Listen In takes actual water and weather data gathered at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and converts it into music. This process of representing data with sound is called “data sonification”.
The Hubbard Brook sonifications assign specific elements of water data to specific musical instruments, creating a forest symphony. The listener can hear the quantities of water moving through the forest as precipitation, stream flow, soil water, evaporation, and transpiration. Several drivers of the water cycle, including air temperature and wind, also play a part in the music. Sonifications, unlike charts and graphs, engage different neural circuitry in our brains than the visual and reasoning centers. In other words, sonifications allow us to process scientific data in new and exciting ways.
Enjoy past Hubbard Brook data-as-music in the Music Library, or listen to what’s currently happening at Hubbard Brook on Music Now.
Sonifications of hydrometeorological data from the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest were developed by Marty Quinn of Design Rhythmics Sonification Research Lab.