For our first lesson in the Sonification and Sound Design course, we were asked to give a short presentation of a sonification or a sound design of choice. It was interesting to see the variety of examples among our classmates. Each of us brought a unique example and explained what is it about? why they did choose? and how does it relate to our work at the MCT program? This is an overview of the examples presented:

Karolina Jawad - Particles in the air

An installation which discovers the subtle presence of the dust in a room through a sensor and turns it into a generative musical composition and an animation of dust particles. Karolina talked about how it would be interesting the connect the idea of particle sonification in an ocean context, and presented us with another example of a sound installation that utilize the sea, the sea-organ.

Jonas Bjordal - Musical Fractals

A video by Adam Neely presenting the musical equivalent of a fractal, the mathematical concept often represented in geometric art that explores recursion and self-reference.

Shreejay Shrestha - The Defining Rise of Carbon Pollution

Is a song which is based on carbon dioxide measurements since 1957 where one can hear the rise of carbon pollution, caused by the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation. Lower notes equal lower carbon dioxide measurements.

Çağrı Erdem - Myogram

An 8 channel sonification of muscular corporeal states by Atau Tanaka. Two Myo armbands are measuring the electrical activity of voluntary and involuntary muscle contractions. Erdem talked about his interest in the interactive sonification and interactive systems.

Jørgen Nygård Varpe - No Country for Old Men

Is an Hollywood movie released in 2007. Jørgen described how much he liked the soundtrack of the film, the idea that less is more and that the details in sound design throughout this film really made a strong impression on his viewing experience.

Eigil Aandahl - Red Dead Redemption Soundtrack

In this video we are being exposed to the behind the scenes of the recording and creation of the game Red Dead Redemption. The soundtrack, which is based mainly on stems, captivate and reimagine the old American west and successfully enhance the gaming experience.

Ashane Silva - The Pulse Oximeter

Is a noninvasive method for monitoring a person’s oxygen saturation. This is an example of a medical device which present pulse with sound. Ashane talked about the importance of the sound design one should consider when creating a device meant be used by people.

Qichao Lan - Breaking Bad sound layering

A scene from the TV series Breaking Bad with a sound layer breakdown containing Sound FX, Music and Dialog. The scene features an anxious person in a panic state. Qichau talked about how the soundtrack serves the scene, and how important are the artistic choices sound designers make.

Elias Andersen - Sauden

A sonification of a newspaper article read by Siri with added sounds and beats. Elias mentioned how he liked the idea of sharing songs instead of sharing news articles among friends and presented us with this example made by his friend.

Sepehr Haghighi - Stream Line

An interactive project that explores the interaction between the subject and the sonification of his/her movement. The subject could be a dancer or an ensemble. The sonification is going to be done via motion tracking and shall be played back to the subject real time.

Guy Sion - Nissan Leaf

In 2011 Nissan was the first to introduce an artificial car sound for its electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are so quiet at low speeds that they can go unnoticed by pedestrians. In 2017 Nissan debuted the ‘Canto’ (derived from sing in Latin) which changes the sound Nissan cars make while driving by varying in pitch and tone depending on weather the vehicle is accelerating, decelerating or reversing.

Sam Roman - Examples of practical use of sonification

Two examples of basic sonification, a heart rate monitor and a truck reversing, that are quite similar sonically but mean different things when are in different settings were presented by Sam.

Mari Lesteberg - Miles Beyond

A track by the Mahavishnu Orchestra which features a synth sound in the first few seconds of the song. Mari mentioned how much she enjoys this soothing synth sound which actually continued to be played in the background throughout the whole song. Mari expressed her desire to learn how to create this kind of sounds which are always there but you don’t really hear them all the time and incorporate them in her artwork.

Eirik Dahl - Sonification of Hurricane Sandy

A satellite video of hurricane Sandy together with a sonification of the meteorological parameters. Eirik discussed his interest in creating a similar sonification of meteorological data from the North Cape.

Final Remarks

Overviewing the examples presented, we can sort them into three main categories, sonification (The Pulse Oximeter, Nissan Leaf, Reversing Truck, Heart Rate Monitor), sound design (Musical Fractals, No Country for Old Men, Red Dead Redemption Soundtrack, Breaking Bad sound layering, Miles Beyond), and sound interaction design (Particles in the air, The Defining Rise of Carbon Pollution, Myogram, Sauden, Stream Line, Sonification of Hurricane Sandy). It was a nice experiance to hear what other students find interesting when it comes to sonification and sound in general. Sonification and sound design is such a broad field and I am very much looking forward to learning more about conveing information through sound throughout this course.