In space no one can hear you pizzicato...
January 22, 2014 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Aided and abetted by Domenico Vicinanza Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have played a duet together. This both sounds and is less weird than one might think. Data sonification is a Thing.
posted by Chairboy (8 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Well, that's nice. I quite like it.

Back when I was a small kid, '77 plus or minus, my dad came home with vinyl record that was meant as a tribute to the Voyagers, if I recall correctly, as they endlessly tumbled into space. Repetitive minimalist electronica, the first I encountered. It is burnt into my brain, but I can't remember the title or composer, just the feeling it engendered of being a tiny nearly-lifeless and nearly-immortal hunk of metal catapulted weightlessly through the enormous solar system and eventually beyond.

I've search -- to satisfy my nostalgia -- but have never found that album.
posted by brambleboy at 1:55 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

First of all, that's a gorgeous piece of music, well done to the composer.

Secondly, I'm kind of amazed that I failed to find the Data Sonification Tumblr when I was looking for just such a site recently when I was writing about (Mefi's own) Edlundart's 'Market Music' sonification of the closing prices of the S&P 500. I'll now cheerfully follow!
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:28 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

That was indeed fascinating and enjoyable. Sounds like something that Phillip Glass might write if he ever decided to write something really good.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 7:25 PM on January 22, 2014

That was quite nice, more musical than I expected. My first exposure to data sonification was about 15 years ago, listening for repeated sequences in DNA. The lecturer showed the sequence, but nothing really jumped out of the soup of As, Ts, Gs and Cs. Then he played it, and holy moly you could hear the repeated elements! (Made for crap music, though.) I wonder what kind of different processing our brains do for visual versus aural pattern recognition?
posted by Quietgal at 8:19 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't know about pattern recognition but here's the difference in how we recognize the location for visual vs aural stimuli
posted by TwoWordReview at 9:53 PM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Data sonification is nonsense. You are generally listening to the mapping - not the data.
posted by mary8nne at 7:56 AM on January 23, 2014

A friend of mine, who is both a geophysicist and a musician, turns earthquake data into sound. The results really give you an idea of how waves travel through the earth.
posted by the_blizz at 9:18 AM on January 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

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