Last week, I posted the video of Daniel Crawford’s “cello sonata” on climate change – one note per year from 1880 to 2012. Two other climate researchers have produced a similar composition, and theirs covers 600 years of climate variation.
In this case, each note represents a four-year average, starting in 1400. The project was put together by Julio Friedmann and Michael Loomis at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. On the Dot Earth blog, Friedmann, who was trained as a classical composer, writes:
I found that many people simply didn’t understand — internally, viscerally — the relative timing, magnitude, and rates of the climate changes. A scientist can look at the graphs and get it, but most people won’t intuitively understand. Among other things, this leads to confusion about what’s a natural cycle versus an unusual, indeed unique, detour away from natural signals. Sound was a new way to communicate this – orthogonal, and compelling.
The instrument is a digital violin,playing 1/16th notes, with one note representing four years:
A few years from now, the notes will have gone into the ultrasonic range, outside of our range of hearing. (Then again, if we can’t hear it, perhaps it isn’t happening.)