Representing Data With Sound

The Online Journalism Blog has published an interesting guest piece about ‘audiolisation’ (or ‘auralization‘ or ‘sonification’); the use of sound to represent data. Tom Levine and Roman Heindorff talk to Ion Mates about bringing music to data representations.

In this post on the Camayak blog Tom Levine describes how sound can be used to represent variables and the interactions between data sets. Using time on the x axis and activity on the y, the data forms itself into patterns of sound that you’ll be tapping your foot along to.

‘The time dimension is represented in the music as time. The music is composed of verses, each verse corresponding to a season. Each season is broken into four equal parts (approximately 23 days each), and each verse is correspondingly broken into four “phrases”. We distinguish between the summer season and all other seasons in these ways. * Chord progression (i v i III versus I V vi IV). * Presence of drums (off during the summer).

The commenting on assignments and pitches in newsrooms and assignment of tasks to writers affects the main rhythms and the use of drums’.