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Environmental Sensors

Enviro-Music design principles use sensing technologies to allow people to experience the environment like never before. A range of electronic sensors are employed to capture real-time data from natural events such as wind gusts, a summer rain storm, boiling mud pools, breaking waves and the setting of the sun, and this data is used immediately to synthesise accompanying musical textures. The creation of a 'digital doppelganger' is a design strategy that ensures referential characteristics of the system are presented to the listener. These sounds are important as they form associative bonds with the natural event itself, allowing a natural point of departure along the referential-abstract continuum towards the 'musical'.  

 

Data streams from other longer-time-frame natural events may also be used to generate and shape the music. For example, the fluctuation of tides, the angle of shadows cast by the sun, changes in rainfall and river flow, the growth patterns of plants, the location and strength of earthquakes, average temperatures over the seasons and the surface area of polar ice during the summer over the past twenty years. Data from these natural events, which normally accumulates over days, months or years, is then compressed in much the same way as a time-lapse video and presented to listeners in audible gestural timeframe for the purpose of revealing the internal patterns within. This allows listeners to more accurately perceive the slow changes that are taking place in our natural environment and promotes a deeper understanding of the ecological issues we are facing in the 21st century.