Microbial Bebop
October 8, 2012 3:51 PM   Subscribe

When looking for inspiration, most songwriters to go well-used emotional wells – triumph or loss, love or heartbreak. But Peter Larsen, a biologist at Argonne National Laboratory, looked to the microbes of the English Channel. He used seven years’ worth of genetic and environmental data, converting geochemical and microbial abundance measurements into notes, beats, and chords.
posted by Egg Shen (13 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nifty. Does it have a spreadsheet too?
posted by romakimmy at 4:09 PM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


In a similar vein, you might enjoy Earth's Magnetic Field, by Charles Dodge, created at the Columbia Princeton Electronic Music Lab in 1970.
posted by Dean358 at 4:31 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


The first really comprehensive text on data sonification was published recently.

It can be viewed for free as a pdf.

The field in general is at a very interesting place right now, and projects like this one are going to be less and less novel in the near future.
posted by idiopath at 4:35 PM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Neat.
posted by safetyfork at 4:37 PM on October 8, 2012


"Microbial Bebop" is a cute name, sure, but "bebop" is a highly distinct musical genre with very clearly established and agreed-upon parameters, and none of this music sounds even remotely like bebop. Oh well, hey, it's a cute name.

But then... Blues For Elle possesses not one whiff of an iota of the blues within its stiff and lurching changes.

So, I dunno... these scientists doing this sort of thing would do well to show a little more respect. Heck, I don't go around calling my tunes "Microbiology for Esmerelda" or "Aerobic Anoxygenic Photosynthesis Shuffle", now do I?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:38 PM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Funny, I was just reading this part in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. One of my faves, back in the late 80s.
posted by DU at 4:51 PM on October 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


One hoped that it would sound like Louis and Bebe Barron's soundtrack for Forbidden Planet...
posted by y2karl at 7:17 PM on October 8, 2012


Nice! I wonder if he heard of Reginald Gulliver, a guy who taught E. coli to rhyme - at least that's what he claims in the preface to his book Eruntics. He might or might not be entirely real but the preface definitely is.
posted by hat_eater at 7:17 PM on October 8, 2012


flapjax at midnite: ""Microbial Bebop" is a cute name, sure, but "bebop" is a highly distinct musical genre with very clearly established and agreed-upon parameters, and none of this music sounds even remotely like bebop. Oh well, hey, it's a cute name. "

He could call it ribofunk.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:42 PM on October 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Funkecoli
posted by y2karl at 4:46 PM on October 12, 2012


ribofunk.

Funkecoli


These won't work either, cause they're ain't no funk within a hundred miles of any of this music. Back to the drawing board.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:18 PM on October 12, 2012


Ambecolient ?
posted by y2karl at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2012 [1 favorite]


Better!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:35 PM on October 12, 2012


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