements of randomness into the work. With the every new CO2 or temperature data point, a new tone is added and one is taken away at random. While every performance of this work will sound similar, there are near-infinite variations in the sound. Additionally, with each performance several data points are selected at random, and when triggered, beep. These elements create an ever-changing cascade of textures that augment and enrich the basic sonification, with the piece's waveform represented visually in several different ways, creating a work with a depth of interest for the listener.

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