Tectonic at 319 Scholes in NYC. Earthquakes synthesizing sounds across an array that reflects the global position.
Sonification of the incredible seismic activity off the coast of Honshu, Japan - Friday March 11th.
This is only a selection of 20 or so individual readings. At the time of this recording, earthquakes are ongoing as there have been almost 40 readings in the past 8 hours.
UPDATE: As more readings come in that result in interesting generations I will post throughout the day on SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/micahfrank
Tectonic is a realtime seismic analysis and sound synthesis system. Sound is created in realtime by earthquakes as they occur across the globe. A tightly integrated system between Max/MSP, Google Earth and Symbolic Sound’s Kyma processes earthquake data that is translated into sound synthesis parameters. A USGS XML feed is parsed into numerous fields including magnitude, elevation, time of day and geographical coordinates. These data are mapped to synthetic spectrums and processed by granular, aggregate and subtractive synthesis.
Learn more about Tectonic at http://micahfrank.com/tagged/tectonic
The Tectonic compilation includes almost an hour of earthquake sonifications that can be listened to as a full length album, or played as an instrument in Ableton Live. The Live instrument includes over 30 high quality samples arranged as a menu of soundscapes.
The compilation’s source material originated from US Geological Survey data, parsed by Cycling 74’s Max/MSP and synthesized in Symbolic Sound’s Kyma X. Read more about Tectonic
Tectonic’s Max output is now interfacing directly with a Kyma system. This has enabled me to realize the project’s full potential through various types of synthesis created organically, through the the many parameters being passed to Kyma. The initial planning of the port basically took place in this sketch.
Programming this “flowchart” in Kyma is taking place slowly day-by-day. However, most of the synthesis channels are completed. So what’s happening here?
When Max picks up a new earthquake it sends the data to Kyma generating a new synthetic spectrum. From there, based on a parameter (like latitude) the spectrum gets resynthesized through 1 of four methods - granular resynthesis, waveshaping, subtractive or physical modeling.
As in the original prototype, longitude controls the output of the speaker array. It will automatically spatialize the longitudinal coordinates across multiple speakers. Basically, this means that Tectonic is no longer limited to one speaker per zone. Instead, the reading can register at any point in a 360-degree radius.