Creative Disturbance (Sound and Data)

Scot Gresham-Lancaster meets with colleague Bert Barten to touch bases on a decade-long project called Talking Trees. The project studies the ability of 'mother trees' communicating with their forests through chemical reactions in mycelium. 

Direct download: TalkingTrees_SoundandData.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 12:14pm CDT

Scot Lancaster and Greg Kramer discuss the field of sonification--the use of non-speech audio to convey information or perceptualize data. This conversation deals with its origins and possible uses in the future.

Direct download: KramerPodcastwBumpers_1.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 12:10pm CDT

Dr. Paul Vickers - Sonification, Ethical Computing and Standup Comedy [ENG]

A short discussion with Dr. Vickers about his approach to sonification including some discussion of his recent standup routine regarding sonification as its main topic. 

Direct download: Paul_Vickers_Podcast.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 4:30am CDT

L. Alexis Emelianoff [ENG]

Our guest's interesting website points to her unique work creating new types of instruments for etheric fields or she says on her site "sonification of the dynamic plane: Instruments and systems tuning in to the volatile and unpredictable potentials of matter, from hard substance to the level of electron spin​" So this is a luthier of new sort. See some videos of her work at:

Direct download: AlexisEmelianoff.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

David Worral [ENG]

David Worral is a preeminent scholar regarding sonification. His doctoral thesis on the topic is one of the best resources available for anyone researching this area of study. This is an open and informal discussion of various topics related to sonification. David and Scot have known each other for decades so this an engaging and lively discussion.

Direct download: DavidWorrall1.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 1:32am CDT

Marco Buongiorno Nardelli

Dr. Buongiorno Nardelli is a computational materials physicist and composer. His latest work at is a new computer-aided data-driven composition (CADDC) environment based on the sonification and remix of scientific data streams. Sonification of scientific data, i.e. the perceptualization of information through acoustic means, not only provides a useful alternative and complement to visual data representation, but provides also the raw data for potential artistic remixes and further musical interpretation.

Direct download: MarcoBuongiornoNardelli1.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Sophia Roosth - All the Senses

From her perspective as an anthropologist the interest in how non-visual senses (e.g., hearing, taste, and touch) figure in scientific research and knowledge production are discussed. Among these interests sonocytologists who record cellular vibrations, exploring how listening to cells impacts how researchers understand biological processes are discussed.

Direct download: Roosth-Scot_1.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Mike Winters - Sonification of Emotion

To quote Mike Winters from the "Project Description" of his Masters Thesis "Strategies for Continuous Auditory Display of Arousal and Valence" in which he states "Sound is capable of profound emotional experiences: one need look no further than the importance of music in film. Sonification is field of research interested in the use of sound to convey information in general, but what happens when the data is emotion?" This discussion scratches the surface of this research and starts the dialog regarding the fuzzy intersection of Art and Science that is presented when researching the techniques associated with affective computing when using data to drive emotional content systematically.

Direct download: Mike_Winters_Podcast.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 8:23pm CDT

Some Thoughts on Sonification

Pauline Oliveros and host Scot Gresham-Lancaster have collaborated on many projects over the years and in this podcast they talk over some of that work with a focus on the pieces at the Art/Science boundary. The Deep Listening Art/Science Conference comes up as well as the interesting "moon bounce" pieces, "Echoes from the Moon"

Direct download: PaulinaOliveros_thoughts_on_sonification.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

Florian Grond and Listening Mode Centered Sonification

Here is an extended conversation regarding a broad range of topics relative to sonification including the types and definitions of listening relative to sonification practices as well as a discussion of the blurry space between sound art practice and functional scientific purpose with sonification. Notes on pointers to some of Dr. Grond's work here:


This audio visual installation was commissioned for the exhibition The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot Fractals, Chaos, and the Materiality of Thinking. This work reflects on the role of drawing in nonlinear science—connecting performativity, space, and creative thought processes. It investigates at the same time questions of the representation of dynamical systems as differential equations. In this video you canhear the sounds of drawing being made with a pencil. The varying speeds and pressures that characterize this kind of sound are manipulated via filters, playback speeds, and sound effects based on the lines produced by certain nonlinear equations. Synchronized to these sounds are visual representations of the equations, which change their shades according to the actual state of the selected dynamical system. Listening to the intimate sonic experience and watching the visually changing formula allows one to connect with the dynamical properties of the systems. 


Safety Certificate is a musical performance based on axle box sensor data from high-speed trains. The original purpose of this data is to provide a basis for the assessments of the mechanical aspects of train safety durimng the homologation process. In this performance, the data, which represents dynamical processes in the sub frequent domain and below the audible range, are converted into sound through audification. The sound that is generated live during the performance is manipulated through the Manta control interface, which allows for the convenient layering of 48 different timbres. Safety Certificate was premiered at Seconde Nature in Aix-en-Provence in March 2010 during the Sonification symposium – What Where How Why, organized by Locus Sonus . On the left you will hear excerpts of a the recording from a performance for 8 channels in a stereo downmix.

Special thanks to Fabian Schmid from PJM for the data and Till Bovermann for Manta instructions. I used Alberto DeCampo's SuperCollider class as software interface to the Manta.


Delay together with Mary Sherman:

Direct download: Florian_Grond_Podcast_final.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 8:52pm CDT

Margaret Schedel and the Sounds of Science

Margaret Schedel is an Associate Professor of Composition and Computer Music at Stony Brook University. Through her work, she explores the relatively new field of Data Sonification, generating new ways to perceive and interact with information through the use of sound. From a longer in depth article at Dr. Schedel states: "In the current fascination with sonification, the fact that aesthetic decisions must be made in order to translate data into the auditory domain can be obscured. Headlines such as “Here’s What the Higgs Boson Sounds Like” are much sexier than headlines such as “Here is What One Possible Mapping of Some of the Data We Have Collected from a Scientific Measuring Instrument (which itself has inaccuracies) Into Sound.” To illustrate the complexity of these aesthetic decisions, which are always interior to the sonification process, I focus here on how my collaborators and I have been using sound to understand many kinds of scientific data." We talk at length about these general topics.

Direct download: MargaretSchdeleInterview1_3.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

The Conductor

Andrew Blanton and Scot Gresham-Lancaster introduce and discuss CONDUCTOR, an exploration in real-time sound diffusion using multiple iOS devices as sensors for the placement of sound.

The design references the historical use of spatial dimensions in music and addresses how the disintegration of traditional audience/performer roles creates massive implications for this new approach to "conducting". The system requires at least four channels of audio for 360 degree audio spatialization.

Direct download: The_CONDUCTOR_Andrew_and_Scot.mp3
Category:Sound and Data -- posted at: 8:11pm CDT