In 2013, a music student and a geography professor at the University of Minnesota transformed 133 years of global temperature measurements into a melody for cello. The composition, "A Song of Our Warming World," was featured by The Huffington Post, New York Times, the Weather Channel, and National Public Radio. In 2015, co-creators Dan Crawford and Scott St. George have a new compositon, "Planetary Bands, Warming World."
Reposted from Open Culture May 9, 2015 article by Dan Colman
In 2013, we featured Daniel Crawford, an undergrad at the University of Minnesota, playing “A Song of Our Warming Planet” on his cello. The song, produced in collaboration with geography professor Scott St. George, was created using a method called “data sonification,” which converts global temperature records into a series of musical notes. (More on that here.)
Now, two years later, we have a brand new video by Crawford and St. George. This one is a composition for a string quartet called “Planetary Bands, Warming World,” and it’s based on temperature data gathered over time by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. As Crawford explains in the video, “Each instrument represents a specific part of the Northern Hemisphere. The cello matches the temperature of the equatorial zone. The viola tracks the mid latitudes. The two violins separately follow temperatures in the high latitudes and in the arctic.” Each note’s pitch “is tuned to the average annual temperature in each region, so low notes represent cold years and high notes represent warm years.” As you listen, keep in mind one observation made by Prof. St. George says. “Listening to the violin climb almost the entire range of the instrument is incredibly effective at illustrating the magnitude of change — particularly in the Arctic which has warmed more than any other part of the planet.” The time period covered here moves from 1880 to present.
A Song of Our Warming Planet (2013)
Vimeo 2015 Planetary Bands, Warming World
Vimeo 2013 A Song of Our Warming Planet
Open Culture 2013 Article | A song of our warming planet
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